I have given Gnome Shell and Unity a try. I didn’t mind them but something kept holding me back from using them in a productive manner. Both Gnome Shell and Unity want to maximize the working area by reducing the homepage clutter (no pun intended) by: removing desktop launchers, replacing them with a launcher overlay supporting maximized applications better, through default maximized modes, removal of minimize button and global menus separating the task management from the desktop by delegating it to the dock/launcher being minimalistic on the desktop I think they ought to do one more thing to really achieve their aim – become tiling window managers. They do support tiling windows, but not the automatic management of window layouts like the organic tiling window managers. This will make it easy for users to manage different windows in different layouts, handle not minimizing windows much better and make it easy to maximize or rearrange the windows depending on what the applications are. [Continue]
If you wonder about the Linux kernel development, this video is a good start. It does an amazing job of explaining the process and communication between developers without using technical jargon. A part of it is also a good presentation for people unaware of Linux.
India, with collaboration with US, has initiated the Open Government Platform (via EE Times India). OGPL is a joint product from India and United States to promote transparency and greater citizen engagement by making more government data, documents, tools and processes publicly available. OGPL will be available, as an open source platform. By making this available in useful machine-readable formats it allows developers, analysts, media & academia to develop new applications and insights that will help give citizens more information for better decisions. In using an open source method of development, the OGPL community will provide future technology enhancements, open government solutions, and community-based technical support. [Continue]
I came across a thoughtful article by Dan Newcome on how the functional programming concepts can overcome inconsistency problems with Unix commands. What if the Unix commands performed atomic operations, without complications and exposed a consistent predictable interface instead of just text! They could be then as composable as functions. A programmer’s heaven! I agree about the problem, but not the cause. [Continue]
Arch Linux recently celebrated its 10th birthday. Unlike most modern tools, it offers simplicity through transparency. You can see this concept trickling down in its applications like netcfg, pacman, makepkg or the Arch Linux Installation Framework. It means you see more, know more and care more for your system. It also means that things can only get simpler. [Continue]
I think making mistakes inexpensive is the most important factor to encourage innovation. I personally learn a lot from making mistakes. But I have also seen others think better or think different when the don’t have to worry about the consequences of their experiment. That is why a lot of companies, once they grow beyond a reputation, stop innovating – they cannot afford to make mistakes. And that is how a lot of individuals innovate – by taking the risk of making mistakes. [Continue]
I was helping a friend move to Linux. The printer WeP EX330+DX turned out to be biggest hurdle for moving to Linux. We couldn’t find much on the Web as well. Since the more common printer problems have been resolved on Linux, it took some effort to kill the inertia and dig into what was happening. It looked like we were hosed when we noticed the CD that comes with the printer. [Continue]
If you keep going back to the shell to find and open files, every (g)vim command will open a new instance. You can tell vim to use an existing instance using its command server functionality. Replace vim with gvim for all the commands if you use the graphical interface. Use --servername command-line argument while starting vim. For example, vim --servername CODING starts vim as a command server with name CODING. [Continue]
Adobe seems to be really keen to get rid of Flash, at least on Linux. After 11.2, flash will be supported only through Google’s Pepper Plugin API, which is currently implemented only by Chrome/Chromium. Flash will be supported as an independent piece of software on other platforms. It won’t upset anyone. If anyone needs Flash, Chromium will always be there on Linux, perhaps better supported through Google. [Continue]
The Document Foundation, which forked away from OpenOffice, and looks after LibreOffice development is officially incorporated in Berlin, Germany. The legal form of the entity – rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts – means that it is an independent foundation that is supported by state authorities. As a LibreOffice user I am happy to see a vendor-neutral organization committed towards development of LibreOffice. As an aside, the foundation has launched community powered QA site – Ask LibreOffice, or AskLibo as they call it on the help page.