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LinuxProgramming.com: Announcing the SourceLib Project

Jan 08, 2001, 13:31 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lou Grinzo)

Programmers have long said that the quickest way for them to learn is by seeing and experimenting with sample code. Couple that with the historical shortage of current, tutorial-style information for some aspects of Linux, including development, and the rapidly increasing number of Linux programmers, and you can see why we're launching our newest project on LinuxProgramming.com, SourceLib.

In essence, SourceLib will be a categorized, searchable library of sample code. Each sample will be a complete, standalone package of one or more programs that demonstrates how to use certain APIs for some specific task, and it will include the source, make file, and anything else needed to compile and run it. All samples will be either freeware or released under one of the licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative.

SourceLib is intended to help just about anyone programming for Linux. This includes newbies just learning to program, programmers moving to Linux from another platform, and even experienced Linux programmers who might be looking for a quick way to learn about some aspect of Linux coding they've never touched before.

Eventually we'll be covering almost every area of program development, including the kernel, device drivers, and command-line and GUI applications. We'll be covering core techniques, like file handling basics, memory mapping files, and interprocess communication, as well as using the more popular toolkits and environments, like Qt, Gtk+, KDE, and GNOME.

The code samples in SourceLib will not be quick, fragile hacks that manage to "get something to work" under ideal circumstances. Instead, they'll be oriented toward teaching about API's and techniques, and how to use them effectively. All samples will be heavily commented, and many will also include special make file targets or script files to run tests. Perhaps most important of all, they're intended to be examples of good coding practice-- noticeably better than those routinely published in magazines and books.

Initially all the samples will be written in C or C++, but we plan to expand the languages covered to include bash, Perl, Python, Java, assembly language, and others.

Of course, the most important part of the SourceLib project is the feedback we'll get from readers. If you want to pitch in and help write some samples, see the link below for our submission guidelines. If you'd like to help but aren't sure your coding skills are up to the job, don't worry, you can still make a valuable contribution simply by suggesting new topics for us to cover or sending us your comments about the project. I look forward to hearing what you want SourceLib to be, and seeing how the project evolves.

The first SourceLib code samples were posted this morning.

Lou Grinzo
Editor, LinuxProgramming.com

Some relevant links:

Main index

Submission guidelines

Suggested topic listing

Archive of all samples