Posts Tagged ‘Open Source’

F-Spot interface info

Friday, October 8th, 2004

I’m helping Larry with F-Spot, to make it a killer app when it comes to photo management and the digital darkroom.

A sidebar mockup

I have recently posted some design ideas that I (and some others in the design team at work) have written.

The first public version of the info started as a nice little set of web pages for browsing. While doing such, I realized that we really needed to have it in a Wiki, however, so that any one of us on the team could easily update it with current information. With a little googling, I found DocuWiki, a nice little GPL-licensed wiki implemented in PHP. It’s a wiki that actually looks pretty decent out of the box and utilizes XHTML and CSS. Amazing.

There’s now a temporary place for a wiki (in my primates homedir currently). I moved the F-Spot info to the wiki. Check it out.

Be sure to make suggestions on what you’d like to see in a photo management application (you can leave a comment on my website — or better yet — join the F-Spot mailing list) and test out the application.

GIMP 2.0

Thursday, March 25th, 2004

The GIMP, the world famous freely available open source image editing software (available for UNIX, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X), is now at version 2.0 (pdf). To celebrate, the website has been updated as well.

2004: Year of Linux?

Sunday, November 30th, 2003

eWeek declares 2004 as the "Year of Linux". Deja Vu.

More "Years of Linux":

The fabled "Year of Linux" has happened every year since 1998 really. Even 2003 has also been considered the "Year of Linux".

May there be many more years of Linux (and other Open Source / Free Software projects) too. (:

Today’s Richard Stallman visit

Monday, July 7th, 2003

Richard Stallman (affectionately known by many as "RMS") visited the office today. He spoke of the usual things; Free Software, various licensing and copyright issues, and freedom in general.

He wore his Saint IGNUcius costume (picture) during the meeting (well, except for the disk platter halo).

Some people in the office had not been around him before, so they were able to hear him express his ideas (in person) for the first time. Others, such as myself, had heard him speak previously at various conventions.

He did, of course, talk about how the operating system commonly known as "Linux" really uses a lot of GNU stuff. He did not say much more than a sentence or two on that topic, as I guess he figured that most of us knew about it already. He did state that if we would mention it a bit more, that would be nice.

He also said that he did not like the recent Raleigh weather. He’s right; it has been quite hot around here lately.

The death of Internet Explorer?

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

It seems as though Microsoft has decreed Internet Explorer, the de facto web browser for Windows, dead (at least feature-wise and as an installable browser) at this point in time. Straight from the horse’s mouth, they declare the following (in a Q & A session):

Q: when will IE get transparent PNG support?

A: Ian, I’m sorry, I can’t answer that question for you

Q: when / will there be the next version of IE?

A: As part of the OS, IE will continue to evolve, but there will be no future standalone installations. IE6 SP1 is the final standalone installation.

Q: What’s the long-term outlook for IE as a development platform? Are there major limitations planned for future releases (such as in Longhorn) due to security reasons? I know that this is a concern to many developers that rely on IE technology.

A: Security continues to be a top priority. The platform will change for longhorn but you can expect the client, where folks need to browse, to not be as restrictive as the server. I encourage folks to get involved in our beta program to help us evolve the platform

Q: Why is this? the anti-trust? (no further standalone)

A: Although this is off topic, I will answer briefly: Legacy OSes have reached their zenith with the addition of IE 6 SP1. Further improvements to IE will require enhancements to the underlying OS.

Sorry. Having to update the operating system is complete and utter hogwash. Mozilla takes advantage of PNG transparency, has nice rendering and proper CSS support, tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, renders pages quicker, and is open source — and it does it on multiple versions of Windows (taking advantage of what it can, like in XP, it uses the native theme infrastructure). In addition to Windows, Mozilla even does what it does on multiple, non-Windows operating systems!

Listed directly above is just a few of the big features. There’s a more exhaustive list of several other reasons why Mozilla is better available.

Anyway, according to the project manager of the Internet Explorer project at Microsoft, it seems as though their browser is grandfathered. It will not get any updates unless they deem it necessary (mostly security "enhancements", something that it seems to take them a while to fix…)

We can hope that hardware vendors, ISPs, and others relying on Internet Explorer take this into consideration. I’m sure Internet-related companies outside of Microsoft want the best experience for people browsing the web. Eventually, some of them may hopefully start shipping alternative browsers on the desktop, such as Mozilla or even Opera. AOL has already embedded Mozilla in their AOL for OS X and Compuserve clients. (Of course, I’m not sure how yesterday’s AOL and Microsoft announcement factors into all of this…)

Anyway, it’s sad to see that Microsoft does not seem to support real innovation, especially in something as neat (and important) as the Internet.

With a company so large and a product so important, you would think that there would be more emphasis placed on the browser so that it supports even the basic standards that have been around for years (PNG, CSS 1 & 2, etc.). Mozilla, Konqueror, Safari, and Opera all support this basic featureset all extraordinay well.

If Microsoft’s stated position on the subject (from the Q & A session linked above) is accurate, then they are really doing a disservice to not only their users but to the world wide Internet community as well.

(Thanks to Kevin for pointing out the link.)

Free AAC?

Tuesday, May 6th, 2003

I have iTunes 4 on my Mac. With this new version, the AAC format was introduced, and the iTunes music store uses a protected version of the format. Once you get the latest Quicktime installed, then you can also rip CDs to unprotected AAC. It seems as though there is a free software project to encode and decode AAC. There is also an XMMS plugin which uses the previously linked library.

This is great, as I can listen to music which I purchased on my Linux boxes too. Woo-hoo.

Whatever you do though, don’t visit for the time being. The site has been recently redone and I really think you won’t like their new site design. It’s seizure-inducing. It’s atrocious. It’s probably the worst looking website on the Internet right now (or it should at least come close). Ouch.

New Gnome Summary: Jan 4 – 18th

Tuesday, January 21st, 2003

There’s a new Gnome summary up on, and it features a lot of things that have been brewing in the Linux desktop space over the past several months. It features updates on some of the new stuff I’ve been working on (which has been updated again since), the cool metatheme switcher that Jonathan has been working on, and also the great CD-burner for Nautilus brought to you by Alex and Bastien (aka: Hadess).

Check out all of the other items on the page too, including the Gnome-on-a-PDA stuff, the Gnome 2 (and thus GTK+2) port of Evolution, the Java Swing / GTK+ integration, and the blurb about Eclipse being able to run on a 100% free software platform (GCJ is good enough for it now!).