Linux Screenshot of the day for 07/30/08 – Quanta Plus: Industrial Strength Development!

Quanta Plus is a highly stable and feature rich web development environment.”, at least that’s what their website says. I use Quanta Plus everyday in the course of my work duties and I can tell you that it is all of that, and a bag of chips. I was a bit concerned when I migrated from Windows and Dreamweaver that I wouldn’t have all of the features that I had come know and love, but those fears were soon waylaid. All that was missing was the “Wizards” to help connect to databases, and the mouse-over link scripts. Losing the Wizards was not a bad thing. I’m of the opinion that If you don’t understand the basic syntax of a db connection string, you have no business with your nose in the source code anyway.

In addition to things like syntax highlighting for over 100 file formats and ftp connectivity, I get powerful tools like multi-file/multi-directory search and replace, an imagemap editor, a spell check that is smart enough to distinguish between code and copy, file comparison, cvs integration, degugging console, customizable tool bars and menus, and the list goes on. Quanta Plus does what I need it to do every day. I feel safe again without my Dreamweaver security blanket. Did I mention link checking and HTML tools?

Linux Screenshot of the day for 07/29/08 – Gwenview Image Viewer

I have a ton of digital pictures, kids, family, nature – the usual stuff, but who doesn’t? Gwenview is my way to look through, organize, and maybe even clean up a bit, years of filmless photography. What it’s not is an image manipulation program like The Gimp, or Krita, although it does provide some transformations like rotating, and whatnot. What it is, it is (does) well. With an easy to navigate interface and standard features like fullscreen, and tweaks like picking your thumbnail size from a slider, Gwenview makes my huge photo collection manageable.

The screenshot shows one of several display/layout options in Gwenview 1.4.2 on KDE 3.5.9

KDE 4.1 Release

The KDE Community has announced the latest release of KDE 4.x to hit the streets, KDE 4.1 Plagued with a Vista-esque, lukewarm response, as was 4.0, the code is finally emerging, as planned, from it’s previous near alpha condition to the full featured KDE that we all know and love. I’m not saying that the 3.5.x purists are going to rush out tomorrow and upgrade their systems, but KDE 4.1 does go aways at greasing some of the more squeaky wheels in the series.

I’m a big PIM guy. I like to have multiple email accounts and profiles in one place. The KDE-PIM is actually a suite of standalone Personal Information Management tools all brought together under one roof. This release of KDE-PIM is an excellent showcase for the feature-rich experience that KDE 4.x promises. Here’s more:

  • KDE-PIM is back with 4.1, containing the applications
    necessary for your personal information and communication. KMail as
    mail client, KOrganizer as planning component, Akregator as RSS feed
    reader and others are now available again in KDE 4 look.
  • Dragon Player, an easy to use video player enters the stage
  • Okteta is the new well-integrated and feature-rich hexeditor

  • Step, the physics emulator makes learning physics fun and easy
  • KSystemLog, helps you keep track of what is going on in your system
  • New games such as KDiamond (a bejeweled clone), Kollision, KBreakOut
    and Kubrick make taking a break from your work irresistible
  • Lokalize, helps translators to make KDE4 available in your language
    (if it’s not among the 50-odd languages KDE4 already supports)
  • KSCD, your desktop CD player has been resurrected

You can also view the Offical Release here.

KDE PIM

Linux Screenshot of the day for 07/28/2008 – KDE for Kids on OpenSuse 10.3

My kids system runs OpenSuse 10.3 with a decidedly youthful bent. The teenagers like all of the arcade games, while the younger ones, the toddlers in fact, really enjoy the activities provided by programs like gcompris, an edutainment package aimed at the preschool through elementary crowd. Get ‘em using Linux young, and they’re hooked for life! This screenshot is of my daughters desktop sporting Konqui on a wallpaper from the KDE Kids Theme.

Linux Screenshot of the day for 07/27/08 – Granular window properties with KDE kwin

I have a Dual Head set up for my main workstation. I like to have my programs open in the same place on all of that real-estate, and if I move a window, I like that to be remembered too. By right-clicking on most every title bar and selecting Advanced > Special Window Settings, I am presented with 5 tabs of settings – the Geometry tab is the one selected for this screenshot. I can apply this control to windows that meet a specific criteria, be it one window or many.

In addition to remembering the position of my window, I can pre-select a specific size, whether or not one, or both axes are maximized, and more. I can even tell it to remember what desktop it was opened on, which comes in handy for programs that are typically used for work only – then I can have them open on the “pay” desktop since I use KTimeTracker to keep track of project timing and auto desktop tracking.

This granular control also works with gtk (Gnome) programs too; in fact, this shot is from an Evolution window.

Linux Screenshot of the day for 07/26/2008 – Amarok rediscover your music.

In the wide variety of media player choices available to Linux users, Amarok is certainly worth a look. Their tag line is “rediscover your music” – and the program does facilitate that rediscovery well.

After telling it where all of my digital media was, Amarok provided the usual album covers as well as an expected set of features as far as file/playlist management, and such. I was pleased to find a Lyrics tab that displays the lyrics of the currently playing song, as provided by various configurable services, and an Artist tab that connects an ever-growing list of your favorite songs and artists to biographical and “discographical” information through Wikipedia. I found myself listening to songs that I haven’t heard in along time, even though the cd is probably in my car. There’s also good integration with services like lastFM – and, of course, your media-player-of-choice should work with little or no configuration.

When you rip CD’s, the files are saved in the .ogg format, an open source media encoding technology that results in files around 30% smaller than an mp3 of the same track with no loss in quality. Don’t worry though, your mp3s and their tags are read just fine too.

You know that song that you are never quite sure what is being sung? Well, Amarok made me realize that The Prodigy has the pulsating, rythmical remedy. My lip-syncing should look much more believable now.