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Fixing gcc, Layering PHP, Apache-ing Python, and Buying a Hackable TiVo

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 10/06/2003

Greetings, Linux newsletter subscribers. Does it seem like October already? Just this time last year, we were starting to hear predictions of a 2.6 kernel release in the next few months. We can recycle *that* idea!

It's a lot easier to predict what's new on ONLamp.com this week. Let's get right to that:

Writing a compiler is a little tricky, but it's not hideously impossible. Debugging a compiler, however, can be worse. That's what Miod Vallat discovered when he explored the state of the m88k port. If there's a defining characteristic of good hackers, it's a refusal to fear unknown code. Diving into gcc: OpenBSD and m88k explains how Miod debugged and patched gcc—without being a compiler hacker when he started. Don't be scared. If you can follow examples in C, you'll follow this article.

If you're a web programmer, the second time someone asks you to change the wording of text you didn't write, you'll hopefully realize there's an easier way to divide the responsibilities for content, presentation, and programming logic. (I hope you've already discarded the idea of telling the requestor how to change the program.) Daniel Solin explains how his company achieves this separation of responsibility (including internationalized and localized content!) in Modular PHP Development with FastTemplate.

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Speaking of the web—or simply network protocols in general—why aren't more people using Python with Apache? Perhaps they've not yet heard of mod_python. Sure, embedding a Python interpreter in the web server offers tremendous speed over the traditional forking CGI model, but mod_python offers more: access to the httpd API from Python. Gregory Trubetskoy, the author of mod_python, elaborates in Introducing mod_python.

Finally, this week features "So, You Want to Hack a TiVo", from "TiVo Hacks" author Raffi Krikorian. You've heard of the nifty features of TiVo and the possibilities for doing much, much more with this networkable Linux box. There are several variants of TiVo in the wild today. Which Tivo Is the Right One for You? examines the variants with an eye on the current state of TiVo hacking.

This week's weblogs feature Andy Lester calling content-based spam filtering a dead end, Jason Deraleau praising Apple's product packaging, Nat Torkington promising not to write about parental filtering, and Andy Oram wondering if computers can help create jobs and wealth again.

That's all for today. See you next time!

Until then,

chromatic
chromatic@oreilly.com
Technical Editor
O'Reilly Network


ONLamp.com and Linux Devcenter Top Five Articles Last Week

  1. Diving into Gcc: OpenBSD and m88k
    Until recently OpenBSD's m88k port used an aging version of the GNU C Compiler, gcc. When an upgrade prevented the port from even compiling, the compiler had to be fixed. How do you track down errors in a compiler, where processor-specific optimizations rule and the debugger doesn't work? Miod Vallat explains the detective work required to fix gcc for OpenBSD's m88k port.

  2. Porting Linux to the iPod
    A new piece of unknown hardware is a challenge; what can it do? To Bernard Leach, Apple's iPod was just waiting for a Linux port. Thanks to his work, you can play music on an iPod running Linux. Howard Wen recently interviewed Leach on the goals and process of porting Linux to the iPod.

  3. Which TiVo Is the Right One for You?
    Raffi Krikorian, author of TiVo Hacks, examines the four different TiVo choices available: the Series 1 Stand-alone (SA), the S1 DirecTiVo, the Series 2 SA, and the S2 DirecTiVo. He looks at the pros and cons of each one so you'll know which one is the right one for you; and for the hackers among you, which one is right if you want to hack your TiVo.

  4. Installing Oracle 9iR2 on Red Hat 9
    While Oracle's understandably proud of their Linux support, Oracle 9i is unsupported on the latest and greatest Red Hat. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, just that you'll have to do a little tinkering. Roko Roic demonstrates how to install Oracle 91R2 on Red Hat 9.

  5. Building an Advanced Mail Server
    Email is crucial to many businesses. Setting up a mail server doesn't have to be difficult, though. Joe Stump demonstrates how to install and configure qmail with support for virtual domains, IMAP, POP3, and SSL.


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