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Infrastructure Linux News for Sep 30, 2001

  • Shell Programming (Sep 30, 2001, 21:45)
    "The shell is not just a collection of commands but a really good programming language.You can automate a lot of tasks with it, the shell is very good for system administration tasks, you can very quickly try out if your ideas work which makes it very useful for simple prototyping and it is very useful for small utilities that perform some relatively simple tasks where efficiency is less important than ease of configuration, maintenance and portability. So let's see now how it works..."

  • Notes from the Command-Line Commando: Fetchmail (Sep 30, 2001, 17:50)
    "One of the first things I wanted to do when I first set up my Linux box was send and receive email. To read my email, I use Pine v4.21 (which I think is the latest version at this time). Sending and receiving email to users on the system or in a network environment is easy with Pine, but what if you want to receive email from a source outside your network? Fetchmail is the answer."

  • Alan Cox: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users (Sep 30, 2001, 16:49)
    "When patented W3C standards ensure there is only one web browser in the world, its owners will no longer have time for the W3C or standards."

  • Community: W3C and the Promotion of Fee-based Standards for the Web (Sep 30, 2001, 16:23)
    On 16 August 2001 the W3C made public a proposal to substantially change their patent policy framework. Amongst the changes is support for a new licensing model (called RAND) that legitimises the W3C's role in developing and promoting standards that could require the payment of royalties. This is a substantial shift in the philosophical direction of the W3C and should be of extreme concern to anyone who values being able to implement W3C standards in a royalty-free manner. In particular this has profound implications for the support and implementation of future W3C standards by the free software community. It is likely to extinguish free software development and deployment in the areas where the payment of royalties is required.

  • A Look at Squid (Sep 30, 2001, 14:07)
    "If you haven't heard of Squid before, it's a package that handles proxy caching for Internet objects. Note that I didn't say "Web pages," because Squid can handle more than just HTML files. Squid can be used for a number of things, including saving bandwidth, handling traffic spikes, and caching sites that are occasionally unavailable. Squid can also be used for load balancing."

  • IBM developerWorkks: Reading and writing Excel files with Perl (Sep 30, 2001, 09:56)
    "Parsing Excel files presents a conundrum any way you look at it. Until last year, UNIX modules were completely unavailable, and data from Excel files for Windows could only be retrieved with the Win32::OLE modules. But things have finally changed, thanks to two Perl hackers and a lot of volunteer help and contributions!"