Archive for category Open Source
I've never published a "first look at Google Chrome", but I have been excited about it before. By Google Chrome, I'm referring to Google's webkit-based browser, not the Chrome OS.
Well the opposite has happened. Chrome now has extensions. I'm a little worried that it will be bloated and start performing slowly like Firefox. Firefox was once a lean mean browser. Now it is a bloated mess. It has started crashing without warming in Windows 7. I was once a Firefox advocate and I still like the browser, but it has been going downhill for the past year or two. Let's hope that Chrome doesn't follow down this path.
Firefox shouldn't even be that bloated. Sure, the extensions probably add to memory usage and Firefox reserves memory if it's available, but should a browser really be using half a gig of RAM? Seriously?
Chrome doesn't use less memory but it sure responds better. Adding extensions doesn't seem to lower performance either. I've added a GMail notifier, Google Wave Notifier, Forecastfox weather, Firebug Lite, and a couple other extensions and there is no noticeable change what-so-ever.
Now that these extensions are available for Chrome, I think it's time for me to take the next step. Chrome will be my main browser as soon as the extensions are available for the Mac and Linux versions. It's already going to be my main browser in Windows.
So, if you took a look at Chrome when it first came out, this may be a good time to look at it again. There are a few added features that may change your mind about it as well.
I've been looking for an OS X-like dock bar for Linux for many years. For a while, I used the launcher applet in gdesklets. It works without x-composite and pretty nice, but gdesklets can be a resource hog at times. Most of the gdesklets are written in Python if I'm not mistaking and Python, being an interpreted language, uses much more system resources than a native compiled application.
My next dock was AWN, or Avant Window Navigator. At one point, possibly the present, Google was involved with this project. Again, this is if I recall correctly. AWN is very nice, however, it only works if you are using the composite extension in X, as in Compiz/Beryl/Compiz Fusion. It's very customizable and behaves much like the OS X dock.
There's one part of the OS X dock that I really like that isn't quite the same in these docks however. The fish-eye zoom of icons on the dock is a trademark of OS X. AWN and the launcher in gdesklets both have a zoom function but it's just not the same.
I recently discovered that there is a great dock pretty much hidden away in a program called Gnome-Do. Gnome-Do itself is a cool search app for gnome. It's somewhat like a KDE app I remember that lets you launch programs by hitting a keyboard shortcut and then typing the name of the app. I can't remember the name of that app at the moment though. Gnome-Do does exactly that. One can type super(windows key) and the space bar to bring up Gnome-Do.
Of course, you will have to install it first though. After it is installed, simply run the application and go to the preferences for it. Change the appearance to "Docky". Voila, the best dock you've ever had in Linux will appear. Play with it and you'll soon see that this is very close to the OS X dock experience.
I'm not a very good programmer. I think the biggest reason for that is that I've not had enough practice at it. I've written plenty of apps and web sites but most were very simple. My latest app, whats-hot-weekly.com is actually a simplified version of another app I wrote that is located at givemeaniche.com. There are many differences between the two apps even though they basically do the same thing. The exception to this being that givemeaniche actually shows the most searched for terms as well as the most watched items.
The hardest part of it all is coming up with new ideas for serious work projects. I have a few but being a solo developer, designer, etc means that I'll have to put some time into them. Any ideas for apps and websites would be much appreciated.
A few weeks ago I posted a couple of times about the xlack system info script for xchat. It was very useful considering I couldn't find the script anywhere on Google. Right after posting the download for the script, I had a decent rank on Google for the keyword "xlack download" and even "xlack". This was to be expected since there really wasn't a lot of information about Xlack available on the internet anymore.
Now I'm not even in the first page results. In fact, the number one position for "xlack" is a placeholder page for the old xlack.tk. This was the original website for the xlack script. There's also a high placement for a member of deviant art. At any rate, if someone were to actually use Google to find the xlack script, they would be hard pressed to find it. Hopefully this site will rank for the xlack keyword soon so people can actually find the script.
As stated in a previous post, I couldn't find the Xlack system information script anywhere. Well I was looking through some old backup DVD's I'd made and sure enough I have a backup of it. So for anyone that wants it you can find it here.
Xlack is my favorite sysinfo script for XChat. It isn't supported any longer and that may be the reason it's so hard to find. Also xlack.tk isn't working any longer. I'm guessing it is an abandoned project. I may actually take it over, eventually. I don't have the time at the moment, however.
So, download and use at your own risk. If you need help, please post a comment to this post. I will answer to the best of my knowledge.
I just recently realized that BitchX is no longer in the Debian repos on one of my servers. Apparently there is some kind of library dependency issue. I decided to try some of the other IRC clients for the command line (I use XChat for most of my IRC chatting but sometimes I want to chat from a CLI environment). The rest of the clients, however, sucked. Especially when one is used to BitchX. I could have probably gotten used to one of them but I just wasn't impressed. I tried Irssi, ircii, weechat, epic4, and something called Pork. None of them felt right.
So, I downloaded the BitchX source. I couldn't get it to compile (probably why it isn't in the repos any longer). Configure didn't report any errors. Make failed with a generic error that ld ended status 1. All that means to me is that ld ended with an error. I'm sure I could have tracked it down eventually but instead I downloaded the Linux binaries. Miraculously, the binary worked without any problems whatsoever.
So, if you are like me and really like BitchX for IRC, download the binaries from: http://www.bitchx.com/download.php
Once you have the binary, you can place it in /usr/bin with:
cp BitchX /usr/bin
and create a symlink like so:
ln -s /usr/bin/BitchX /usr/bin/bitchx
I created the symlink only because I'm used to starting BitchX using the lowercase version of the command. The symlink is optional.