Professional Linux Programming (Programmer to Programmer)

Professional Linux Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Jon Masters, Richard Blum
12 Mar 2007
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*This book is broken into four primary sections addressing key topics that Linux programmers need to master: Linux nuts and bolts, the Linux kernel, the Linux desktop, and Linux for the Web *Effective examples help get readers up to speed with building software on a Linux-based system while using the tools and utilities that contribute to streamlining the software development process

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  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

Robin T. Wernick said
Wrox should be applauded for continuing to document the programming training requirements for Linux. I have been a professional programmer for 27 years and I depend on these references to keep me up to date on procedures, tools and specialization areas. The previous reference on professional programming, about 8 years ago, was over 1100 pages and covered 28 chapters verses the current reference's 14 chapters and 440 pages. The Linux world has narrowed somewhat in the last 10 years and it has changed its focus on programming tools as well. Linux applications have grown into new areas, such as virtualization, enterprise databases and network domain management. This reference has adapted to the same needs and has adjusted its topics to the current programming needs window. This book is a must have if you want to enter the professional programming level in Linux.

I do have a few reservations about the content in this reference. Aside from the movement of serveral chapters from the previous reference to entire books of their own, there are new programming areas that have been surprisingly neglected. New languages have emerged as leaders in the Linux world such as C++, Java, and C#. More importantly, development performance and application complexity now demand the use of Integrated Development Environments( IDE ) for project design. There should have been chapters dedicated to Eclipse( Java, C++, C ), the Mono Project( C#, C++, C, and Java ) and others. I haven't hired any programmers since 1992 that didn't know how to use Visual Studio or an integrated editor like SlickEdit on the Windows side of the asile. An integrated debugger in the IDE is a requirement in order to meet current schedules. Professional development also requires an editor that can have over 40 open files. Furthermore, portability and version control for team programming are widely considered important features for companies contemplating a wider use of Linux applications. Consider these questions, how can these companies combine version control systems, and what features from std lib and graphic libraries are also reflected in .NET libraries? Its time to give CVS a decent burial and at least adopt Subversion. What about design patterns and good programming practice? These topics can be referenced in other books to make it clear what the current requirements are for professional programming. The command line isn't dead, but it isn't the preferred method of building projects either.

In the next series, I want to see at least 1000 pages and 22 chapters dedicated to the current areas and in addition the following topics: Program development in current IDEs, Debugging tools, Current programming languages, designing web and system services, Database comparison in Linux, custom Graphics at the WPF level, and very importantly, interprocess communication between different operating systems.

Linux can only become a leader when it can be the common hub that connects various systems and includes both desktop and server systems. Windows will continue to rule the PC world if the current deficiencies remain. Open Office is one place where this catchup is happening. When the design and programming interfaces become comparible between OSs and applications, the questions of which OS to install will become moot when this happens. But first, we must all know how to connect the application to all the current interface. OS price is not the sole issue here and passion is not sufficient to change this situation.

I like what I see in this reference, but there are subject deficiencies that should be corrected. Until, these issues are addressed in this reference in the next edition, I can only give it four stars. Fortunately, there is space for an additional five hundred pages to close the requirements gap. I'm looking forward to seeing this done in the next two years and I will be the first to buy or contribute to this advanced edition. I enjoy open system programming for Linux and I want to see it become the standard for PC computing.

Matthew Little II said
I bought this book hoping to familiarize myself with some of the more common methods of programming for the Linux system. The book does a fairly good job of explaining the Linux kernel, as well as introducing the basics of OpenGL and SDL for graphics. I felt that the networking section of the book was rather lax in it's discussion of forking servers and handling TCP protocols. While the book discusses the basics of programming for the Linux system, it lacks nearly any mention of bash scripting or use of the standard Linux command line tools.
While this is a good book for learning the basics, if you don't already know some programming, then some of the examples can really mess you up; the editor missed quite a few things in this book. Some of the mistakes are in the example code, some are in the author's explanations of the examples, and there are several when the author is simply describing anything new.
Overall, i would recommend this book for learning basic programming for Linux. It was very helpful for me, even with all of the grammatical and programming syntax errors.

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