The Linux Web Server CD Bookshelf CD-ROM

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9780596002084: The Linux Web Server CD Bookshelf CD-ROM

More and more, technology professionals are relying on the Web, online help, and other online information sources to solve their tough problems. Now O'Reilly's Linux Web Server CD Bookshelf gives you the same convenient online access to your favorite O'Reilly books--from your CD-ROM drive.The Linux Web Server CD Bookshelf delivers the information power of six complete O'Reilly Animal Guides covering the best of the open source web platform. We've included unabridged versions of Running Linux, 3rd Edition; Linux in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition;Apache: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition; MySQL & mSQL;Programming the Perl DBI; and CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition. As a bonus, you also get the new paperback version ofLinux in a Nutshell.This confluence of open source technologies represents the platform of choice for developing and deploying high performance web applications. Apache, MySQL, and Perl/Python/PHP are the tools that make Linux a great applications development platform, especially for robust web applications that run on Linux servers.Never has it been easier to find what you need to know about Linux web servers online. Formatted in HTML, The Linux Web Server CD Bookshelf can be accessed with any web browser. The books--all 3276 pages of O'Reilly reference and tutorials--are fully searchable and cross-referenced, so you can search the individual index for each book or the master index for the entire collection. With the CD Bookshelf, you have a complete library of technical books that you can easily carry with you anywhere you need it.

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Review:

For every Linux consultant who goes to job sites with a four-pound computer and 15 pounds of books, O'Reilly & Associates has a solution: The Linux Web Server CD Bookshelf. It's a searchable collection of six books on the subject of the Linux operating system and its role as a platform for Web sites. The six included books are:

  • Running Linux, Third Edition
  • Linux in a Nutshell, Third Edition
  • CGI Programming with Perl, Second Edition
  • Apache: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition
  • MySQL & mSQL
  • Programming the Perl DBI

It's all there: Linux, HTTP services, databases, and scripting. Linux in a Nutshell ships with this kit in its traditional paperbound form.

Would you want to read a book cover-to-cover on your computer screen? No. Is the formatting as nice here as in the printed versions of the books? No. Are the documents on this CD-ROM designed to be printed? No. But all the information is here, and the CD-ROM weighs nothing. You can copy all 50 MB of its contents to a hard disk easily enough if saving weight is paramount. The money value of this product is high, too. By buying it, you save about two-thirds of what you'd spend to buy the six books separately.

Though O'Reilly deserves praise for amalgamating related books in a compact form, the publisher needs to improve the search utility that ties them all together. As it stands, the unified search feature is a Java applet that does full-text searches on all six books. That's fine, but the results of a typical search aren't well formatted. If you search for pretty much any Linux command--say, diff or pathchk--you'll get a hit on chapter 3 of Linux in a Nutshell, which is a Linux command reference. The hit is on the whole chapter, which is gigantic, and you have to use your browser's text-search feature to find your term again once you've called up the chapter. The search utility would be much more useful if the books' contents were more finely chopped.

For that reason, you'll want to do a lot of your cross-book searching in the combined index (in which you select the initial letter of the term you want, and scan or search through a list of indexed terms from all the books). When you click a link in the combined index, you're taken right to the point in the target chapter at which the term appears. You still have to do a bit of searching around, but at least the software takes you to the general vicinity of where you want to be. What's more, most of the time, you'll know which of the six books contains the answer you want, so you can scan that book's index individually. --David Wall

Topics covered: All subjects (except Internet connectivity beyond the basics) related to hosting a Web site on a Linux server. Databases (under mSQL and MySQL) and programming (with Perl and the Common Gateway Interface) are covered in addition to Linux itself and the Apache Web server.

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