If you are thinking of learning a power tool, listen to Drew Neil’s advice. The article focuses on vim in comparison with other text editors, but this advice is applicable to all power tools. A typical quality of power tools is the difficult learning curve. Many try to bypass that by making it behave like something they already know. This makes it familiar in the beginning, but dangerous as well. [Continue]
My tone indicates that GRUB2 is not useful. Yes, and No. It is a definite improvement over its predecessor with features like better scripting support, graphical boot menus, boot live CD ISOs directly, themes, and so on. It has helped Linux distributions to enhance experience of the first screen that a user sees with pretty splash screens. I believe some users are really happy with the new multiboot features. [Continue]
There is lots to listen on the PHP channel nowadays. Bashing, bashing; sometimes praise, and then some more bashing. This post is more of a justification to myself, especially after reading all these posts, about how PHP still works and how as a Web developer I cannot avoid it. Programming and Templating It all becomes too controversial till you realize that PHP is being talked about from two different angles – as a programming language and as a templating language. Only a programmer who is passionate about writing good code can spend time in bashing a programming language. [Continue]
I wanted to give i3 an honest try, I did and I love it. The big difference between i3 and xmonad is absence of layout algorithms in i3. You manually arrange the windows. You can call these two different schools of thought in tiling window managers – automatic and manual arrangement of windows. The biggest advantage of manual arrangement is that you can divide the screen in columns and rows, and shift between them using direction keys instead of next or previous window. [Continue]
Scott Hanselman humours about the icons that do not make sense in this generation. I personally, though, still like some old icons, like the calendar or telephone or the microphone. Today’s devices are so software-oriented that their physical design do not emote the functionality as well as their older versions. Everything from TV, personal computers, tablets, music players to phones – all seem to be rectangular, buttonless with glass surface. And each of them seem to be able to do the other’s job. [Continue]
It has some great changes – better application finder, tiling support and better window layout for Thunar. Give it a try. You will love it because it sits pretty, lets you do what you want to do by staying out of the limelight, lets you customize anything and everything, and does not hog your resources. Can’t say that about many of them anymore! Xubuntu 12.04 LTS and Xfce 4.10 releases have missed each other by a whisker. [Continue]
I like to develop prototypes as we discuss ideas. The use of these prototypes is more for whetting and sharing the ideas than for demos. Whatever the idea may be about, its usage is a big factor in its evolution. And there is nothing better than a prototype to test this. A good side-effect of this is also that we can then defer the choice of technology for development of the Web site till we are clear about the idea. [Continue]
Slackware (at Wikipedia), one of the earliest Linux systems, needs your help. I understood the real meaning of open source – freedom and choice – while using Slackware. Slackware is important for open source and for Linux. Do contribute whatever you can.
Developers who question if they should build on open source stack, read this (via Jeff Atwood): The source code never lies. Reading source code is not easy. But you can find out what is wrong with your software or the underlying stack to solve the problem and control the environment, if you have the source code. If you are thinking of building something, try to choose open source stack as much as possible, and follow this advice. You will see the advantage.
I have been using xmonad for almost three years. The dynamic window layout management helped me to not think about positioning the windows. However, this is the same reason why I am trying out i3 as a trial. The absence of layout algorithms, and managing columns and using different layouts per column is appealing. This means that I can run the browser in one column. [Continue]