Enterprise Unix Roundup: Even Linux Isn't Linux Page 2

By Michael Hall (Send Email)
Posted Aug 4, 2005

Main     In Other News     Recent Updates     Tips of the Trade

In Other News

» Novell lobbed one back at SCO late last week. Last Friday, the vendor filed a countersuit of "slander of title" over ownership of Unix operating system copyrights against SCO. The suit is a counterclaim in response to SCO's own slander of title complaint against Novell, which dates back to last year and which Novell has been trying to get dismissed. The suit widens the conflict by potentially involving Sun Microsystems and Microsoft.

» Linux defects are becoming less frequent as the code base grows. So says code analysis firm Coverity, which released a report this week stating that between December 2004 and July 2005 the "defect density" in the Linux kernel fell from 0.17 to 0.16. All serious defects have been corrected. The firm believes the decreased defect density has resulted in fewer serious defects kernel version released last month.

» Red Hat is contributing to the cause with the Fedora BugZappers Triage Team, which aims to "be the primary line of defense for Fedora Quality Assurance (QA)." The new group will perform an initial pass, triage-style, on bugs listed in Fedora's Bugzilla bug tracking system to assess their validity. The undertaking is designed to involve and grow Fedora's user base by having them exterminate bugs found in the community-based distro. If all goes as planned, the BugZapper team will require only minimal Red Hat involvement.

» And it looks like Novell will follow suit with its own community endeavor. Among the more interesting (and near confirmed) rumors to come off the OSCON show floor is that next week's LinuxWorld will be the launch site of OpenSuSE, a community-based Linux distribution from Novell. Some sleuthing on our end revealed Novell has taken out the "opensuse.org" domain. The server isn't responding, but the name has been claimed since July 5. We'll keep you posted.

» The OSDL grew its leadership ranks this week. Mike Temple is now chief financial officer. Temple has more than 25 years experience in finance and operations. Most recently, he was exec vice president and general manager at Bioject. Temple has 15 years of CFO and general management experience. Prior to that, he spent 10 years in public accounting. 

Recent Updates

  • A vulnerability in the clamav anti-virus mail scanner could leave installations open to DoS or compromise. The latest version addresses the vulnerability, as do patches from Conectiva, Mandriva, and Gentoo. Security firm Secunia rates the flaw "highly critical."

  • Application server WebObjects was updated to version 5.2.4. The new version introduces compatibility improvements for XTools running on Mac OS X 10.4.

  • The IM server jabberd was updated to version 2.0s9. The new version fixes a number of bugs.

  • L-Soft this week released a Mac OS X version of its Listserv Email List Management Software.

Tips of the Trade

One of the not-so-fun tasks system administrators deal with is keeping messy HTML documents tidy. Sure, it's nice to store policy manuals, forms, and other shared documents in HTML for easy storage and retrieval. But dealing with the myriad methods of creating HTML documents — word processors, hand-tagging, and HTML editors — and the resulting bloated code and syntax errors can be the bane of an admin's existence. Documents may not render correctly, and maintaining them can be a total nightmare.

Microsoft Word, for example, is a popular choice for noncoders; unfortunately, it creates terrible HTML code. As coaxing users to switch to a different tool is generally an uphill battle, most admins are stuck with the task of cleaning up code.

Happily, there is an easy-to-use utility to automatically clean up HTML documents: HTML Tidy.

To use it, download binaries for your OS of choice. The Linux and Unix (including Solaris) binaries are officially supported. Mac OS X, Classic Mac, and Windows, are available as well, although they are not supported by the HTML Tidy development team. The Windows version is current and seems to work just fine.

The simplest usage is like this, using this article's source, file as an example:

$ tidy rsnapshot.html rsnapshot-tidy.html
line 2 column 1 - Warning: missing declaration
line 2 column 1 - Warning: plain text isn't allowed in elements
line 33 column 1 - Warning: discarding unexpected
line 32 column 1 - Warning: replacing unexpected font by
line 33 column 13 - Warning: discarding unexpected
line 2 column 1 - Warning: inserting missing 'title' element
Info: Document content looks like HTML 3.2
6 warnings, 0 errors were found!

Or you can modify the file directly, without creating input and output files:

$ tidy -m rsnapshot.html

HTML Tidy does far more than simply clean up messy HTML tags. It can convert HTML to XHTML, convert all characters in a document to Web-safe characters, fix wrong-way backslashes, set indents and line wraps, display errors without fixing them, convert some tags to good CSS, and much more. See HTML Tidy for downloads and howtos.

Carla Schroder writes the Tips of the Trade section of Enterprise Unix Roundup. She also appears on Enterprise Networking Planet and Linux Planet, covering Linux from the desktop to the server room, and is the author of the Linux Cookbook.

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