X User Tools
is more than just a guide to various X programs.
It begins with a fairly general introduction that assumes no prior
knowledge of X, and finishes with almost a hundred pages on X system
administration, including an introduction to tcl and tk. The approach
is unstructured — most chapters or chapter sections could stand by
themselves and coherence is provided by plentiful cross-references
rather than by linear progression — and chatty rather than formal.
The programs covered include desktop accessories (clocks, calendars,
screen savers), network applications (mailers, xarchie, xftp, Web
browsers), editors, games, xterm, window managers (twm, olwm, fvwm
and mwm), resources and fonts, graphics tools, system administration
utilities and lots more. (I'd call most of these applications rather
than tools, but that's quibbling.) The enclosed CDROM contains
binaries (Alpha OSF/1, HP700 HP/UX, Sun3, Sun4, Solaris, RS6000 and
DECstation Ultrix) and sources for all the tools discussed which
aren't in standard distributions (and some which are). Well over
one hundred different programs are included.
Yes, these programs can all be ftped, installed and run without this
book, but browsing X User Tools is a more pleasant way of finding
new programs than long ftp sessions, and it's a lot more fun to read
than manual pages. While the serious X system administrator will want
a book devoted solely to administration, and the complete novice to
X with no Unix background may find X User Tools a bit overwhelming,
almost anyone who uses X should find something of value in this volume.
The people likely to appreciate it most are those running X under
Linux or FreeBSD at home, who have to do basic sysadmin jobs themselves
and who may not have ftp access, making the CDROM really invaluable.
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