reviews

Reviews

Book review: Running Linux, 5th Ed. by Matthias Kalle Dalheimer & Matt Welsh

Running Linux begins with the subtitle “A distribution-neutral guide for servers and desktops”. This subtitle manages to capture the essence of the book extremely well, containing extensive information for both a desktop and server environment within its 972 pages.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Book review: Zope 3 Developer’s Handbook by Stephan Richter

Like its subject matter, the Zope 3 Developer’s Handbook, has benefited from the mistakes of its predecessor, “The Zope Book”, and is a finely-engineered work. It is written in an extremely concise and carefully thought-out style, to make the immensely complex machinery of Zope 3 understandable to the reader in a mere 456 pages. It's easy to imagine a less-well-written book needing three times the volume to cover this material half as well. As a result, however, it is not a very casual book—you will need to read slowly and pay attention, if you want to get the most out of it.

Book review: Hardening Apache by Tony Mobily

A recent Netcraft survey found that approximately 67% of websites (two-thirds of the entire internet!) are served with Apache. With such a large number of administrators using Apache on their servers it stands to reason that a large number of crackers will focus their attentions on cracking it. That’s where “Hardening Apache”, a book by Free Software Magazine’s own excellent and keen-eyed Editor In Chief, Tony Mobily, comes in (it was just a little plug).

Book review: Just Say No To Microsoft: How To Ditch Microsoft And Why It’s Not As Hard As You Think by Tony Bove

This book, the contents of which should be evident in the self explanatory title, makes you feel a bit revolutionary. It isn’t just the catchy headings, which are clever paraphrasings of song titles and geeky cultural refecences; it’s also the air of genuine excitment which permeates the pages, and makes you feel inspired during and after the reading process. I think many people’s continuing use of Microsoft, even when they know about the insecurities, and the bugs, and the horror, is caused by inertia. And this is just the book to get them up and off their swivel chairs!

Book review: Agile Web Development with Rails by Dave Thomas and David Heinemeier Hansson, et al

The last time I looked at Ruby was many years ago, when the language was still relatively new. At that time it had yet to find wide acceptance when competing against the older and more established script-based languages such as Perl and Python. Although Ruby has since become more popular as a general purpose language, one of its most significant impacts has been within the web development space due to the development/deployment environment that is Ruby on Rails.

Book review: Web Mapping Illustrated by Tyler Mitchell

When I started Anansi Spaceworks in 2001, we were keen to create an interactive online browser for the planetary maps that we sold at that time, but didn’t know how to do it. With this book though, I’m tempted to try it again just for the fun of it! Whatever your interest in maps is, this book will help you out.

A straightforward introduction to creating interactive mapping sitesA straightforward introduction to creating interactive mapping sites

Book review: Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress

Three books in one, covering popular community building softwareThree books in one, covering popular community building software

Increasingly, the World Wide Web is not about static information pages, nor even dynamic web applications, but the process of creating and maintaining communities and collaborative efforts. Three of the most popular tools for developing such sites are presented in this new book from Apress.

This book is really three small books bound into one volume, as each software package is dealt with in a separate part of the book, apparently by separate authors

The contents

Book review: Programming Ruby by Dave Thomas (with Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt)

Many say that the Ruby language has clearly overtaken both Python and Perl as the popular choice for software development, both for standalone applications and also for web based solutions (through the magic of Ruby on Rails). Programming Ruby, by Dave Thomas was almost certainly instrumental in that process. The first edition of the book has been credited—by Yukihiro Matsumoto, the developer of Ruby—as a key reason for the popularity of the Ruby language outside of Japan.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Book review: Perl Best Practices by Damian Conway

The book is published by O’Reilly, who don’t need any introduction. Conway, the book’s author and fellow Australian (but no, his nationality didn’t influence my judgement on the book!), is working on Perl 6 with Larry Wall, the man who created Perl in the first place.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Book review: SEOBOOK: Search Engine Optimization by Aaron Matthew Wall

SEOBOOK: Search Engine Optimization is one of those informative texts that every person who is trying to make their website successful and well known should get their hands on and now. No, I’m not exaggerating. Aaron Matthew Wall, the author, is a testament to that. How do I know? When I type “seo” into Google. Wall’s site about SEOBOOK is on the first page of over twenty-five and a half million entries. Convinced yet? You should be! SEOBOOK is an accessible, relevant, and genuinely helpful text.

The book’s cover The book’s cover

Book review: Write Portable Code by Brian Hook

How many times do programmers have to port software written to run on one particular architecture into another (or more than one) architecture? Does it always go smoothly? If you answered “yes”, you might not need this book. But if your answer was “no”, then this book is for you.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Brian Hook is a professional software developer, and has worked primarily in the gaming and entertainment industry. He collected his experiences in this book in order to advise us on how to write portable software.

Book review: Deploying OpenLDAP by Tom Jackiewicz

For years I’ve had two to five computers around the house, with a variety of accounts for myself, my wife, and now my kids, not to mention a couple of special management accounts. Manually configuring these systems can be pretty tricky, because we’ve never installed any kind of central system for controlling users and passwords. We just try very hard to keep the UID numbers the same on all the different computers (which annoys my wife, because she’s the “second user” even on her own computer).

Book review: Open Sources 2.0

Few people take the time to truly consider just how free software concepts have affected, and continue to affect, the software industry, developers, corporations, organizations and the entire web community. The book Open Sources 2.0 takes many essays from free software and open source leaders that have shaped free software as a thought process and as an industry, and places them into a single compilation.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

The contents

Book review: Producing Open Source Software by Karl Fogel

Many people who start an open source project just announce their project without any prior planning. But now Karl Fogel—who has worked on the development teams of CVS, GNU Emacs and, most recently, Subversion, and is also the writer of “Open Source Development with CVS”—has introduced an extremely comprehensive project guide that will change the way people begin and think about open source projects.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Book review: Moving to Linux by Marcel Gagne

Moving to Linux, written by Marcel Gagne and published by Addison-Wesley, serves as a practical guide that takes the reader on a step-by-step journey into the world of GNU/Linux. This book is not for the hardcore techie, but for the person who wants to see how the common tasks they now perform in Windows can be done better with GNU/Linux.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

A practical guide that takes the reader on a step-by-step journey into the world of GNU/Linux

The contents

Book review: Degunking Linux by Roderick W Smith

Over the course of a typical computer’s lifetime you will probably create all sorts of files, temporarily install software and generate lots of information and data that you don’t really want to keep. Unfortunately, computers tend to have a terrible habit of keeping these files and information about. In Degunking Linux by Roderick W Smith you’ll find hints on how to clean and, as the title suggests, degunk your Linux installation to help free up disk space, CPU time and help optimize your machine. You’d be amazed how much of a difference degunking your machine can make.

Book review: Randal Schwartz’s Perls of Wisdom by Randal L Schwartz

Ask for some key figures in the world of Perl and it wont be long before the name Randal L Schwartz appears. Randal has, at one time or another, been a trainer of Perl, the Pumpking (responsible for managing the development of Perl), as well as a prolific writer and speaker on Perl techniques and materials. In Perls of Wisdom (Apress) he gathers together many of his talks and articles into a single book, expanding, correcting and extending them as necessary...

The cover of Randal Schwartz’s Perls of WisdomThe cover of Randal Schwartz’s Perls of Wisdom

Book review: A practical Guide to Linux. Commands, Editors and Shell Programming by Mark G. Sobell

Mark Sobell, a best-selling UNIX author, has done it again: he has delivered yet another fantastic book which makes GNU/Linux easier to approach.

The book’s cover The book’s cover

GNU/Linux (or “Linux”, if you want to be brief and get Mr. Stallman angry) is probably the most talked about operating system in the world right now. Even though GNU/Linux can be used without ever touching the infamous command line (thanks to distributions like Ubuntu or Suse), quite a few users out there are keen to learn how to get the most out of the Unix commands available.

Book review: Open Source Solutions for Small Business Problems by John Locke

Businesses are often bound to proprietary and closed source software solutions. So, when they try to adopt free software, they often face difficulty. John Locke wrote this book to give advice on when and how to make the transition from properietary/closed source software to free/open source software. The author deals with the most common and useful software a small business is likely to require.

The book's coverThe book's cover

Book review: The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, 2nd Edition by John H. Terpstra and Jelmer R. Vernooij

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for quite a few years, you’ve probably heard of Samba, the free software server that provides Windows networking compatibility. For new users coming from a Windows networking environment who want to avail themselves of all the advantages of free software server platforms, Samba is the ticket, and the ticket to Samba is good documentation.

The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, 2nd EditionThe Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide, 2nd Edition

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