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Book review: Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective by Diomidis Spinellis

Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective is aimed at the very heart and soul of the open source movement. Without code quality Open Source would be a muddied named that no one would value or deploy. This book by Diomidis Spinellis is a well written, well focused and to a high degree an eternal description of the varying types and issues that can be found in programming languages such as Java and C.

Book review: Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing

When you develop an open source work or use an open source work, it is important that you understand the license. A well written license protects both you and the user. According to the information found on the O’Reilly website, “Andrew M. St. Laurent is an experienced lawyer with a long-time interest in intellectual property, particularly software licensing”. Rest assured, after reading this book you will have a new appreciation for those who work daily with licensing issues.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Book review: Python How to Program by Deitel & Associates

Python How to Program is a textbook for a basic course in programming based on the increasingly popular programming language, Python.

Python How to Program is a very complete textbook for learning Python.Python How to Program is a very complete textbook for learning Python.

This book is truly a textbook, right down to the duotone red and black printing, which takes me back to my school days. I had expected it to be more of a self-study book as published by other technical publishers, but this book is clearly meant to be used in a classroom environment.

Book review: Regular Expression Pocket Reference by Tony Stubblebine

This wonderful little book contains the most common and useful information on Regular Expressions you will need for Perl, C, PHP, Python, Java, .NET, vi Editor, and shell tools. The author, Tony Stubblebine, credits another O’Reilly book, Mastering Regular Expressions, as being the definitive work. Fortunately though, this book is sized a little smaller for quicker references. Sometimes you just need a quick reminder on syntax and don’t need a definitive work.

Book review: PHP 5 Power Programming by Stig Bakken, Andi Gutmans, Derick Rethans

PHP is, in my opinion, the best computer language for developing almost any kind of web application. The authors of “PHP 5 Power Programming” apparently agree—they’ve written the most in-depth guide to the changes and new features in PHP 5 I have ever seen. Many free software web applications such as blog tools and content management systems are written in this versatile language.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Free culture events for June 2006

Welcome to the June edition of the Free Culture events newsletter. Free Culture is a movement that extends the logic of free software into the world of art, advocating free creativity, sharing and remixing. There will be thousands of events with this ethos going on around the world, but the listings below are brought to you by activists and advocates of the free culture movement. You can add your events and reviews to this newsletter on the Free Culture UK newsletter wiki.

Europe

Remix Reading open media lab

Book review: UNIX to Linux Porting by Alfredo Mendoza et. al

Converting a brilliant and specially customized C or C++ application from a generic UNIX OS to GNU/Linux has the potential to be painful, costly and time consuming. From comical personal experience I find that Murphy smiles and laughs at such rich complexities. “UNIX to Linux Porting: A Comprehensive Reference” gives psychological handle bars for those of you that wish to plan or enact a porting project for the first time and a comprehensive reference for the more experienced. This book details the main differences between Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and GNU/Linux.

Free culture events for May 2006

Welcome to the third newsletter listing and reviewing free culture events around the world. Free culture is a movement that extends the logic of free software into the world of art, advocating free creativity, sharing and remixing. There will be thousands of events with this ethos going on around the world, but the listings below are brought to you by activists and advocates of the free culture movement. You can add your events and reviews to this newsletter on the Free Culture UK newsletter wiki.

Europe

Upcoming events

Free culture events for April 2006

Welcome to the second newsletter listing and reviewing free culture events around the world. Free culture is a movement that extends the logic of free software into the world of art, advocating free creativity, sharing and remixing. There will be thousands of events with this ethos going on around the world, but the listings below are brought to you by activists and advocates of the free culture movement. You can add your events and reviews to this newsletter on the Free Culture UK newsletter wiki.

Europe

Upcoming events

Free culture events for March 2006

Welcome to the first newsletter listing and reviewing free culture events around the world. Free culture is a movement that extends the logic of free software into the world of art, advocating free creativity, sharing and remixing. There will be thousands of events with this ethos going on around the world, but the listings below are brought to you by activists and advocates of the free culture movement. You can add your events and reviews to this newsletter on the Free Culture UK newsletter wiki.

Europe

Upcoming events

Node.l

Emulation

The term emulation means to either equal or exceed something or someone else. As computer jargon, however, emulation means recreating another computer or console’s operating system on another system; e.g., recreating a Nintendo Entertainment System on your Sega Dreamcast so you can boot up a _Super Metroid _ROM, or playing classic arcade games like _Ms. Pac-Man _or _Omega Race _on your Gameboy Advance SP. Certainly, neither Nintendo nor Sega ever meant for their systems to be used for such purposes.

Games in captivity

For those of us who grew up in the 80s, playing games in arcades or on our computers and game consoles was a major part of our childhoods, and we often have the nostalgic desire to replay those beloved titles. Others not only want to play, but have dedicated their scholarly attention to the study and preservation of videogame history. Sometimes companies who own the copyright to these games are able to repackage them and make them available on the shelf; there are countless “Games in a Stick” mini-consoles and plenty of “Arcade Classic” compilations for the PC and modern consoles.

Book review: Free Software for Busy People by Mohammad Al-Ubaydli

I've used Windows for most of my life. Almost all of my family, friends and colleagues use Windows. The Microsoft network effect has locked in a majority of the population.

The book's cover The book's cover

Up to now, I've found that it is very hard to get people to switch to free software. After all, most Windows users have an operating system with applications that work well enough. Why should they care about free software when most of the people they know aren't using it?

What I wanted to know was will this book convince people to start switching to free software?

OpenPuppets

In summer 2004, OrganicaDTM’s design team discussed a project in a typical production meeting when suddenly a new idea arose. Somebody said that as we used free software daily in our business, we should be involved in a deeper way with free software community and should find a way thank their members for their efforts. We all looked at each other, knowing that that person was right. But how?

XMLStarlet: a Unix toolkit for XML

XML is everywhere. A quick Google search shows more than a 100 Million articles about the subject. The XML proponents gush about its ability to provide structure and yet remain human readable. The XML critics are quick to mention that XML is so verbose that being human readable does not necessarily make it human comprehensible. Both sides are correct. Yet, despite the ongoing arguments, XML is already integrated into many software products and the rate of adoption is still on the rise. And that means that you need to learn tools and techniques that will allow you to use XML effectively.

The fine art of computer programming

The free software and open source communities are changing what it means to write code. Specifically, they are extending its audience from a few fellow employees to, theoretically, anyone in the world who wants to read it. Code isn’t just for computers and colleagues anymore and, gradually, we are seeing the beginnings of a body of literary critics and an appreciative readership for source code.

net.labels

The traditional approach to releasing music, independent from what is called “the music industry”, follows a basic formula: record, print CD, promote, distribute, promote, lose money.

It is difficult to know why so many independent musicians follow this pattern, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they will almost certainly lose time and money. Thankfully there’s a new type of independent music label that is emerging on the internet. These entities call themselves net.labels and are in the process of defining an interesting new subculture of independent music distribution.

The risk of using proprietary software

About one out of every 200 people is allergic to peanuts. Depending on the extremity of the allergy, a person suffering from peanut allergies who was accidentally exposed to peanuts might develop an itchy rash. Others might experience anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that can prove fatal. People who are allergic to peanuts have a tough time in America, where more and more foods are manufactured in factories that also process peanuts.

The risks of writing proprietary software

Every software developer faces a choice when deciding how to release a new software product. That choice is whether the program will be free or non-free. Unfortunately, many otherwise knowledgeable programmers aren’t sure just what this choice means, and may complain that programmers with families really don’t have a choice at all—if they want to earn a living, they must charge for their work. However, free software is not about giving software away without cost.

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