Archive for Open Source
Open source pdf editor
With the release of the Open Office 3.x, the office tool has become better and like Firefox its made better by the addons one can add.
One of those add-ons or extension is the one to enable pdf editing and it can be found here.
Install the pdf extension using the Extension Manager menu option found under Tools.
Once that is done you open your pdf document like normal and it opens as an editable version. After finishing with editing, just export to pdf and I have no complaints with the end result.
Simple open source Invoicing systems
The four that I found were Bamboo Invoice, Simple Invoices, Siwapp and jBilling.
The four systems are all open source with jBilling being a Java application but the other three are all PHP based.
I found Bamboo Invoice to be good and simple and meet my needs which were to be able to create an invoice, get a pdf version of it and be able to send an e-mail from the application and on top of that be able to host the application myself.
Bamboo Invoice is based on the CodeIgniter PHP framework which I am familiar with and the installation is very simple. It comes with some reports but one can add extra specific reports if needed.
Simple invoices has the biggest download of the four at 11M and it took a while to install and get going. It comes with dev, staging and production environments plus sample data all set up which is good and all one has to do is set the environments appropriately.
Siwapp is based on the Symfony PHP framework and this also is a simple and straightforward invoicing application but one has to follow the specific instructions for installation.
jBilling is probably the most complete system of all the four that I had a quick look at. Its Java based and it is professional suppported 24/7.
I think jBilling would suit somebody needing more functionality and doing a lot of invoicing because it was designed to handled complex recurring billing scenarios.
I am sure there are other open source invoicing systems that I did not come across but I must say I was
pleased to see these are quite good and for now I will settling for Bamboo invoice.
Google releases Go language
According to the Go language website Google says this is an experimental language which it developed but developers can have a go and see how it works.
I don't think I will have the time to play with this new language at this time but it would be interesting to see how many would try it out and learn the new language.
I have had past experiences with C and C++ but not Python and that could be the attraction for me where I to attempt to have a look at it.
Online code editing
Basically its an online IDE which supports for basic editing features, such as syntax highlighting, large file sizes, undo/redo, previewing files in the browser, importing/exporting projects.
Another alternative online IDE that I know of is Amy Editor which I think is best used if you specify you own server.
Another one maybe a little bit different is codepad which is an online compiler/interpreter and I think its best maybe for testing code snippets for the languages listed which include PHP, Ruby, Python and C++.
I think Mozilla Labs are on the right path here and I will be following the development of Bespin over the next few months where it leads to.
Getting Writer Spellcheck to work
Its easy though to install the dictionary and in my case it is English (Australia) and to do that I had to go to the File - Wizards - Install new dictionaries and the dialog box that follows leads to the downloading of the selected dictionaries. First of all the user has to retrieve the list of available dictionaries.
In my case I realised that closing down Open Office and opening it again after dictionary installation did not work but I had to restart the computer and everything worked fine.
I should mention that one thing to check is to make sure that soffice.bin is not blocked by the firewall otherwise the download will not happen.
Things have certainly moved on from two years ago when installing the dictionary was not a straight forward process.
Joomla! release 1.5
I was introduced to Joomla! by a friend who started with Mambo and then moved on to Joomla! but I am still to start having a look at it and with this new release it could be a good chance to have a look at it.
Other Php based CMS system include Mambo, phpwcms , Drupal and OtterCMS.
Drupal will be releasing Drupal 6 soon and its something to look forward to.
Another free virtualization tool
The download is just under 15 MB and you can find a step by step tutorial on how to install VirtualBox on Ubuntu on this site. I found the step by step instructions quite straight-forward.
One step that I have to mention here is that to give myself permission to use VirtualBox I had to go the System menu then selected Administration and then added myself as user of the application through the Users and Groups sub menu.
I should also mention that VirtualBox is also available for Windows and Intel Macs.
Mozilla's new mail initiative
I think this is good news because the new company will look into Internet mail and communications software only in a bid to come with a product that is as successful as the Firefox browser. It will look at further development of the Thunderbird email client and having a dedicated company focussed on that alone will also quicken the development I think.
I use Thunderbird for one of my e-mail accounts and I think its quite good in terms of e-mail but where it lacks is the calender aspect because the extension that I use, Lightning is not yet quite polished enough.
I also hope that this new initiative will result in an e-mail client as close to
Microsoft Outlook or Evolution as possible or even better. I use the Evolution e-mail client in Ubuntu and I
have no complains about it. I am still to try the Windows version of Evolution but when I get time I
will have a look at it.
Hiccup installing OpenOffice.org 2.1
So I had to stop the installation and rollback but on checking I realised that my old OpenOffice.org 2.0 had not been restored and so I had to re-install OpenOffice.org 2.0 from the cover disk DVD from one of the magazines I subscribe to.
Actually I have had this issue before when I downloaded Openoffice.org 2.0 and I had to once
again install it from the version available on the magazine cover DVD. So it seems I will
have to wait when its available on the magazine cover DVD.
Moving around with your settings
One of the most useful portable applications that I use is Firefox Portable. This helps me to use Firefox but will all my usual bookmarks and extensions irrespective of what PC I use. This is quite useful for me because my bookmarks contain most of the sites that help me with my work.
I think the second most important application would have to be Thunderbird Portable. Once in a while I use Mail2Web to access my e-mail but while you can read and sent e-mail quite alright you won't have access to your address book and this is where Thunderbird Portable comes handy.
The one portable application but I haven't tried yet but will be trying soon is XAMPP. This is an integrated
server package of Apache, mySQL, PHP and phpMyAdmin that will allow you to do your
development from a USB flash drive and until I try it out I can't say any more.
File transfer using FileZilla
I have always tended to use my host's File Manager for file transfer and its alright as long as I am dealing with a few files. Unfortunately thats not always the case hence my need for good FTP client software. With FileZilla I can just copy entire folders from the local machine to the remote machine something I cant do with my host's File Manager.
You can also go ahead and rename the files and folders and perform whatever manipulation but what's exciting about it all is the speed of execution. Everything looks like its running on the local machine.
However, its a good idea to go on and make sure that the transferred files or folders have the desired permissions once they have been transferred. My test files 'lost' their permission settings after transferring and I had to reset the permissions. For example some of the files had just read only access but they ended up with read and write. Its an easy process to change file permissions though through FileZilla as this is handled quite neatly and as always its good practice to check that files and folders have permissions you intended in the first place whatever method you use for file transfer.
The C++ source code is also available for download should one want to look at the code.
I was also quite pleased with the fact that I just downloaded and installed FileZilla and it
worked using the default settings. Obviously I will now start tinkering about and modify the
settings to suit my particular needs.
Which flavour of Linux?
I get Ubuntu on the DVDs on the covers of the PC magazines that I subscribe to which is a good start and also a friend recommended Ubuntu to me.
OpenOffice Writer Thesaurus
Its not often that I use the Thesaurus menu but there are times when I just have to use it and
if its unavailable its a bit annoying.