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Software: mtPaint, Suricata, Gabedit, Mozilla, LibreOffice, and GNU Binutils

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  • mtPaint – A Lightweight Paint Software for Digital Photos

    mtPaint is an open source paint application for both Linux and Windows developed for the purpose of creating and manipulating pixel images.

    It was developed from scratch by Mark Tyler and maintained by Dmitry Groshev. If you hadn’t heard about it prior to reading this article it is probably because before its latest update in June 2016, its last update was in 2011!

    Update frequency not withstanding, mtPaint has a focus on being memory friendly and its latest update came with a handful of both new and improved features.

  • Suricata 4.0 released!

    We are thrilled to announce Suricata 4.0. This is a major new release, improving detection capabilities, adding new output options and more protocols.

  • Suricata 4.0 released
  • Gabedit: the Portal to Chemistry

        

    Many chemistry software applications are available for doing scientific work on Linux. I've covered several here in previous issues of the magazine, and of them have their own peculiar specialties—areas where one may work better than another. So, depending on what your research entails, you may need to use multiple software packages to handle all of the work. This is where Gabedit will step in to help you out.

  • How Could You Use a Speech Interface?

    Last month in San Francisco, my colleagues at Mozilla took to the streets to collect samples of spoken English from passers-by. It was the kickoff of our Common Voice Project, an effort to build an open database of audio files that developers can use to train new speech-to-text (STT) applications.

    What’s the big deal about speech recognition?

    Speech is fast becoming a preferred way to interact with personal electronics like phones, computers, tablets and televisions. Anyone who’s ever had to type in a movie title using their TV’s remote control can attest to the convenience of a speech interface. According to one study, it’s three times faster to talk to your phone or computer than to type a search query into a screen interface.

    Plus, the number of speech-enabled devices is increasing daily, as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod gain traction in the market. Speech is also finding its way into multi-modal interfaces, in-car assistants, smart watches, lightbulbs, bicycles and thermostats. So speech interfaces are handy — and fast becoming ubiquitous.

  • LibreOffice 5.4 Released with ‘Significant New Features’

    LibreOffice 5.4 serves as the final major release in the LibreOffice 5.x series (meaning LibreOffice 6.x will be next). The update is said to add “significant new features in every module” and (as always) improved Microsoft Office file compatibility.

  • LibreOffice 5.4 released with new features for Writer, Calc and Impress

    The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.4, the last major release of the LibreOffice 5.x family, immediately available for Windows, macOS and Linux, and for the cloud. LibreOffice 5.4 adds significant new features in every module, including the usual large number of incremental improvements to Microsoft Office file compatibility.

  • GNU Binutils 2.29 Released

    Binutils 2.29 is now available as well as a Binutils 2.28.1 point release.

    Binutils 2.29 brings a lot for MIPS and SPARC users. MIPS improvements for Binutils 2.29 include support for microMIPS eXtended Physical Addressing (PXA), microMIPS Release 5 ISA for assembly/disassembly, support for the Imagination interAptiv MR2 CPU, and support for the MIPS16e2 ASE assembly/disassembly.

  • AMD Ryzen 3 Rolls Out, Linux Benchmarks Coming

LibreOffice 5.4 Office Suite Debuts with New Features for Writer, Calc & Impress

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The Document Foundation today announced the release and immediate availability of the LibreOffice 5.4 office suite, the last to be released for the LibreOffice 5 series.

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LibreOffice 5.4 Released With New Standard Color Palette, Improved File Handling

LibreOffice Conference 2017 Will Take Place in Rome, Italy, for LibreOffice 6.0

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The Document Foundation's Mike Saunders is announcing today that the LibreOffice Conference 2017 event will take place later this year in October and that it now has a host city.

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LibreOffice-Based Collabora Online Office Suite Comes to Univention App Center

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Collabora Productivity today announces the availability of its Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) cloud-based office suite in the Univention App Center marketplace.

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Simon Phipps and the Document Foundation Against DRM

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  • DRM Is Toxic To Culture

    Travelling frequently in Europe, I’ve had the chance to use two approaches to the underground/metro/subway, the Paris Metro and the U-bahn in various German cities. There is a very visible difference between the two, at least in my experience. Here are some sample encounters.

    In Paris, I bought my Metro ticket and then used it in an automated barrier to reach the platform. I noticed lowlife furtively scanning the station and then vaulting the barriers, and I saw armed police at the station to catch the thieves doing this (they didn’t catch any that I saw, and there were several of each at each station).

    By contrast, the U-Bahn in Nürnberg had no barriers. I bought my ticket, boarded the train without fuss, there was no risk of being shot by a policeman targeting a barrier-vaulting cheat, and the system was still clean, efficient and well-used.

  • Day against DRM

    Sunday, July 9, is the Day against DRM. The Document Foundation supports the global campaign led by FSF, to raise the awareness of issues related to the so called Digital Rights Management software. As any other proprietary technology, DRM is killing user freedom of choice, and should always be avoided.

LibreOffice 5.3.4 immediately available for download

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The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.3.4, the fourth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.3 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users. LibreOffice 5.3.4 integrates over 100 patches, with a significant number of fixes for interoperability with Microsoft Office RTF and OOXML documents.

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Professional Typography in LibreOffice and Italian Migration

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  • LibreOffice: Professional Typography Fully Arrives

    Three decades ago, StarDivision, the ancestor of LibreOffice and OpenOffice, was designed as an intermediate desktop publisher. However, many LibreOffice improvements are designed for users who insist on using it like a typewriter and entering manual formatting. Unofficially, I have been told that LibreOffice developers feel that, since manual formatting is the way most people use it, development for people who want advanced typography is a low priority. Finally, however, in the 5.3 release, LibreOffice has given advanced users a major feature: the ability to add advanced features automatically — a feature that, after almost a century and a half, gives home typists the ability to do advanced typesetting.

    That sounds like an exaggeration, so let me explain. Typewriters were a major advance over handwriting, but still fell short of producing copy that was as polished as what a printing shop could do. To add bold on most typewriters, a typist had to backspace and type over the same letters again, often blurring the letters. Adding italics was even worse, because they could only be indicated by the old copy editing notation of underlining.

    Word processors were a significant improvement over typewriters, but still generally fall short of complete professionalism. For instance, Bold and italic were available with a few clicks. However, far too many word processors continue to manufacture their own small capitals, the letters used to improve the look of several upper case letters in a row — and, often, the result was hideous.

  • Locked in by choice: Why the Italian Defence Department is switching to open source office

    Italy’s Defence Department began migrating to open source software in September 2015. It aims to replace Microsoft Office on 100,000 desktops with LibreOffice by 2020.

    Geneal Camillo Sileo was the man behind the decision to switch to open source. LibreDifesa - the name of his digital migration project - is a success, he says.

    “We have conducted a study and we have concluded that Microsoft Office and Libre Office were just as good for our needs.”

    The advantage of open source is that the code can be tailored to the needs of each organisation. “There should be a willingness to move towards that.”

  • Locked in by choice: How European governments are handling their Microsoft addiction

    In 2012, the then European Union (EU) commissioner for digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, said that not only EU institutions, but all government bodies throughout Europe should implement open standards. Her policy was designed to free public bodies from dependence on proprietary software suppliers.

    The UK has made the biggest strides in encouraging large government departments to increase their use of open source software, through initiatives by the Government Digital Service (GDS). Although local authorities and the NHS are still heavily reliant on proprietary software, the message is gradually spreading to smaller government departments in Britain.

    But five years on, EU civil servants rely on Microsoft Office and Windows. As a result, the public sector is hooked on a digital dependence on Microsoft that costs billions of any currency. Experts say this inhibits innovation and raises technical, political and security risks.

LibreOffice 6.0 to Automatically Update Itself on GNU/Linux, but There's a Catch

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LibreOffice developer Markus Mohrhard recently announced that his work on the new automatic updater for the upcoming LibreOffice 6.0 office suite for Linux is finally ready to see the light of day.

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LibreOffice Features Survey

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LibO
  • Have You Taken the LibreOffice Features Survey?

    A new survey aims to help LibreOffice learn which features of the popular open-source office suite users use the most.

  • Survey on LibreOffice features

    Due to its long history, LibreOffice has accumulated a staggering amount of features. Maintaining these features is not free, and having a massive amount of features may blur the focus of the software. In order to steer the development and to focus on the more important aspects we prepared a survey that investigates how often some features are used.

Public sector benefits from LibreOffice bug hunting

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LibO

The software development community working on LibreOffice have greatly scaled up their bug-hunting efforts, using automated software test tools made available by Google. Beneficiaries include the many European public administrations that use up-to-date versions of this suite of office productivity tools.

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More in Tux Machines

OpenSUSE fonts – The sleeping beauty guide

Pandora’s box of fonts is one of the many ailments of the distro world. As long as we do not have standards, and some rather strict ones at that, we will continue to suffer from bad fonts, bad contrast, bad ergonomics, and in general, settings that are not designed for sustained, prolonged use. It’s a shame, because humans actually use computers to interface with information, to READ text and interpret knowledge using the power of language. It’s the most critical element of the whole thing. OpenSUSE under-delivers on two fonts – anti-aliasing and hinting options that are less than ideal, and then it lacks the necessary font libraries to make a relevant, modern and pleasing desktop for general use. All of this can be easily solved if there’s more attention, love and passion for the end product. After all, don’t you want people to be spending a lot of time interacting, using and enjoying the distro? Hopefully, one day, all this will be ancient history. We will be able to choose any which system and never worry or wonder how our experience is going to be impacted by the choice of drivers, monitors, software frameworks, or even where we live. For the time being, if you intend on using openSUSE, this little guide should help you achieve a better, smoother, higher-quality rendering of fonts on the screen, allowing you to enjoy the truly neat Plasma desktop to the fullest. Oh, in the openSUSE review, I promised we would handle this, and handle it we did! Take care. Read more

Today in Techrights

Direct Rendering Manager and VR HMDs Under Linux

  • Intel Prepping Support For Huge GTT Pages
    Intel OTC developers are working on support for huge GTT pages for their Direct Rendering Manager driver.
  • Keith Packard's Work On Better Supporting VR HMDs Under Linux With X.Org/DRM
    Earlier this year Keith Packard started a contract gig for Valve working to improve Linux's support for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs). In particular, working on Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) and X.Org changes needed so VR HMDs will work well under Linux with the non-NVIDIA drivers. A big part of this work is the concept of DRM leases, a new Vulkan extension, and other changes to the stack.

Software: Security Tools, cmus, Atom-IDE, Skimmer Scanner

  • Security Tools to Check for Viruses and Malware on Linux
    First and foremost, no operating system is 100 percent immune to attack. Whether a machine is online or offline, it can fall victim to malicious code. Although Linux is less prone to such attacks than, say, Windows, there is no absolute when it comes to security. I have witnessed, first hand, Linux servers hit by rootkits that were so nasty, the only solution was to reinstall and hope the data backup was current. I’ve been a victim of a (very brief) hacker getting onto my desktop, because I accidentally left desktop sharing running (that was certainly an eye opener). The lesson? Even Linux can be vulnerable. So why does Linux need tools to prevent viruses, malware, and rootkits? It should be obvious why every server needs protection from rootkits — because once you are hit with a rootkit, all bets are off as to whether you can recover without reinstalling the platform. It’s antivirus and anti-malware where admins start getting a bit confused. Let me put it simply — if your server (or desktop for that matter) makes use of Samba or sshfs (or any other sharing means), those files will be opened by users running operating systems that are vulnerable. Do you really want to take the chance that your Samba share directory could be dishing out files that contain malicious code? If that should happen, your job becomes exponentially more difficult. Similarly, if that Linux machine performs as a mail server, you would be remiss to not include AV scanning (lest your users be forwarding malicious mail).
  • cmus – A Small, Fast And Powerful Console Music Player For Linux
    You may ask a question yourself when you see this article. Is it possible to listen music in Linux terminal? Yes because nothing is impossible in Linux. We have covered many popular GUI-based media players in our previous articles but we didn’t cover any CLI based media players as of now, so today we are going to cover about cmus, is one of the famous console-based media players among others (For CLI, very few applications is available in Linux).
  • You Can Now Transform the Atom Hackable Text Editor into an IDE with Atom-IDE
    GitHub and Facebook recently launched a set of tools that promise to allow you to transform your Atom hackable text editor into a veritable IDE (Integrated Development Environment). They call the project Atom-IDE. With the release of Atom 1.21 Beta last week, GitHub introduced Language Server Protocol support to integrate its brand-new Atom-IDE project, which comes with built-in support for five popular language servers, including JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, Java, C#, and Flow. But many others will come with future Atom updates.
  • This open-source Android app is designed to detect nearby credit card skimmers
    Protecting our data is a constant battle, especially as technology continues to advance. A recent trend that has popped up is the installation of credit card skimmers, especially at locations such as gas pumps. With a simple piece of hardware and 30 seconds to install it, a hacker can easily steal credit card numbers from a gas pump without anyone knowing. Now, an open-source app for Android is attempting to help users avoid these skimmers.