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Application Development Articles

Komodo 3.5 for Dynamic Languages by Michael J. Ross
A common misconception is that only static languages can have powerful IDEs. Late-binding languages with runtime code evaluation have plenty of IDE support in ActiveState's Komodo 3.5. Michael J. Ross reviews what it offers PHP and Perl developers. Dec. 21, 2006

Free and Open Source Software at the United Nations by David Boswell
Advances in technology have revolutionized the way people live, but the digital divide keeps vital technology out of third-world countries. As part of a series of initiatives to end global poverty by 2015, the United Nations is using, promoting, and creating free and open source software. David Boswell gives an overview of the plans and progress. Jul. 20, 2006

Rethinking Community Documentation by Andy Oram
Good documentation makes good software great. Poor documentation makes great software less useful. What is good documentation, though, and how can communities produce it effectively? Andy Oram explores how free and open source software projects can share their knowledge with users and how publishers and editors fit into the future of documentation. Jul. 6, 2006

Why Do Projects Fail? by Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman
In this excerpt from "How to Keep Your Boss from Sinking Your Project" (PDF), authors Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene address the question of why projects fail. This excerpt serves as the introduction to their concepts of effectively managing upward on projects. If you want to know what steps you can take to keep your software project from running aground, check out their PDF.  Jun. 20, 2006

System Administration with ooRexx by Howard Fosdick
Rexx is one of the world's first scripting languages. Its portability, power, and open source implementations make it useful for all sorts of system administration features. Howard Fosdick and Jon Wolfers show how Open Object Rexx makes it easy to build a useful, usable GUI sysadmin tool even for platforms such as Windows. Mar. 2, 2006

Introducing Lua by Keith Fieldhouse
Scripting is highly important to extensible applications. Not only is it easier to write logic in higher-level languages, but also it's often safer. It can be effective, too--consider that World of Warcraft and other games embed the Lua language and use it for scripts, AI, configuration, and even user interface management. Why Lua? Keith Fieldhouse introduces the language and explains why it's so appropriate. Feb. 16, 2006

Building Binary PC-BSD Packages by Dru Lavigne
Several BSD-based distributions have emerged recently--and a few are relevant to and accessible by end users. One such is PC-BSD, whose innovations include a binary package installation system. Of course, that requires people to build binary packages for it. Fortunately, as Dru Lavigne demonstrates, doing so is both easy and addictively fun. Jan. 5, 2006

Managing TV with XMLTV by Brian Murray
XMLTV is a set of open source utilities for working with television schedules. It's not just for people building their own PVRs, though--with a little cleverness, you can build your own schedule applications. Brian Murray shows how he manages his family's entertainment time. Dec. 8, 2005

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Calling SOAP Servers from JS in Mozilla by Zachary Kessin
Interacting with web servers through forms and user actions alone seems so dry and boring. The full-fledged SOAP client built into the Mozilla family of browsers can make your applications more active and useful. Zachary Kessin shows how to write a simple SOAP server in PHP that communicates with Mozilla through JavaScript. Jun. 23, 2005

What Developers Want by Murugan Pal
Regardless of the language and platform you choose for development, you likely share some goals with your fellow developers: to be productive, to use good tools, and to keep your tools and processes out of your way while you create good software. Murugan Pal, CTO of SpikeSource, explains ten attributes he thinks developers want. Jun. 23, 2005

A Simpler Ajax Path by Matthew Eernisse
After years of hacks, tricks, and workarounds, there's finally a cross-browser, cross-platform way to communicate between client and server in web applications. Matthew Eernisse demonstrates how to send and receive structured data with XMLHttpRequest and shows off some tricks to make debugging and error handling easier. May. 19, 2005

Making Packager-Friendly Software, Part 2 by Julio M. Merino Vidal
Packaging free and open source software for end users is both necessary and thankless. Without packagers, software could spread neither as far nor as fast as it does. Julio M. Merino Vidal explains how to make configuring, building, installing, and porting your code much easier--to allow it to spread to more users and more software ecosystems. Apr. 28, 2005

Making Packager-Friendly Software by Julio M. Merino Vidal
Packaging free and open source software for end users is both necessary and thankless. Without packagers, software could spread neither as far nor as fast as it does. Julio M. Merino Vidal has a secret tip for authors, though: the easier it is for packagers to package your code, the further it may spread. Here's how to make their lives easier. Mar. 31, 2005

Roll Your Own Series 60 Phone Applications by John Littler
As cell phones become better computers, they become better platforms for real applications. In theory, that means hobbyists and home users can write code for their phones. In practice? John Littler explores the options to start programming your Series 60 smartphone. Sep. 16, 2004

Anonymous, Open Source P2P with MUTE by Howard Wen
It's clear that the current generation of peer-to-peer applications has one strong drawback -- users aren't anonymous enough. Jason Rohrer's MUTE is different. It eschews direct downloads in favor of routing all requests through the network of peers. Howard Wen interviews Rohrer about his inspiration and goals. Aug. 12, 2004

A Ticketing System for a Three-Tiered Architecture by Elena Garderman
Modern business apps often use a three-tiered architecture, separating the user interface from the data store from the application logic. Of course, this separation can add wait time, as users wait for their requests to process. Elena Garderman and Howard Feldman explain how adding a ticketing system can improve the process. Feb. 12, 2004

Introducing REBOL with Amazingly Easy GUI Programming by Gregg Irwin
Cross-platform development and deployment is tricky, though modern toolkits aim to take away some of the troubles. Some languages have already solved this issue, though. Enter REBOL, a small but powerful network-enabled programming language. Gregg Irwin introduces the language by writing a tiny survey application. Oct. 30, 2003

An Interview with the Author of Practical mod_perl by chromatic
Stas Bekman has maintained the mod_perl guide for ages. He's even been sponsored to work on improving mod_perl full time! The author of the recently released Practical mod_perl graciously agreed to this interview. Jul. 3, 2003

Linux Multithreading Advances by Jerry Cooperstein
Linux multithreading has traditionally lacked full POSIX compatibility. Recent development kernels have seen the addition of two competing thread replacements. Jerry Cooperstein examines the history and implementation of both NPTL and NGPT in plain English. Nov. 7, 2002

DVD Playback on FreeBSD by Dru Lavigne
Dru Lavigne delves into the world of DVD playback and tests four applications from the ports collection to find one that suits her needs. Oct. 3, 2002

Using Sound on FreeBSD by Dru Lavigne
Dru Lavigne continues configuring a multimedia workstation by demonstrating how to get sound working, and looking at some of the sound-related ports in the ports collection. Sep. 19, 2002

Introducing Smarty: A PHP Template Engine by Joao Prado Maia
It is quite common for PHP developers to include other files in an effort to reuse code, however templates make that job easier and allow you to separate HMTL layout from code logic. Sep. 5, 2002

Linux Compatibility on BSD for the PPC Platform: Part 3 by Emmanuel Dreyfus
Signals are the interactions between the kernel and the user program -- a program can't run without them. Emmanuel Dreyfus explains how to make your signals Linux-compatible.  Jun. 7, 2001

Modifying a Port by Michael W. Lucas
Michael Lucas continues his developer's tour of the BSD ports collection and shows us how to contribute to the project. Jan. 25, 2001

Insecure Temporary File Functions by Noel Davis
Noel Davis reports on the latest security problems and news, including the Immunix OS security audit, issues with GNU C library, ReiserFS, linuxconf and more. Jan. 15, 2001

IBM Websphere, Shockwave Flash, and emacs Advisories by Noel Davis
Problems this week include minor problems with sendmail, exposure problems with Lotus Domino, problems in the default setup of Informix Webdriver and IBM Websphere Commerce Suite, a buffer overflow in Shockwave Flash, denial of service attacks against login, privacy problems in emacs, symlink attack in exmh, and a potential exploit against GTK+.  Jan. 8, 2001

PalmOS, Half-Life Server, and Ethereal Vulnerabilities by Noel Davis
Problems this week include more symlink problems with catman and dialog, buffer overflows in oops, halflifeserver, and ethereal, key problems with gnupg, problems with PalmOS devices, and a prime example of amazing vulnerabilities in third-party software packages.  Jan. 2, 2001

Security Alerts: SAMBA, pine, ircd, and More by Noel Davis
Noel Davis summarizes recent open source and Unix security-related advisories. Problems this week include symlink problems with joe, pico, and samba, a buffer overflow in bftpd, and problems with pine. Dec. 19, 2000

Security Alerts: Twig, Midnight Commander, and More by Noel Davis
Noel Davis summarizes published open source and Unix exploits. Problems this week include arbitrary code execution in Twig, new symlink attacks, a hidden control code attack on Midnight Commander, and a LANGUAGE attack on glibc. Dec. 6, 2000

Small Office Linux by Michael J. Norton
People from all walks of life are becoming Linux system administrators for small enterprises. If that's the case for you, here's a valuable guide to get you started on the right foot. Dec. 1, 2000

Security Alerts: Koules Local Root Exploit And More. by Noel Davis
This week's exploits include a local root compromise in Koules 1.4, a buffer overflow in modutilities, and various problems with Alladin Ghostscript.  Nov. 28, 2000

Security Alerts: OpenBSD Non-exploit and More by Noel Davis
Noel Davis reviews the published exploits from Unix and open source. This week's Insecurities column includes a satirical non-exploit against OpenBSD Nov. 13, 2000

Module Tour: Embedding Python with mod_python and mod_snake by Rael Dornfest
Rael Dornfest takes quick look at mod_python and mod_snake, two modules that embed a Python interpreter right into your Apache server. Nov. 8, 2000

Installing Nautilus: An Emerging Linux File Manager by Terrie Miller
Nautilus, a new Linux File Manager from Eazel, is pretty and easy to use. But is it easy to install? We rolled up our sleeves and filed this report. Sep. 15, 2000

Understanding E-Mail by Dru Lavigne
Dru takes us deep into the mysteries of E-mail in an attempt to demystify terms such as "MUA", "MTA", and "IMAP4".  Aug. 30, 2000

Napster Rides Again
Is the song-swapping service a model for a new breed of Net application? A roundtable discussion with News.com's John Borland and Steve Pizzo of Forbes ASAP.With audio Jul. 14, 2000

Installing OCSweb on FreeBSD by Michael W. Lucas
The OCSweb package allows users to post messages, read and send e-mail, and keep calendars, all via a web browser. Unfortunately, it only runs on Linux. Michael Lucas shows how even a non-programmer can sometimes port an application to FreeBSD Jun. 15, 2000

The Week in Linux News by Baiju Thakkar
Exploring RAID technology, reviews of Red Hat 6.2 preview release, Enlightenment, startx, KDE icons, and shell loop constructs. Apr. 20, 2000

Processing TeX and LaTeX Files by Michael Stutz
In his third Living Linux column, Michael Stutz shows how to process files in two popular typesetting formats. Apr. 12, 2000

Linux Word Processing Road Map by Michael Stutz
Michael Stutz goes over your options for word processing, and why we may be moving past the word processor era to a time when we take a different view of how we create, store, and output text. Mar. 28, 2000

Bostic on the BSD Tradition by Dale Dougherty
An interview with BSD veteran Keith Bostic who is optimistic that FreeBSD can thrive.  Mar. 24, 2000

GNOMEs in Paris: A Report from GUADEC by Chuck Toporek
Upcoming GNOME releases, GTK 1.4, Pango, Bonobo, and Eazel's Nautilus. Mar. 22, 2000

Running Linux Applications on FreeBSD by Bill Swingle
How to use Linux Binary Compatibility. Mar. 20, 2000

An Interview with Loki Games' Scott Draeker by J. S. Kelly
Loki games founder Scott Draeker on porting Windows apps to Linux and the importance of giving back to the open source development community. Mar. 16, 2000


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