Friday, July 30, 2010
Freeware Utilities - Downloadpedia
The functionality of ImageMagick is typically utilized from the command line or you can use the features from programs written in your favorite programming language. Choose from these interfaces: G2F (Ada), MagickCore (C), MagickWand (C), ChMagick (Ch), ImageMagickObject (COM+), Magick++ (C++), JMagick (Java), L-Magick (Lisp), NMagick (Neko/haXe), MagickNet (.NET), PascalMagick (Pascal), PerlMagick (Perl), MagickWand for PHP (PHP), IMagick (PHP), PythonMagick (Python), RMagick (Ruby), or TclMagick (Tcl/TK). With a language interface, use ImageMagick to modify or create images dynamically and automagically.
ImageMagick is free software delivered as a ready-to-run binary distribution or as source code that you may freely use, copy, modify, and distribute. Its license is compatible with the GPL. It runs on all major operating systems.
The developers behind the GNOME project have gathered in the Netherlands this week for the annual GUADEC conference. During a meeting that took place at the event, the GNOME release team made the difficult decision to delay the launch of GNOME 3, the next major version of the popular open source desktop environment.
The new version has been deemed unready for mass consumption and will need another round of refinements before it can achieve the level of maturity and robustness that is expected by the software's users. Although the news will likely disappoint some enthusiasts, it is consistent with the GNOME development community's conservative approach to release management and strong emphasis on predictability.
GNOME consists of open source applications and development frameworks that form a complete desktop computing stack. It provides a number of the core components that make up the default user experience in many mainstream Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Fedora. GNOME is developed on a time-based six-month release cycle, which means that there are two incremental releases every year.
Original GNOME 3 release schedule
The predictability of the consistent release cycle is one of the major factors that has driven GNOME adoption among commercial desktop Linux distributors, but the incremental development model has largely precluded radical changes. The idea of a major 3.0 update had been discussed for quite some time, but did not initially attract much support from key decision makers.
Some GNOME developers, however, feared that the project's reduction in forward momentum was leading to a decline in innovation and a state of "decadence." These concerns prompted a renewal of interest in overhauling the GNOME user experience, a movement that culminated in 2008 with the formation of a GNOME 3 roadmap and development plan.
GNOME 3 was originally intended to launch in March of 2010, but the developers prepared for the possibility that it would not be ready in time. They decided to move forward with their plans to release a new major version, but with the understanding that they would release a normal incremental update instead if 3.0 wasn't sufficiently mature.
That is exactly what happened when the release team assessed the suitability of 3.0 in preparation for the March release. They decided to push it up another cycle and aim for a September launch. This week at GUADEC, they have once again concluded that version 3 is not yet ready. We will see another standard incremental update in September and the GNOME 3 release will be pushed back another cycle, with the aim of getting it out the door in March 2011.
A sensible release management strategy
Many Linux enthusiasts likely remember the problems that plagued the competing KDE desktop environment when its fourth major version was released in 2008. KDE 4 was launched prematurely in a partially completed state because its developers hoped that users would help identify weaknesses and accelerate the completion of the software. The plan backfired, partly because mixed messages from KDE's developers broadly distorted the expectations of the software's users.
It seems clear that the GNOME developers are carefully working to avoid falling into the same trap. They aren't going to release GNOME 3 until it's mature enough for practical day-to-day use. All things considered, the GNOME release management strategy looks sound and well-reasoned. The ongoing incremental releases have allowed the existing GNOME environment to move forward during the protracted period of development for version 3.0, ensuring that regular users won't suffer any ill effects from the delays.
"GNOME is driven by its goals to provide a quality free software desktop, and we feel that our users and downstream community are better served by holding the GNOME 3.0 release until March 2011," GNOME's release team said in an official statement. "This gives adequate time not only for feature development, but user feedback and testing."
First impressions are very important in software. When introducing a completely new user interface, it's important to make sure that it has the highest possible level of fit and finish right out of the starting gate. If users have a bad first experience, they might simply never accept the changes. As such, it's unsurprising that the GNOME developers are being cautious about the completeness of GNOME 3.
Although it's not ready for official release, users who want to get an early look at some of the key features of GNOME 3 can still choose to install the software themselves. I've been using the GNOME Shell package archive from Launchpad to periodically test the new user interface on Ubuntu, for example. We will be taking a closer look at the software and report on some of the new features in the coming months as the developers prepare for the official release.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Many Linux enthusiasts associate desktop Linux with their repetitive daily routine. Same old, same old.
Looking to mix things up a little, I thought it’d be fun to take a more entertaining look at what we can do with our Linux boxes. I’m listing ten noteworthy Linux applications that I find very fun to use.
After all, Linux is more than a mere efficient platform. It can also provide a great deal of entertainment as well.
The recent history of the Amarok music player is like a scaled-down version of KDE's recent past. Like KDE 4, the Amarok 2 series was greeted with a user revolt that has only gradually quieted. And just like KDE 4 inspired Trinity KDE for those who preferred KDE 3, so Amarok 2 inspired Clementine, a fork of Amarok 1.4.
The supporters of both Trinity KDE and Clementine make similar claims for their preferences: in both cases, the retro-apps are described as faster, easier to use, and outfitted with a better feature set than the most recent versions. But is that so?
An examination of basic features suggests that reality -- as usual -- is more complex than the claims. For one thing, Clementine is only at version 0.4 -- hardly, really, out of alpha release. Its feature set is incomplete, so it is handicapped in a comparison from the start.
For another, despite Clementine's unfinished state, both music players fulfill their functions extremely well. In fact, although each has details that the other lacks, their feature sets have yet to diverge in many areas. What a feature by feature comparison shows is not radical differences so much as differences in emphasis, and in what users are assumed to want.
Amarok vs. Clementine: Interface and Usability
Open Amarok and Clementine side by side, and the philosophical differences become apparent immediately.
The difference goes far beyond the fact that Clementine uses two panes -- one for music sources and one for playlists -- while Amarok adds a third pane for context information. The number of panes does indicate a difference in assumptions about what users have want, but it is the least of the differences.
Instead, the largest difference is that Amarok's design philosophy is influenced by the current interface design theories, while Clementine's are more oriented towards stone geeks, including every detail imaginable.
Some Clementine users will point to this difference by making disparaging comparisons between Amarok and OS X or Windows. However, for practical purposes, what matters is that the two music players display different assumptions about what average users want.
For instance, in Clementine, the playlist offers ever bit of information about selected tracks that is available. The default settings are Artist, Album, Length and Track (although I suspect that Title was meant to be there, too), and via the context menu, you can add another thirteen columns, including file length and the date it was created.
Similarly, Clementine's default track controls include an equalizer and block organizer. Moreover, they are placed at the bottom of the playlist, where they can easily be mixed, alongside some basic tag controls.
Amarok's approach, though, is minimalist. It identifies tracks by album, track number, title, and length, and does not allow additional information to be added. Just as importantly, its controls for playing a track are promoted to just below the menu, and take up the entire width of the window, making them hard to miss. Tag controls are separated out, and controls for the entire playlist -- as opposed to the track -- are at the bottom of the playlist pane.
The same difference is seen in the identification for the current track: Amarok simply highlights it, while Clementine highlights it and adds a notice to the bottom of the sources pane that always displays.
There are other differences, too, such as Amarok's use of retractable lists for pane views, which require more mouse clicks than Clementine's tabs when you are changing views. However, the most noticeable difference is that Amarok is more streamlined (or slicker, if you happen not to like the design decisions) while Clementine has spent less time on such concerns.
Verdict: Tie. Despite the fact that interface designers insist on the superiority of their strictures, whether you prefer a minimalist interface or a more geeky one is largely a matter of preference. Some users might become frustrated if Amarok's display does not include a feature they prefer, but just as many may find Clementine cluttered.
Amarok vs. Clementine: Editing Tags
The metatags on tracks and albums are essential for searching local libraries and -- in Amarok's case -- for creating automated playlists (see below). For these purposes, the ability to edit tags is essential in any music player.
Linux Music Players: Amarok vs. Clementine
Friday, July 23, 2010
Mythbuntu is a community supported add-on for Ubuntu focused upon setting up a standalone MythTV based PVR system. It can be used to prepare a standalone system or for integration with an existing MythTV network.
Unlike similar projects, Mythbuntu keeps close ties with Ubuntu and all development is given back to Ubuntu. This architecture allows simple conversions from a standard desktop to a Mythbuntu machine and vice versa.
The development cycle of Mythbuntu closely follows that of Ubuntu, releasing every six months along side Ubuntu releases.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I understand that many of you don’t want to use the command line in Linux (or in any operating system, for that matter). But the truth is, to be a good administrator, you have to know the command line. Why? Well, with Windows there are times when the command line is the only thing that can save your skin. With Linux, the command line is vast, reliable, flexible, fast ... I could go on and on.
And of the 2119 possible commands from the /usr/bin directory (in Mandriva Spring 2008) and the 388 possible commands from /usr/sbin/, a few are indispensable. Here are 10 of them that might make your Linux admin life — or your introduction to Linux — a whole lot simpler.
I could make this easy and go with the most used commands (cd, ls, rm) but instead, I am going to go with the most useful commands, and I'll keep it as distribution-neutral as I can.
Read them here: The 10 most useful Linux commands - Program - Linux - Builder AU
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Linux Tips, Tricks, Tools News and Howtos
Friday, July 16, 2010
During my years of Linux advocacy, I am usually asked a very basic question “what makes Linux better than [insert OS here].” The answer is a result of years of developing and honing the perfect answer to a non-technical person. I usually start with explaining that there are two fundamental schools of thought in the programming world. One that conceals and forbids any changes in functionality, while the other is open and encourages customization to fit ones needs. The conversation naturally goes from there to giving examples of Open Source programs this person might be using unwittingly. Here are 7 programs that the whole Open Source community is very proud of.
Daily Artisan » 7 Apps Every Open Source Enthusiast Should Brag About
When your done in this section, take a look at our Features section including some of our most recent and detailed HowTos. Or why not check on recent Advisories to track your distribution of choice.
Whether you're new to Linux and security, or you're a seasoned developer you'll find a wealth of security information for Open Source here at Linuxsecurity.com. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to email us at info_at_linuxsecurity.com.
Resources - The Community's Center for Security
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Ubuntu Tweak is an application to config Ubuntu easier for everyone.
It provides many useful desktop and system options that the default desktop environment doesn't provide.
With its help, you will enjoy with the experience of Ubuntu!Download Now!
Ubuntu Tweak - Let's rock with Ubuntu
Saturday, July 10, 2010
7 Tasks You Shouldn’t Use a GUI For
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Many new comers are afraid of that “haunted Terminal”. Why open a console when you can do it via GUI? This article is not against the use of terminal but for noobs (and pros too) these GUI tips may prove more productive. How many times have you thought to “configure the boot menu” or “change mount points” but afraid of it because you have to enter that “Haunted Manson”.
1, 2, 3 are packages and can be installed via Synaptic Package Manager (another helpful GUI for managing packages) and then searching for it.
This step-by-step tutorial was created for the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system and it will teach you how to change the looks of your Linux desktop into an eye-candy, practical, simple and modern one. In other words, to pimp your desktop and change its looks
Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop Customization Guide - Step by step tutorial with screenshots - Softpedia