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Opinion: Desktop spin laws that need to go away

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Various distro spin makers have made two unwritten laws that I very much disagree with:

A ) A distro spin of desktop blah should have only programs built with the same widget library that desktop blah uses

B ) A distro spin should only ship / pre-install one program for each application category

I mention this because I'm a big KDE fan but KDE-only distro spins do not include my preferred browser (Firefox) nor my preferred office suite (LibreOffice, not that I use an office suite much) because they aren't QT-native applications. While LibreOffice does a better job of integrating with KDE than Firefox does, both drag with them quite a bit of GTK baggage... which is considered "bloat" by many spin makers.

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today's howtos

Games: Super Blood Hockey, Starship Titanic and More

Software: MenuLibre, Speech Recognition, "Just TODO It", Slack

  • MenuLibre 2.1.4 Released
    The wait is over. MenuLibre 2.1.4 is now available for public testing and translations! With well over 100 commits, numerous bug fixes, and a lot of polish, the best menu editing solution for Linux is ready for primetime.
  • Speech Recognition For Linux Gets A Little Closer
    t has become commonplace to yell out commands to a little box and have it answer you. However, voice input for the desktop has never really gone mainstream. This is particularly slow for Linux users whose options are shockingly limited, although decent speech support is baked into recent versions of Windows and OS X Yosemite and beyond. There are four well-known open speech recognition engines: CMU Sphinx, Julius, Kaldi, and the recent release of Mozilla’s DeepSpeech (part of their Common Voice initiative). The trick for Linux users is successfully setting them up and using them in applications. [Michael Sheldon] aims to fix that — at least for DeepSpeech. He’s created an IBus plugin that lets DeepSpeech work with nearly any X application. He’s also provided PPAs that should make it easy to install for Ubuntu or related distributions.
  • Announcing "Just TODO It"
    Recently, I wished to use a trivially-simple TODO-list application whilst working on a project. I had a look through what was available to me in the "GNOME Software" application and was surprised to find nothing suitable. In particular I just wanted to capture a list of actions that I could tick off; I didn't want anything more sophisticated than that (and indeed, more sophistication would mean a learning curve I couldn't afford at the time). I then remembered that I'd written one myself, twelve years ago. So I found the old code, dusted it off, made some small adjustments so it would work on modern systems and published it.
  • Linux users can now get Slack as a snap package
    Canonical has announced the general availability of the collaboration platform Slack, as a snap package. The move will allow Linux users to get setup with the platform and begin collaborating on their work more easily. Any Linux distribution with snap support can head over to the snapcraft website, download the package, and begin using it.