The SLUUG Cronicle

September 2002

St. Louis UNIX Users Group

HTML version:

Table of Contents

Calendar of Events

Sep 2 Mon SILUG - Carbondale 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Sep 3 Tue MOSLUG 7:00pm -11:00pm
Sep 5 Thu SLACC 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Sep 5 Thu SILUG - O'Fallon 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Sep 10 Tue Advanced LUG 6:30pm -10:00pm
Sep 10 Tue LUCI - Newbie Night 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Sep 10 Tue CCSL - Dinner Meeting ($ - RSVP)
  Topic: SOHO Roundtable
5:30pm - ?
Sep 11 Wed SLUUG - General Meeting
  TUTORIAL: Samba Demo
  TOPIC: TIBET/JavaScript
6:30pm - 9:00pm
Sep 15 Sun CWE-LUG 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Sep 16 Mon SLUUG - Steering Committee 6:15pm - 8:30pm
  TOPIC: Blogs
6:30pm - 9:00pm
Sep 18 Wed BDPA 6:00pm - ?
Sep 19 Thu St. Louis LUG
  TOPIC: Linux on the Mainframe
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Sep 24 Tue Hazelwood LUG 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Sep 24 Tue LUCI 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Sep 26 Thu St. Charles LUG 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Oct 9 Wed SLUUG - General Meeting
  TUTORIAL: Documentation
  TOPIC: Webmin
Oct 14 Mon SLUUG - Steering Committee 6:15pm
Oct 17 Thu St. Louis LUG
Oct 22 Tue Hazelwood LUG 6:30pm
Oct 24 Thu St. Charles LUG 6:30pm

NOTE: More information on these groups, including locations and web sites, can be found in the "Meeting Locations" section below.

Next General Meeting is Wednesday, September 11

6:30 pm Tutorial Samba Demo by Ed Wehner and Rich Seibel
7:00 pm Announcements Standard Introductions & Procedures
7:05 pm Q & A An opportunity to ask technical questions
7:15 pm Break Social, off-line conversations, book sales
7:20 pm Admittance to building may not be possible after 7:20.
7:30 pm Presentation TIBET/JavaScript by William Edney


Samba Demo
by Ed Wehner and Rich Seibel


Ed and Rich will set up a network with 2 systems: a Samba server and a Samba client. Samba is a network file system created to inter-operate with Windows' native file sharing protocols. A Samba server acts as an NT file server or domain controller. A Samba client acts as a Windows workstation, and allows you to access files from an NT file server or a Samba server.


Ed Wehner is currently President of SLUUG. Rich and Ed are both currently on the SLUUG board of directors.


by William Edney


TIBET is a client-side web application development framework that provides serious application developers with the functionality necessary to build real client/server applications for the Web. It requires no plugins or applets. TIBET is written in 100% portable JavaScript and extends the languages to add many of the sophisticated object-oriented features found in other languages such as Smalltalk, Java, Python, Ruby, etc. In some cases, it is even more powerful than those languages.

On top of these extensions, Technical Pursuit has built an extensive class library that currently comprises about 300 types and 2500 methods. It contains about 100,000 lines of source text, but is heavily commented and strips down to about 40,000 lines of actual code for the full set of libraries (although it is quite rare that everything will be loaded in one application). Leveraging the inheritance model, the code is highly factored and has been designed for reuse.

It is important to note that while many regard JavaScript as a toy language, it does not have to be so. We recognized early on that, while JavaScript is admittedly an extremely limited endpoint, it is not a bad starting point -- and, like it or not, it's the only one that's there in the browser without plugins. There were two core language facts that allowed us to recognize this early on, namely that JavaScript treats functions as first class entities (you can assign them to variables, pass them to other functions, etc.) and that JavaScript has full closure support (too complicated to go into here). Once we saw that, we realized that we could build what we wanted.

As far as challenges to development are concerned, well, you can imagine :-). Web browser clients have to be one of the most hostile environments for developing code that we have ever experienced. We estimate that we have clicked Reload in our browsers about 100,000 times over the past 3 years. But we have bootstrapped TIBET from the ground up to give our customers a much more pleasant development experience. I will be demoing the latest version of the TIBET Web Desktop environment. Part of this environment comprises the IDE tools.

TIBET itself is fully open source and works well with other open source tools. Our back-end repository for the IDE currently in development is the PostgreSQL database and we use Perl and Python in the background. TIBET itself runs both in Navigator 4.X and Mozilla (although Mozilla is required for the IDE). We are also working to have our open source license approved by the OSI and are working with other groups to get TIBET to run in other browsers, such as Konqueror.

TIBET has been in continuous development for 3 years and represents about 8-9 man years of effort. It is available under a dual license strategy, an open source license and a closed source license, depending on the customers needs. The open source license is very GPL-like, except that it requires customers to share their modifications back to the TIBET community, whether they 'publish' the changes or not. A parallel closed source license allows customers to keep their source code private for a price.


Bill grew up in St. Louis, graduating from St. Louis University in 1988. He spent 4 years working at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the last 10 years working as an independent consultant all over the country. Bill has written code in a variety of languages and was one of the earliest user/programmers of the NextSTEP operating system in 1988. He has been doing object-oriented programming since 1987.

Bill works for Technical Pursuit Inc., a small company founded in 1999. Until recently the sole pursuit (:-)) of Technical Pursuit has been to develop the TIBET client/server web application framework. Lately, the company has also branched into providing migration assistance from commercial database systems to open source databases as a complementary service to TIBET.

Ideas, questions and suggestions are welcome; please contact Christine Wanta (

Book Sales

The O'Reilly and Associates line of books is available at each monthly general meeting as a convenience to our members. Proceeds from the book sales go toward running the organization. Most months we feature special offers on titles related to that month's presentation or tutorial topic. Discounts off retail prices are offered to all attendees.

Books that are not available at the meetings may be ordered to be picked up at the next SLUUG general meeting. Contact Sue Hurst (

September Special:

Books with a red sticker
(discontinued titles and older editions)
- 70% off
All books on scripting languages - 30% off
All other books - 25% off

Next St. Louis LUG Meeting Is September 19

Linux on the Mainframe
by Tom Noland and Les Hodge, StorageTek


IBM's z/VM operating system supports the virtualization of thousands of Linux servers to run concurrently on a single mainframe computer. Many enterprises are now using mainframe systems to support the consolidation of print/file servers, web servers, application servers, and desktop servers onto a single mainframe footprint. Migrating physical servers to Linux virtual servers on a mainframe computer can yield significant total cost of ownership reduction. However, deploying these Linux virtual systems can be a frustrating and time-consuming task. The SnapVantage solution from StorageTek simplifies this task, turning a multi-hour installation process into a two-minute interaction with a graphical interface.

This presentation will introduce concepts of Linux for zSeries and discuss some technical and economic benefits of Linux for zSeries. Then the procedure for deploying a Linux virtual server on an IBM mainframe will be examined, both with and without the SnapVantage application. Details of both SnapVantage and the underlying SnapShot mechanism will be discussed at this point. Questions will be entertained at the end of the presentation.


Tom Noland holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has been an Associate Engineer in the Systems Analysis and Advanced Technology Group at StorageTek for the past 3 years where he has contributed to the development of the SnapVantage application. He is the co-author of several pending patents related to SnapVantage and Snapshot technology.

Les Hodge is a 20 year veteran of z/VM and Open Systems environments in both Silicon Valley and beautiful Colorado. He is an Advisory Engineer with the Advanced Technology Group at StorageTek, where he has developed several software-based processes that automate the gathering and analysis of performance metrics. Les is the co-inventor of SnapVantage, has published numerous articles and papers, and moonlights as a voice-over actor and a published playwright.

Comments, questions, and ideas for the St. Louis Linux Users Group are welcome; please send email to

Meeting Locations

SLUUG - St. Louis UNIX Users Group (
General Meeting

Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Free and open to the public.
Sunnen Products
7910 Manchester (at Hanley)
St. Louis, MO
Directions: Take I-64 (US 40) to the Hanley exit south. Turn left at Manchester, then an immediate right into Sunnen driveway.


(NOTE: A security guard from Sunnen is scheduled to be at the door from 6:20pm to 7:20pm to allow entry. After 7:20, the door will be unattended and you may not be able to enter.)

SLUUG - St. Louis UNIX Users Group (
Steering Committee

Meets the Monday following the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 6:15pm to 8:30pm. Open to the public. This is where we make decisions on what topics to cover and other administration of the group. If you want to get involved, this is a good place to start.
Daugherty Systems
One City Place, 2nd floor
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

St. Louis Linux Users Group (STLLUG) (

Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month, 7:00pm to 9:00pm. The room is reserved starting at 6:00pm. (Ask a librarian to let you in if it is locked.) Members are encouraged to come early to mingle and/or give informal demos or presentations. Free and open to the public. (Formerly known as the Linux SIG.)
Indian Trails Library
8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
St. Louis, MO
Directions:   Take I-170 to Page east. Turn left at North-South. Turn left at Midland. Drive 2 blocks and turn left on Delport. The library is on your left.


St. Charles LUG (

JUST FORMED! We expect that meetings will usually be held at 6:30pm to 9:00pm on the 4th Thursday of each month, except during December, which will probably not have a meeting.
This is a SIG of SLUUG, intended for all Linux users in the Western and Northern parts of the greater metro area.
513 South Main St. (just north of I-70)
O'Fallon, MO

Hazelwood LUG (

Generally meets the 4th Tuesday of each month, 6:30pm to 9:00pm. (NOTE: Start time is now 6:30.) Free and open to the public. This is a SIG of SLUUG, intended for Linux newbies.
Prairie Commons Library
915 Utz Lane (between Howdershell and Dunn)
Hazelwood, MO

CWE-LUG - Central West End LUG (

Generally meets on the third Sunday of the month from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Meetings are now held at the ACLU building.
4557 Laclede (just east of Euclid)
St Louis, MO 63108

Advanced LUG

JUST FORMED! Meetings are not yet on a regular schedule.
This group is intended to be a venue for advanced topics as well as a time to work on Open Source projects as a group.
The meeting location for September is:
WDT Solutions
9450 Manchester, Suite 204
Rock Hill, MO

MOSLUG - MO Open Source LUG (

Meets on the 1st Tuesday of the month, from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. Meetings are free and open to everyone. This is a Linux Users Group (LUG) for all levels, from new beginners to the more advanced users.
Culpeppers Restaurant (basement)
312 S. Kirkwood Road
Kirkwood, MO 63122

STLBSD - St. Louis BSD Users (

Just started holding official meetings. Look for guys with little red daemons on their shirts at SLUUG and LUG meetings.

SLACC - St. Louis Area Computer Club (

Meets the 1st Thursday of every month, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Thornhill Library
12863 Willowyk Drive (off Fee Fee)
Creve Coeur, MO

STLWEBDEV - St. Louis Web Developers (

Meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Meetings are free and open to everyone. This is an open group to facilitate communications between diverse professions involved in Internet/Intranet design and development. STLWEBDEV is also the St. Louis chapter of the International Webmasters Association and the HTML Writers Guild (IWA-HWG).
CityPlace One Auditorium
One City Place
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

Wireless SIG (

Meets the 4th Tuesday of the month, from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Meetings are free and open to everyone. Refreshments at 6:30, program begins at 7:00. This group is a cooperative effort of both the St. Louis Web Developers and the St. Louis Java Users Group.
CityPlace One Auditorium
One City Place
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

CCSL - Computer Consultants of St. Louis (
Monthly Dinner Meeting

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at Cheshire Inn. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Cost is $20 for members, $25 for non-members. Call 314-995-4652 (by the previous Friday) or email for reservations. Social hour starts at 5:30pm, meeting starts at 6:30pm.
Cheshire Inn
6306 Clayton Rd.
St. Louis, MO

SILUG - Southern Illinois LUG (
O'Fallon meeting

The SILUG O'Fallon meeting is generally on the first Thursday of the month. It runs from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
O'Fallon Public Library
120 Civic Plaza
O'Fallon, IL

SILUG - Southern Illinois LUG (
Carbondale meeting

The SILUG Carbondale meeting is the 1st Monday of the month, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Life Sciences III
1059 Auditorium
Carbondale, IL

LUCI - Linux Users of Central Illinois (

All LUCI meetings are held at the same location, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. General meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of the month, and Newbie night is held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.
Illinois State Museum Research & Collections Center
1011 East Ash St.
Springfield, IL 62703


BDPA (Black Data Processing Associates) is a member-focused organization that exists to provide professional development programs and services to position its members at the forefront of the IT industry. Its members, minority and non-minority, share a desire to bridge the Digital Divide.
Meetings are held at 6:00pm on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, and are free and open to the public.
Computer Village
4411 N. Newstead (at Pope and Carter)
St. Louis, MO 63115

CORCC - County Older Residents Computer Club (

Meets (almost) every Friday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Provides free classes for seniors 55 or older. For info, call Jackie Oughton at 314-838-9050 or Barbara Stevenson at 314-739-2454.
Prairie Commons Library
915 Utz Lane (between Howdershell and Dunn)
Hazelwood, MO

We publish meeting schedules of groups in the St. Louis region that may be of interest to our members. If you would like to have info added about your group, please mail the newsletter editor ( or call any of the SLUUG officers.


WARNING: These articles may express personal opinions and SLUUG exerts no more editorial control over such content than does a public library, bookstore, or newsstand. Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed herein are those of the respective authors and not necessarily supported by SLUUG. SLUUG does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content, nor its merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose.

Wireless Technology Class

by Kristin Menefee

CAIT (Center for the Application of Information Technology), Washington University, St. Louis, would like to introduce a brand new course to our curriculum! The debut offering of "Exploring Wireless Technologies", ( runs September 30 through October 2. Mark Balbes, Principle Software Engineer at OCI, is the course developer and will be conducting this class. [Mark recently gave a presentation on wireless at our SLUUG meeting. -- editor]

To celebrate the debut of this class, we are offering a 10% discount to all members/participants of the following St. Louis community groups:

CAIT is a not-for-profit organization within Washington University in St. Louis that serves as the center for IT leaders in the St. Louis region. We offer a series of member events, and a full schedule of curriculum-based courses and certifications, to help organizations make continuous advancements in productivity and enhance the region's competitiveness as a world-class IT community.

For more information or to register:

  1. Please call (314) 935-4444,
  2. Fill out the Registration Form,, and fax it to (314) 935-4479, or
  3. Email the information required on the registration form to

Don't forget to mention the St. Louis group to which you belong/participate to receive a 10% discount on this offering!

Review of Programming PHP

by David Dooling

Programming PHP
by Rasmus Lerdorf & Kevin Tatroe
2002 O'Reilly and Associates
507 pages

For the impatient: 4 out of 5

Continuing the tradition of well written O'Reilly Programming books by those who know the language best, Programming PHP, co-written by the creator of PHP, Rasmus Lerdorf, provides a detailed overview of the popular PHP web-page scripting language. This book provides good programmers who have never used PHP enough information to do serious web development using PHP and serves as an excellent reference for web-page designers who dabble in PHP.

While not as entertaining as Programming Perl, it isn't nearly as long either (and doesn't have to be). The book is written in a straightforward style and is very well organized. Appendices provide quick reference to all the PHP built-in functions and many PHP extensions. The most popular extensions, e.g., PEAR DB (database connectivity) and XML, have entire chapters devoted to them. Can't find a PHP extension for your favorite library? There's a chapter about writing your own PHP extensions, including writing C library wrappers.

This book begins as most O'Reilly Programming books do with a brief introductory chapter. In _Programming PHP_, this chapter is very short, so don't look to this book for a gentle introduction. On the other hand, this is the perfect book for you if you are just looking to learn a new scripting language. The following chapters go over syntax, data types, built-in functions, etc. These chapters are a little dry, but move quickly and effectively demonstrate the unique features of PHP (as compared to other scripting languages).

Of particular interest to programmers who are interested in expanding their horizons to developing dynamic web pages are the chapters on PHP web techniques, security, and application techniques. The web techniques chapter gives a quick overview of HTML and the GET and POST methods (and why you would want to use one or the other). It then covers a lot of useful tips and tricks that may be foreign to someone who has done little or no web development. Topics such as getting server information, form processing, sticky forms, file uploads, document expiration, and authentication are covered. It ends with an excellent discussion of maintaining state from page to page and visit to visit, covering cookies and PHP's (very cool) session support.

The security chapter covers standard things you want to keep in mind when creating dynamic HTML. No surprises here, but it is always good to be reminded. The application techniques chapter starts with a collection of best-practices, tips, and tricks to make your development process easier and better. It concludes with sections about error handling and performance tuning. As with the security chapter, there is nothing here a good programmer doesn't already know, but you can never hear it too many times.

I think this is a great book for programmers who want to start developing dynamic web sites with PHP. It gives a detailed overview of PHP, lots of valuable tips, and a good sense of PHP's strengths. As someone who has written a lot of code, but only a little CGI, I really liked the chapters that discussed application development techniques specific to the web. Along those lines, not much time is spent on standard coding techniques, so if you want to use PHP but have never written any serious code, you may want to look elsewhere for an introduction. For the rest of you, just think, you may never have to use again.


For more information about sponsoring the St. Louis UNIX Users Group, contact Dave Mills (


There's been man-millennia spent on Oracle so it'll go fast.
 -- Mike Kriz

That's hilarical.
 -- Robert Citek

Some things man was never meant to know. For everything else, there's
 -- Beryllium Sphere(tm) on Slashdot

Microsoft made lots of false representations about the security of
Passport, and collected more information than it disclosed in its
privacy policy, and now must be penalized in the usual Microsoft
fashion -- they must promise not to do it again.
 -- michael on Slashdot

I tried Google, but I kept getting hits on "Lilo and Stitch".
 -- Ed Holland, on looking for LILO, the Linux Loader

Here's what I actually use to keep track of things.
 -- Craig Buchek, holding a piece of paper with his TODO list,
    after giving a presentation on the Zaurus PDA

He has a Personal Digital Assistant, while I've got a Personal 
Analog Device.
 -- Robert Citek, holding up a paper calendar

Once you get past the first and second person,
the fourth or fifth know right where to go.
 -- Carl Fitch, on dealing with Missouri Secretary of State office workers.

Midget psychic escapes prison: small medium at large.

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
 -- Oscar Wilde

The University of California Department of Statistics...
where mean is normal, and deviation standard.

When our backs are against the wall we must turn round and fight.
 -- John Major

Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed often, and for
the same reason.

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to
do -- and always a clever thing to say.
 -- Will Durant

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human
history -- with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
 -- Mitch Ratcliffe, in "Technology Review", 1992

The irony is that Bill Gates claims to be making a stable operating system
and Linus Torvalds claims to be trying to take over the world.
 -- Drakmere

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

As our membership grows, we have had some inquiries about the possibility of having Special Interest Groups in several areas. If you are interested in starting or participating in a SIG for System Administration, Networking, C, Object Oriented Programming, a specific vendor, etc., please contact any officer of the group.


SLUUG administration is volunteer based. We're always looking for volunteers to help with presentations, web page development, managing corporate sponsorships, and many other tasks. If you would like to help out contact Christine Wanta (


  President Ed Wehner
  Vice-President Scott Granneman
  Secretary Buck Pyland 
  Treasurer Mike Kriz 
  Linux Users Group Chair Craig Buchek
  Board of Directors Rich Seibel
Ed Wehner
Craig Buchek
Robert Citek
Stan Reichardt
  Presentations Christine Wanta
  Corporate Sponsors Dave Mills
  O'Reilly Book Sales Susan Hurst
  Newsletter Editor Craig Buchek
  PR Stan Reichardt
  Steering Committee Info Gary Meyer
  BBS Questions Gary Meyer
  Official Correspondence SLUUG Mailing Address PO Box 411302
St. Louis, MO 63141

Submitting Articles to the SLUUG Cronicle

If you would like to submit an article to the Cronicle of general interest to the members of the St. Louis UNIX Users Group, send your info or complete article to The deadline for article submissions is the second last day of the month.

UNIX® is a registered trademark of the Open Group
Linux® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds