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# Linux for Computer Scientists and Engineers

Module by: Algis Rudys. E-mail the author

Linux is used a great deal in the computer science and engineering communities. This is largely because of the wealth of tools available in these problem domains. Engineers and computer scientists have historically relied on various versions of UNIX, so this has been a natural progression. Here we mention a small subset of the available tools.

## Emacs

Emacs is a well-known textfile editor originally developed for UNIX. It is a graphical editor, and is extremely extensible and configurable. Emacs is configured and extended using a programming language (called elisp), which basically means that extensions can be arbitrarily powerful. Emacs' features include syntax highlighting, auto-indenting, multiple buffers and windows, support for CVS, and many others.

## VI

Vi is another popular editor for UNIX. It is much smaller and less extensible than emacs. For the uninitiated, it is cryptic (you have to type a command just to be able to start typing). However, once you learn the relevant commands, it is surprisingly powerful.

## Make

Make is an automated tool originally written to for recompiling programs based on which files have changed. It has developed into a general-purpose tool for satisfying dependencies. You specify a configuration file which contains an encoding of a dependency graph and associated commands to execute to satisfy a particular dependency. Then depending on which dependencies still need satisfying, make will run the respective commands.

### Example 1

This is perhaps best-illustrated by an example. Consider the following "Makefile":


prog: prog.o
gcc prog.o -o prog

prog.o: prog.c
gcc -c prog.c -o prog.o


This is an example showing how to build the program prog from the source file prog.c. It shows the file prog depending on the intermediate file prog.o, and prog.o depends on prog.c. If prog.o is out of date relative to its dependencies (that is, prog.c), then it is regenerated using the associated command (that is, gcc -c prog.c -o prog.o).

## CVS

CVS is a version management system. It is used as backup storage for the current version of a file and as a repository for old versions of the file. It is most commonly used to track versions of source code, but can also be used for tracking LaTeX documents, web pages, and has been used for configuration files as well.

## LaTeX

LaTeX is a document-generation system. It uses plaintext source files with mark-up tags to indicate how the text should be formatted (a lot like HTML). It supports document sectioning, tables, embedded figures, and (perhaps most relevant to computer scientists and engineers) incredible support for mathematical equations, formulas, and theorems.

## Content actions

PDF | EPUB (?)

### What is an EPUB file?

EPUB is an electronic book format that can be read on a variety of mobile devices.

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

#### Definition of a lens

##### Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

##### What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

##### Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

##### What are tags?

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks