inessential by Brent Simmons


Dave updates Scripting News from a dial-up in a hotel in Amsterdam.

Discussion about Merck and developing an AIDS vaccine continues on

Sam DeVore, scarfer of computers: "After I put the hard drives back into the sony box I'm going to try to put redHat on it. Murphy willing when you have Frontier ready, I'll be waiting....."

Wide Open News: VA Linux to buy Andover.Net. There's more about this on Salon.Com. How will this affect the editorial independence of Slashdot?

WebMonkey has an article about implementing membership in PHP. Hey, PHP is totally cool, no disrespect, but this is how to do it in Frontier: 1) Go to your Control Panel, 2) Click New Site, 3) Create a new Manila site. That's it.

I was doing some research about writing Linux daemons and learned about fork (). Here's the story, with the source of a small demo which shows how it works. Fork is totally cool. I dig fork.

Eric Soroos has done some Linux digging: "For those of you who are interested in running interesting services on low numbered ports, but would rather not be root to do it, here's the quick way to do it using port forwarding and ipchains."

LinuxNewbies on connecting to the Internet via PPP.

Carpe Diem on missile silos in North Dakota. My father-in-law, born and raised near Minot, spent the '60s doing security for missile silos in North Dakota. He says it was never anything but utterly boring, often snowy. At least, that's what he says.

misubaville: "links and news on geek culture and theory."

***Linux Frontier

The first milestone was getting Manila sites, the Control Panel, XML-RPC, and WebEdit to work on Linux under WINE. That milestone has been reached.

The second milestone will be to build Frontier on Linux, linking to libwine, and getting all of the above to work.

What I'm doing right now is stripping out everything from the kernel that's extraneous, removing large chunks of the UI and things like the COM server. This will reduce the amount of code that needs to compile on Linux, and will reduce the amount of Windows-specific code that needs to go through libwine's compatibility layer.

The final shape of Frontier on Linux has yet to be determined -- will it be a totally faceless daemon? Will it have some UI? Will it have the full UI? -- but in any case it's easiest to start with the bare minimum and add as needed. The server features are the priority.

I read on the WINE developers mailing list that Corel is working on their ports somewhat like this. They're tuning their apps for WINE first, they're not building them on Linux yet. So I'm taking the same approach.


I have a feeling that the CERT advisory on malicious tags will be the topic of the day. There's an awful lot of paranoia in this document. Language like "Promiscuous Browsing" and "dangerous meta-characters." I mean, this is the first advisory I've read that made me laugh out loud. Anyway, there's probably something in there that's important, but as I'm writing this it's too late at night for me to figure it out. I can't get past the comedy.

Dangerous meta-characters? I picture a seedy bar full of leather-clad geeks who've read too many books by Douglas Hofstadter. Can I be a dangerous meta-character too? It sounds glamorous, the right mix of bad boy machismo and post-post-modern pseudo-intellectualism.

I should be taking this seriously, but they put way too many roadblocks in my way. Malicious tags? I picture a <br> tag with a vicious bark and sharp little teeth. Or a <blockquote> throwing a Molotov cocktail. An unordered list cheating at cards. An <hr> tag robbing a bank. Good gravy.

Scott Hanson asks: "Do promiscuous browsers go to seedy bars to try to get picked up by dangerous meta-characters?"

Garret Vreeland:

At least for today, Philly Future is "The Philadelphia Region Weblog Edited By Some Dangerous Meta-characters."