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Nicholas Petreley

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Top Stories by Nicholas Petreley

(LinuxWorld) — One of my non-profit Web sites, VarLinux.org, ran on my modified version of the PHP-Nuke weblog package from the site's inception in March 2001 until late November 2002. I chose PHP-Nuke as a starting point because I was very impressed with it. However, the more I learned how to use PHP, the more I realized that PHP-Nuke was not only a tangled mess but that I had made it even worse with my modifications. A year later, I was faced with the fact that VarLinux.org was not only lame because it was based on PHP-Nuke, it was also showing its age. It lacked features of other weblogs, and still lacked many of the features I had intended to add to the site. If I were going to fix the code, the first thing I would do would be to make it an object-oriented system. I toyed with the idea of converting my code into OOP-based code, but I concluded that if the P... (more)

GNOME vs. KDE: A license to sell

(LinuxWorld) -- This week I'm going to explain why GNOME is likely to emerge as the most popular desktop platform. In case you hadn't noticed, I've failed to address the issues of language support in my comparison of GNOME/GTK and KDE/Qt. After giving the topic a good deal of consideration, I concluded that it would be a wasted effort. Both environments have ample language bindings (including bindings for Python, for example). One may have better support than the other for any given language. You rarely see any popular programs for GNOME/GTK written in anything but C or perhaps C... (more)

Where Scott McNealy's wrong about the economics of open source

(LinuxWorld) -- I found interesting comments in an interview Robert McMillan conducted with Scott McNealy. Let me sum up McNealy's views, and what I think is right and wrong with them. While it's not my intention to alter a subtlety in McNealy's argument, please send me a message if you believe I have, and include an explanation of where I went wrong. Point 1: Open source screws up revenue models McNealy believes open source is screwing up Sun's revenue models. The result is that Sun does not have enough money to market Sun ONE to the same degree that Microsoft markets .NET. The ... (more)

Even more stupid PHP tricks

(LinuxWorld) -- I thank the readers who sent in their comments and snippets of code in response to Two stupid PHP tricks and More stupid PHP tricks, a series about what I'm learning while adapting PHP-Nuke for VarLinux.org. I want to share a few letters that include information useful to any PHP user. If you recall from the first column, the crypt() function can suddenly switch to a different default encryption algorithm depending on how you have your system set up, which can break user password authentication. On my system, the default switched from standard DES to MD5. I fixed t... (more)

A new distro in town: Gentoo emerges victorious

(LinuxWorld) — A relatively new distribution called Gentoo Linux is gaining a rapidly increasing, rabidly loyal group of users. The increasing popularity of Gentoo is almost difficult to explain, given that it's clearly a distribution by geeks, for geeks and for nobody but geeks. Obviously a geek can set up a Gentoo system for a non-geek, so you may find novices using Gentoo. You just won't find many novices installing it. To be more precise, Gentoo Linux is not really a distribution but a meta-distribution. You don't usually install pre-compiled binaries when you add software t... (more)