Sublime – an incredible text editor

I was looking through some wordpress templates and came across a really nice editor called sublime text editor here – http://www.sublimetext.com/ check out the functionality – it’s got to be one of the best editors for coding that I’ve run across. You can download and run a fully functional “unregistered” version (which doesn’t expire currently). If you like it and use it, it’s worth the $60 USD that the developer is asking.

It really has some great features – I can hardly wait for my next web dev project so I can actually use it instead of just tinkering. Check the screenshot:

 

On the Front Lines with Richard Stallman

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Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation and The GNU Project, has had a consistent message about freedom for computer users for over 23 years. His first experiences with computers predate his work with the MIT AI Lab, which began in 1972. When I began researching for this interview, I had a different concept of Free Software and Open Source – so much so, that I rarely distinguished between the two. After nearly two months since my initial contact with Mr. Stallman, I’d like to think that I have a better grasp on the differences between them. I’ve also learned that Richard Stallman’s vision for Free Software – that’s “Free” as in “Free Speech” – has remained his primary focus.

You’ve been a programmer for longer than most common folk realize computers have even been around. What is it about programming that you enjoy most? What compels you to code? Continue reading

Linspire: Punked by Microsoft

MS Linspire: Like Sheep to the Slaughter

Microsoft, thanks to their deep pockets and scary lawyers, is still doing today what it has done for years to anyone that threatens it’s market position. The difference now though, is that Open Source is not one single company that they can buy or push around. They are, however, finding some sheep that will roll over for fear of being dragged into a legal battle. This fear is not based on losing the law suit, but rather the waiting game that eats money for attorneys and other related costs of defending against this suit. It’s kind of like a staring contest; the first one to run out of money loses. Linspire (the distro formerly known as Lindows), is the latest to cower in their cubicles and corner offices for fear of being buried alive by an avalanche of patent infringements. Here is the gist of what Microsoft has to offer to those willing to come clean; Under the PR guise of a “Covenant to Customers” at least 3 Linux publishers have climbed on board. Essentially, if any of the GPL/GNU concepts are touched on, the “Covenant” is violated. With the exception of patches, any other modification or alteration of the code is not allowed, nor is it okay to make copies of the software to give away to your friends – unless of course, additional fees are paid to Microsoft. Remember, we are talking about Linux – not Microsoft products. Microsoft excludes a number of things from this EULA for LINUX, including anything released under GPL3 because of the clause (section 10 paragraph 3 GPL3) expressly forbidding the imposition of restrictions or fees of this sort on anything released under GPL3. Continue reading

It’s all about community

Everyone knows that the obvious difference between proprietary software and free software is the licensing model. What few people know is that free software’s biggest strength is the people that are drawn together to make up a community that is incredibly powerful. I saw this power first-hand in Mountain View, CA, USA at the KDE 4.0 release event. If you use Gnome, XFCE, or even Microsoft Windows, put your bias aside. This is about the community of free software, and to a lesser extent, some of the individuals that make free software what it is – not just KDE.

From across the globe they came; these developers and artists and marketing folks (how else do you get the word out about your product), end-users, and enthusiasts alike. Educators and academics, business executives, students, consultants, scientists, system administrators and more were there as well- for they are one-in-the-same, and all come with an equal voice. Many, having worked together for years, met for the first time face to face, often introducing themselves by IRC nick to one another. Never have I been in a room with such intellectual power all woven together by real humility and a common cause- a truly incredible group. Continue reading

KDE 4.0 – The Official Release

I’ve been using Kubuntu Linux on my laptop for about three months now. I figured that a really slick GUI and a good package manager would be nice. We’ve been using KDE, Gnome, and XFCE on several computers at home and in the office for a couple of years now, and I’ve always had an affinity for KDE – probably since 2.0 in the late nineties. Even 10 years ago KDE had the cleanest look of all of the available window managers. Graphics hardware has really made advances since then, particularly in the area of dedicated graphics processing. It’s about time that this technology is finally being widely adopted on pc hardware. Mainly driven by the gamer industry, we common folk benefit by cheaper and better GPU’s which allow us to have such video wonders as subpixel rendering and multi-layer compositing.

As I’ve said, the laptop has become one of the workhorses for a small IT and web consultancy. Graphics, the whole office suite, development tools, security tools, you get the idea. Mature programs like KMail and KOrganizer are nicely incorporated into Kontact to provide for email, calendaring, to-do, feed reader, etc. Word processing, spreadsheet, desktop publishing, and the like, are handled with KOffice, KDE’s very own comprehensive office suite. With loads of native tools for web development like Quanta Plus And with KOffice application KPlato, most of the software needs of our small business are met with core KDE applications.
Business aside, I had to install Compiz for all of the eye-candy, manipulations and 3-D rendering of the virtual desktop environment – besides, it adds many functional and useful enhancements that are a must for a system that gets 10 – 14 hours of use daily. I’ve not really had to jump through any hoops to get excellent results, but the integration between the K Desktop Environment version 3.3.8 and the effects rendering through Compiz has not been as tight as I would like. Continue reading

Code is prose: of open source and revolution

Chris DiBona, Google’s Open Source Program Manager, announced some time back that it (Google) is now a licensee of the Open Invention Network, an organization that wants open source developers to be able to focus on their craft without having to worry about getting sued. The OIN does this by acquiring patents, and then making them available, royalty free, to any entity; individual, institutional, or corporate, that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux system. This, in stark contrast to Microsoft’s recent approach to patent infringement deals with the likes of Novell and Linspire, the latter of which sealed it’s alienation from the Linux community for it’s seeming utter lack of backbone. While I appreciate a company like Microsoft wanting to protect it’s interests, it truly is a myopic perspective to not see beyond dollars and cents.

At the turn of the 19th century, grand inventions of mechanized wonder transformed much of the world through innovation and competition. While financial gain was the ultimate end for much of the industrial revolution, the spirit of creation transformed nations. This spirit is again being borne on the winds of change. Continue reading