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)

Window-managers 101: The desktop beyond GNOME and KDE

(LinuxWorld) -- Many of my most recent columns have speculated exclusively on GNOME and KDE as if they're the only realistic choices for Linux or UNIX desktops. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are dozens of window managers available for X11, which is the most common foundation for graphical applications on UNIX. If you're already familiar with X11, the concept of window managers and the most common window managers, skip on ahead to the next section entitled "The obscure and the arcane." If it's new to you, here's a layman's approximate description of how this all ... (more)

Time for a new installation paradigm, Part 3

(LinuxWorld) — This is the third article in a series calling for a new installation paradigm for Linux. We have a few more technical issues to address, but it should be useful to start by summarizing the goals so we can keep them in mind as we study the problems. Software installation should meet these minimum requirements: Installation should be easy enough for grandmothers and kids, but flexible enough for professionals to customize as needed.Installation should consume as little time as possible.Installations and updates should not break anything on your system, be it securit... (more)

How to set up IMAP on the cheap, Part 3

(LinuxWorld) -- If you've been following along with the series, you should now have Cyrus IMAP and Postfix SMTP mail servers installed. There's one more piece to this puzzle called Procmail. Procmail is an extremely flexible tool. If we were setting up a standard Unix mail system, we could use Procmail to deliver our mail directly without the need for an external delivery program. But since we're using Cyrus IMAP, we'll use Procmail as a general purpose mail filter. Procmail will search the headers and contents of every mail message that passes through your system and deliver me... (more)

How to run both stable & development versions of KDE with Debian

(LinuxWorld) -- I still use Ion as my default window manager, but I have occasional bouts of homesickness for KDE and have been tempted to return to it on several occasions. The main thing holding me back lately is that I've always compiled and installed a custom version of KDE, and one of the more recent snapshots of KDE source code wouldn't compile properly on my system. I haven't found the problem yet, but since then, I've discovered a couple new ways to get recent versions of KDE installed more easily on my system. Here's the conundrum: I run the unstable branch of Debian. Yes... (more)