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The LWN book review pageWelcome to LWN's book review page. We intend to build this page into a comprehensive overview of the books available on Linux and open source topics. Note that this page is no longer maintained. LWN still does book reviews on occasion; see the LWN archives for an index to all LWN content.
Books reviewed by LWN
The New XFree86Bill Ball
Prima Tech, 2001
Reviewed June 18, 2001
Executive summary: While comprehensive in product and programs, this text
leaves much to be researched by the individual. The meat of XFree86 is
in the libraries and X server and this text simply doesn't go into detail
for either of these. Ball's book gets a
moderate recommendation for those interested in what XFree86
contains or a list of X applications, but it is not
recommended if the reader is looking for any sort of meaningful detail.
Secrets & LiesBruce Schneier
Reviewed November 15, 2000
Executive summary: This book, in which Bruce Schneier paints a dark picture
on the future of digital security, should be required reading for anybody
with an interest in security issues. Mr. Schneier convincingly
demonstrates that technical, preventive measures will never be able, on
their own, to adequately secure digital systems. A much more comprehensive
approach, which includes strong detection and response, is required. With
relatively low technical content, lots of case studies and occasional
humor, the book is a quick and interesting read.
The Book of Linux Music & SoundDave Phillips
Linux Journal Press / No Starch Press, 2000
Reviewed September 25, 2000 by Jonathan Corbet
Executive summary: Linux audio has long lacked for useful documentation;
this book nicely fills in part of that void. As a guide for clueful
musicians and a general overview of the depth and variety of Linux audio
software it is great; it will prove a little less helpful for beginners
trying to figure out how to do simple things.
Thinking in Java, first editionBruce Eckel
Prentice Hall, 1998
Reviewed April 22, 2000 by Jeff Berry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive summary:a pretty good introduction to Object Oriented concepts
and a good course in Java specifics. Works well as a learning tool, less
well as a reference. Comes with web-support. This book is also available
for download online.
Two Linux firewalling booksIn this (February 28, 2000) review we look at Linux Firewalls by Robert L. Ziegler (New Riders, 2000) and Building Linux and OpenBSD Firewalls by Wes Sonnenreich and Tom Yates (Wiley, 2000).
Executive summary: Linux Firewalls is marred by typos, technical
mistakes, and an overly detailed approach; it is hard to recommend.
Building Linux and OpenBSD Firewalls is, while not perfect, a much
better guide to using Linux to secure your network, and an amusing read as
DocBook: The Definitive GuideNorman Walsh and Leonard Muellner
Reviewed February 16, 2000
Executive Summary: this book, available under an open content license, is an excellent reference for the DocBook DTD. DocBook beginners, on the other hand, will find it rough going; this book is not a gentle introduction.
Executive Summary: an interesting look at the Linux kernel's core functionality, somewhat marred by a an organization that makes it difficult to use. Nonetheless, it will probably become a required item for those wanting to dig into the Linux kernel.
Executive Summary: a well-written and concise reference work which fills a gaping void in the world of Python documentation; Python hackers will likely be pleased by this book.
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