Vacation ended, made up my mind, here is what I want to do

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Thu Jun 8 10:39:12 PDT 2000

Hi guys,

I've made up my mind about what I want to do with LFS. Consider what I
write down here a permanent decision which isn't open for discussion, at
least not for now. In a few months we can review if I've made the best
choice or not.

I have decided to spend a bit less time on the book in the future.
Perhaps you've noticed but chapter 1 of 2.3.4 doesn't contain the line
"new versions are released every 2 to 3 weeks". That no longer is a
reasonable deadline for me.

The pressing question has been - what is going to happen after the basic
system has been setup? 

I've opted to include a wide variety of programs
that people use. That means more editors than just vim, more window
managers than just windowmaker or kde, whatever. I've revoked that. It
would mean the book is going to be too bloated and if you really don't
want to use vim I'm sure you're able to download emacs and install it
instead of vim, right? Afterall you're installing your own system so you
have to do a lot of work yourself. I had to include at least one editor
(since you need to create files during the course of the book) and I've
installed vim. Why? I write the book and I only know vim. If I install
emacs I first have to familiarize myself with emacs. I don't see why I
want to do that (emacs is just an example. There are dozen other good
editors). So instead offering a wide variety of choice, I just give one
example and if you don't like it, fine, download your own alternative
and install it. I wouldn't care less, it's your system, not mine.

The optional stuff that's found in 2.2 will most likely *not* be
included anymore in the LFS-BOOK.

My reasons:
I don't want to configure the software that's installed - I really think
that's up to the user him or herself. It's your system, you'll be in
charge getting it running the way you want. And besides, there are
dozens and dozens of LDP HOWTO's and Guides you can download which help
you configuring whatever you want to configure. Those documents do a far
better job than the LFS-BOOK can or will offer. And installing the
programs is mostly as easy as "configure; make; make install" so I think
it won't offer much extra by including that. If you are stuck with
configuring something, there's always the lfs-apps mailinglist where you
can post your questions and somebody can help you there.

So that pretty much means that the book in it's current form (2.3.4) is
the way it's going to be for a while. It also means that the book is
almost matured to a point where it doesn't need much work on. The book
will build the foundation of your "Linux house". Building the actual
house is up to you and you can find help on the various mailing lists
that are offered now.

Of course, you can always give me good reasons why I should include the
optional things that are found in 2.2. I've said in the first sentence
of this email that my decision is not open for discussion (for now) but
if you can blow me of my socks with (a) real good reason(s), I promise I'll
give it more thought.

So all of this means that my 'vacation' ends today. I'll be starting
updating the book tomorrow. Naturally I haven't set a deadline for 2.3.5 yet. 
I should be able to set one in a week or two from now.

Now that's been said here are some things I'm currently working on.

I've attempted to install the software (actually just a
bunch of html pages enriched with php scripts that access mysql
databases) locally but without avail. Something's wrong and I'm having a
hard time figuring out where the problem exactly is. My original plan
was to incorporate some of's features on the site such as the bug tracking feature, news
bulletins and more. Well that isn't working out but it gave me a better
idea: why not doing it from scratch. Much more fun and I'd learn more
from it anyways.'s modules are hard to separate from the
rest so it'll be probably quicker to just start from scratch and look at
their php scripts how they do certain things.

This means I'm brushing up my SQL and started to learn PHP scripting.
It's not all that hard. I've already created my first test page that
connects to the mysql database daemon, opens a database, sends a query
and puts the output on the website.

My next 'project' will be creating a nice page for the LFS-polls.
Instead of posting it to this list every so often you can go to the
website and do it there. Enter your starting distro, glibc version, gcc
version, kernel version, book version and whether you succeeded or not.
Results will be immediately available which is easier than maintaining a
static list here on this mailinglist.

Such a poll php script is rather easy to create. I just have to code it.
Coding the information retrieval is rather easy. Only takes a few
minutes to type in the lines and a few more minutes to apply some pretty
formatting. The thing I have to teach myself now is to create a form
which will be sent to a database. It's not that hard to do, I just have
to lookup the SQL commands (like I said, I'm still brushing up my SQL
knowledge. It has been a few years since I last did any SQL) to do it.

I'm beginning to like this PHP and SQL stuff. I see the posibilities to
make website updates so much easier. The entire site contents can be
dynamic and can be updated by issueing a few SQL queries. The only thing
that needs to be done before the site can be transformed into this is
Paul setting up mysql and the apache php module.

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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