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Software

Software: Chat/IM Solution, Magit, GnuCash and LuaTeX

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Software
  • The Quest for a Common Chat/IM Solution

    A Free/ Open Source Software community usually uses several means of communication: Among them are email, forums, code review and bug tracking systems, nowadays also video chat systems, but one of the central communication channels is usually real-time text communication, also known as instant messaging or chat.

    Traditionally, IRC has been the cornerstone of chat in the FOSS world, as it is open, easy for everyone to join (no account needed) and not in control of any single organization. IRC still does what it was designed for perfectly well, but while it is still basically the same as it was 20 years ago, the world of chat and instant messaging around it has evolved significantly in the meantime: Instant messaging services such as WhatsApp or Telegram (or KakaoTalk, WeChat or Line in Asia) are used by pretty much everyone (and their parents, literally) and systems such as Slack are dominating company communication, and those systems have shaped how people expect a chat system to look and behave.

  • Magit for non-Emacs users

    Unfortunately most potential users are not aware of Magit. Others might be aware of its existence, but would not consider giving it a try because it is implemented as an extension to the Emacs text editor, and that’s not what they are using.

    That’s something I intend to change over the next year, beginning with this article, because I think that Magit can be an excellent Git interface even for users of other editors and IDEs. I am under the impression that many Git users want, or would at least appreciate, something like Magit. It seems worthwhile to invest some time to help some of those potential users get over the initial hurdles. And yes, I do hope that some of those people will support the fundraising campaign.

  • Business accounting with GnuCash

    The first stop in the search for a free accounting system that can replace QuickBooks is a familiar waypoint: the GnuCash application. GnuCash has been around for many years and is known primarily as a personal-finance tool, but it has acquired some business features as well. The question is: are those business features solid enough to allow the program to serve as a replacement for QuickBooks?

    The first order of business is importing existing data into the system. That is not a straightforward task, but it can be done; see this article for the gory details. The result was a 1.8MB XML file containing the company's accounting data since the beginning of 2016. Starting GnuCash with that file takes about 20 seconds on a reasonably modern laptop. It's amazing how long 20 seconds can seem sometimes.

  • LuaTeX comes of age

    TeX has been the tool of choice for the preparation of papers and documents for mathematicians, physicists, and other authors of technical material for many years. Although it takes some effort to learn how to use this venerable work of free software, its devotees become addicted to its ability to produce publication-quality manuscripts from a plain-text, version-control-friendly format.

    Most TeX users use LaTeX, which is a set of commands and macros built on top of TeX that allow automated cross-referencing, indexing, creation of a table of contents, and automatic formatting of many types of documents. TeX, LaTeX, a host of associated utilities, fonts, and related programs are assembled into a large package called TeX Live. It's available through the package managers of many Linux distributions, but to get an up-to-date version, one often needs to download it from its maintainers directly.

Wine 2.16

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Software
  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 2.16 is now available.

  • Wine 2.16 Released

    Wine 2.16 is now available as the latest bi-weekly development release for running Windows games and applications on Linux and other operating systems.

    Wine 2.16 introduces support for pasting metafiles in RichEdit, better support for grayscale PNGs, support for safety features in library loading, better handling of GdiPlus transforms, DirectWrite rendering improvements, and 19 known bug fixes.

  • Wine 2.16 released with various improvements

Software and Games: Fotoxx, ClipGrab, Axis Football 2017, Nidhogg 2

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Software
Gaming
  • Fotoxx – A Photo Editor and Collection Manager for Linux

    Fotoxx is an open source image editing and collection manager robust and powerful enough for professional use.

    With a focus on editing images taken with a digital camera, it is excellent at managing large photo collections while packing alongside a thumbnail browser, image search using any meta data and (partial) file names, support for batch operations, RAW file import, and a comprehensive set of edit functions including crop, red-eye removal, among other operations.

  • ClipGrab – Download Video from YouTube, Facebook and Other Sites

    ClipGrab is an open source download application with which you can search for and download videos from several famous websites like YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc. It also has an inbuilt video converter to handle formats like MPEG, WMV, and MP3, among others. It features a fairly simple User Interface with a panel to display results of link searches alongside related videos.

    You can grab videos either by searching for them within the application or by pasting the video URL into the URL field. You can also download videos in their original format or convert them to other supported formats using the file format drop-down menu (depending on whether the website you’re downloading from allows the option or not).

  • Some thoughts on Axis Football 2017

    Touting much gridiron action, Axis Football 2017 [Official Site] is the latest installment in the American Football franchise. I took the game for a spin and have a few thoughts to share.

  • The developer behind Nidhogg 2 has detailed some reasons why it may not come to Linux

    Nidhogg 2 [Steam, Official Site], the sequel to the indie hit of 2014 may not come to Linux and the developer has listed reasons why. Hopefully people can help get this going.

Software: LibreOffice 5.4.1, Upterm, QEMU 2.10, Cloud Explorer 11, Neofetch, YouTube-DLG

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Software
  • LibreOffice 5.4.1 Released with Over 100 Bug Fixes

    This is the first minor update since the LibreOffice 5.4 release earlier this month and offers a number of bug fixes and stability improvements.

  • Upterm is Part Terminal Emulator, Part IDE

    Upterm is billed as a ‘terminal emulator for the 21st century’ — a fairly bold claim.

    “An IDE in the world of terminals,” claims the Github project page; “Strictly speaking, it’s both a terminal emulator and an interactive shell based on Electron.”

    I spent some time playing with the app see if it offered anything new. And I’m happy to say it does.

  • QEMU 2.10 Released With Xen 9pfs Support, QCOW2 LUKS Encryption

    QEMU 2.10 is now available as the latest release for this important piece of the open-source Linux virtualization stack.

    QEMU 2.10 adds support for the Xen 9pfs back-end, a few new sub-commands, support for building QEMU without the TCG tiny code generator, support for the VXHS network protocol, QCOW2 now supports LUKS as an encryption format, various architecture-specific improvements, and more. Some of the arch-specific work includes support for enhanced virtual addressing (EVA) on MIPS, shadow registers and migration on OpenRISC, multi-threaded TCG is enabled for PowerPC, support for POWER9 guests with KVM, many s390 TCG code generation improvements, and some x86 enhancements. Those wanting to learn more about Xen 9pfs can do so here.

  • Cloud Explorer 11 is out!

    Cloud Explorer is a powerful Amazon S3 client with unique features. In case you missed it, I was able to talk about it briefly on Coder Radio. One thing that I forgot to mention is that a new release is coming! I am pleased to announce version 11 of Cloud Explorer! This release contains a lot of bug fixes and enhancements. I am always looking for feedback. If you have suggestions, please file an issue on the GitHub page.

  • Neofetch – Shows Linux System Information With ASCII Distribution Logo

    Neofetch is a cross-platform and easy-to-use command line (CLI) script that collects your Linux system information and display it on the terminal next to an image, either your distributions logo or any ascii art of your choice.

    Neofetch is a fast, highly customizable system info script through command line flags or the user config file. There are over 50 config options to play around with. Also it’s allow you to add your own custom info.

  • YouTube-DLG – A GUI App for YouTube-DL Video Downloader

    I am damn sure that a good number of you must be familiar with youtube-dl by now. It’s an open- source cross-platform CLI app for downloading videos from YouTube and a host of many other sites. It is written in Python and released to the public domain for interested parties to use and modify it however they like.

    Famous as it is, one cannot deny that it will be more convenient to have a GUI for it and that’s where YouTube-DL GUI comes in handy.

Software: Bookworm, Allo, Selene Media Converter, and Falkon

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Software
  • Bookworm: A Simple yet Magnificent eBook Reader for Linux

    Bookworm is an open source eBook reader with an easy and simple layout supporting different file formats like epub, pdf, mobi, cbr and cbz. Supporting cbr and cbz files mean that you can also use it for reading comics on Linux.

  • Unofficial Open-Source Allo Desktop Client Bypasses Chrome

    There is a brand new open-source native desktop client for Google’s Allo that solves at least one of the problems users might have with the web application. Namely, it bypasses the Allo for Web app’s reliance on Google’s Chrome browser which has been a problem for some users since the official web client was first released. Allo for Desktop may solve that problem, though it’s not affiliated with Google in any way, meaning there is some risk associated with installing it. Nonetheless, the source code itself has also been made available on GitHub, making the solution relatively transparent.

  • Looking For Media Converter Then Give A Try To Selene Media Converter

    There are various multimedia converters available for Linux, there is no harm to try new application, well this application is not new and been around from quite sometime. Selene media converter lets you convert audio and video files, this software is an ultimate multimedia converting tool, that can solve virtually all your video/audio converting needs. It supports almost every file format that you are likely to come across and can encode them to popular output formats like WAV/MP3/AAC/FLAC/OPUS/MP4/MKV/OGG/OGV/WEBM etc. It aims to provide a simple GUI for converting files to popular formats along with powerful command-line options for automated/unattended encoding.

  • That was quick: Falkon web browser is now available as a Snap app

    The newly-named Falkon web browser is now available for testing on Ubuntu and KDE Neon.

    KDE Neon is adopting Snap packages as its containerised packaging format of choice (sorry Flatpak fans) and with Falkon now under the auspices of KDE its arrival as a Snap app was always a matter of when and not if.

Software: Turtl, Laverna, Tusk, Corebird, FFmpeg, and Handy Backup

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Software
  • Turtl Is An Great Open-Source and Secure Advanced Note Taking Application

    You may have your favorite note taking application on your system but it is good idea to try new applications, you may like it. Turtl is free, open-source and an advanced note taking application which lets you take notes, store sensitive files, bookmark websites, and save passwords securely. It is released under GNU GPL v3 and source code is available on the GitHub, meaning anybody can download and run their own version personally or in their company's intranet. You can use it from sharing passwords to tracking research on an article you are writing, Turtl keeps it all safe from everyone but you and those you share with.

  • Laverna privacy focused note taking app with sync

    The application is open source, and versions of Mac, Windows and Linux are provided currently. These versions use Electron as their base which means that they are quite heavy when it comes to memory usage for instance.

  • Tusk Adds Much Needed Features to Evernote Web App

    Tusk is a new unofficial and open-source Evernote app for Linux, Mac and Windows.

    Built using Electron, Tusk wraps the regular Evernote web app in a traditional desktop window and adds some useful new features to it, like app menus, keyboard shortcuts and optional dark themes.

  • Corebird 1.6 Released with Minor Tweaks

    A modest update to Linux twitter app Corebird is now available. It includes some minor interface tweaks and improves image uploading.

  • FFmpeg Has Seen Some AVX2 Optimizations For VP9 Decoding

    Another GSoC 2017 project worth highlighting now that Google's annual Summer of Code has finished is the AVX2 optimizations being done to the VP9 decoder within FFmpeg.

    Student developer Ilia Valiakhmetov set out to speed-up the VP9 decoder in FFmpeg this summer by writing some hand-tuned Assembly instructions around AVX2. Advanced Vector Extensions 2 instrunctions have been supported since Intel Haswell CPUs and on the AMD side are present with the Excavator and Zen cores.

  • Handy Backup for Linux: Multi-User Operations and Proof-testing with Ubuntu 16.04

    To satisfy this need, Novosoft LLC continues developing a new Handy Backup branch for Linux, creating and testing a newest solution to backup Ubuntu 16.04 server or workstation data. This Linux backup program has a complete compatibility with a Windows backup tool, Handy Backup 7.9.3, and supports some specific Linux backup features, including multi-user operations.

New Free Software for GNU/Linux: Audacious 3.9, Calamares 3.1.3, Weblate

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GNU
Linux
Software

Krita 3.2.1, Updates Vision and More

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KDE
Software

Software: Weblate, LXD, Double Commander, Take a Break

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Software
  • Taking over siphashc for Python

    Since some time we're using siphash algorithm to speed up looking up strings in Weblate. Even though it is used by Python internally, it's not exposed in the standard library so several third party modules appeared in the PyPI. Out of all these siphashc or rather it's Python 3 fork siphashc3 seemed to perform best, so I've started to use that.

  • LXD 2.17 has been released
  • Double Commander – An Excellent Dual Pane File Manager for Linux

    If you have been following our reviews for up to 4 months then you must have come across fman, a present day file manager for power users. It is feature-rich with native support for dual-pane display and a plethora of keyboard shortcuts, among other features.

    Today, I bring you another relatively powerful file manager that is arguably as feature-rich and powerful. It’s called Double Commander.

  • Take a Break – Force Yourself To Take Breaks Away From Your Computer

    Take a Break is a petite application you can use to sort of force yourself to take breaks away from your computer after a configurable work time.

    It works by dividing time into 2 sections: up-time and break-time. Up-time is when your system isn’t active and when that time is up the computer switches to break time during which the screen takes on a handful of display options including screen upside-down, dimmed, and screen saver.

    I have written on Gnome Pomodoro and Go For It which are both nice productivity timer apps, but neither of them forces you to actually go away by locking you out of your workspace. Maybe, Take a Break is what you have been looking for.

  •  

GIMP 2.9.6

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GNU
Software
  • GIMP 2.9.6 Released

    After more than a year of hard work we are excited to release GIMP 2.9.6 featuring many improvements, some new features, translation updates for 23 languages, and 204 bug fixes.

    As usual, for a complete list of changes please see NEWS. Here we’d like to focus on the most important changes.

  • GIMP 2.9.6 Released With GEGL Multi-Threading & Better HiDPI Support

    We are one step closer to the long-awaited GIMP 2.10 update with today seeing the newest development release, GIMP 2.9.6.

    With GIMP 2.9.6 being the first official development release in more than one year, it's quite feature heavy. First up, GIMP 2.9.6 is now finally multi-threaded for modern processors! The GEGL implementation now handles multi-threading! They do expect some bug reports to come in, but as a workaround, via the preferences area GIMP can be limited to a defined number of threads. OpenCL support also remains available.

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More in Tux Machines

Software: VirtualBox, TeX Live Cockpit, Mailspring, Qt, Projects, and Maintainers

  • VirtualBox 5.2.2 Brings Linux 4.14 Fixes, HiDPI UI Improvements
    The Oracle developers behind VM VirtualBox have released a new maintenance build in the VirtualBox 5.2 series that is a bit more exciting than their usual point releases.
  • TeX Live Cockpit
    I have been working quite some time on a new front end for the TeX Live Manager tlmgr. Early versions have leaked into TeX Live, but the last month or two has seen many changes in tlmgr itself, in particular support for JSON output. These changes were mostly driven by the need (or ease) of the new frontend: TLCockpit.
  • Mailspring – A New Open Source Cross-Platform Email Client
    Mailspring is a fork of the now discontinued Nylas Mail client. It does, however, offer a much better performance, and is built with a native C++ sync engine instead of JavaScript. According to the development team, the company is sunsetting further development of Mailspring. Mailspring offers virtually all the best features housed in Nylas Mail, and thanks to its native C++ sync engine it uses fewer dependencies which results in less lag and a reduction in RAM usage by 50% compared to Nylas Mail.
  • Removing Qt 4 from Debian testing (aka Buster): some statistics
    We started filing bugs around September 9. That means roughly 11 weeks, which gives us around 8 packages fixed a week, aka 1.14 packages per day. Not bad at all!
  • Products Over Projects
    However, projects are not the only way of funding and organizing software development. For instance, many companies that sell software as a product or a service do not fund or organize their core product/platform development in the form of projects. Instead, they run product development and support using near-permanent teams for as long as the product is sold in the market. The budget may vary year on year but it is generally sufficient to fund a durable, core development organization continuously for the life of the product. Teams are funded to work on a particular business problem or offering over a period of time; with the nature work being defined by a business problem to address rather than a set of functions to deliver. We call this way of working as “product-mode” and assert that it is not necessary to be building a software product in order to fund and organize software development like this.
  • Why we never thank open source maintainers

    It is true that some of you guys can build a tool in a hackathon, but maintaining a project is a lot more difficult than building a project. Most of the time they are not writing code, but [...]

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Tizen News

Mozilla Firefox Quantum

  • Can the new Firefox Quantum regain its web browser market share?
    When Firefox was introduced in 2004, it was designed to be a lean and optimized web browser, based on the bloated code from the Mozilla Suite. Between 2004 and 2009, many considered Firefox to be the best web browser, since it was faster, more secure, offered tabbed browsing and was more customizable through extensions than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. When Chrome was introduced in 2008, it took many of Firefox’s best ideas and improved on them. Since 2010, Chrome has eaten away at Firefox’s market share, relegating Firefox to a tiny niche of free software enthusiasts and tinkerers who like the customization of its XUL extensions. According to StatCounter, Firefox’s market share of web browsers has fallen from 31.8% in December 2009 to just 6.1% today. Firefox can take comfort in the fact that it is now virtually tied with its former arch-nemesis, Internet Explorer and its variants. All of Microsoft’s browsers only account for 6.2% of current web browsing according to StatCounter. Microsoft has largely been replaced by Google, whose web browsers now controls 56.5% of the market. Even worse, is the fact that the WebKit engine used by Google now represents over 83% of web browsing, so web sites are increasingly focusing on compatibility with just one web engine. While Google and Apple are more supportive of W3C and open standards than Microsoft was in the late 90s, the web is increasingly being monopolized by one web engine and two companies, whose business models are not always based on the best interests of users or their rights.
  • Firefox Nightly Adds CSD Option
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Firefox 57 is awesome — so awesome that I’m finally using it as my default browser again. But there is one thing it the Linux version of Firefox sorely needs: client-side decoration.