Okay, so I brought up this one in Distro-hoppers anon, and since nobody is chiming in with new projects in the community group project, I've got some spare time on my hands. Keeping in mind that I'm taking about 16 hours of classes, have a full-time job, and have tons of family stuff that if I don't do my wife will destroy me, and would really prefer to be working on getting more software out there for the masses...I'll still do my very best to keep this thread updated regularly.
Part 1, the setup!
Well, sitting under my desk with a highly tweaked Debian install on it I have this absolutely horrible piece of machinery.
It's an E-machine's E725 that I got from a guy who was like, "Do you want this?" I took it, and used it for distro hopping for a while. It's been home to Statler, Waldorf, Arch, Gentoo, Open SuSE, u/X/k/lubuntu, Knoppix, Puppy, and a slew of other distros. The "m" key sticks. The case is made of cheap plastic that feels like a dollar-store toy. It's a horrible little laptop that will honestly sit under my desk forever unless I come up with some reason to use it.
Part 2, the Quest!
Have you ever looked at the repos and thought, "Hmmm. I'd install that music player, but I already have a good one...and there's no reason to switch?" Me too. I get into the habit of using the things that I use and not really taking the time to really give other things a chance. Some of the best pieces of software are things that I had seen, but simply passed over because they didn't really try to sell themselves to me (such as moc, and I'm so glad that I eventually gave it a chance.) I'd like to take the time to really try out new things, and as luck would have it, I don't have to pay money to try out software on GNU/Linux most of the time. It stands to reason that a long journey through the mountains of free software could only benefit me.
Part 3, Proofread
You guys ask a lot out of me. You want me to count consecutively to 4? I'm a programmer, not a professional counter. (In passing, I have managed to accidentally explain why software crashes. I can get the parenthesis correct, but can't count.
Part 4, the Preparation
I am going to install a nice, shiny, new #! 10 x 64 on here (because I don't want to have to reconfigure the freaking video for Waldorf...it's a hardware thing) and start going through this thread about people's favorite apps over here. Every time I see something that I don't generally use...I'm going to go get it and put it on here. after that, I'll attempt to at least provide some useful information about what the software does, how it's written, why I like/dislike certain parts, how easy it is to configure, system resource usage, and anything that really stands out about it.
If you guys want to see me try out your favorite programs, or something that you threw up on Github, or whatever...then simply ask. when I run out of HDD space, I'll wipe and restart until I cannot reasonably come up with any reason to continue.
Last edited by DebianJoe (2013-04-20 19:31:42)
Lots of software to consider in that fine thread by Tunafish:
Have fun Joe and I'm waiting to see what you will come up with
What's part 3 going to be?
I love a mystery
I don't like the number 3.
Edit: added Part 3 to create some sense of "flow." (I need to find out if there's some secret religious group that doesn't use the number 3, that way I can claim that I'm being oppressed for my beliefs.)
Last edited by DebianJoe (2013-04-20 19:33:02)
Day 1: Elinks
Well, I probably won't be uninstalling Iceweasel for Elinks anytime soon. For those of you totally unfamiliar with Elinks, it's a CLI web browser. I previously have always used w3m, so I thought I'd at least check it out. I thought about posting a screen-shot of the beauty of this beast, but decided that you'd actually be able to save bandwidth by either downloading it at it's massive 1,372.0 kb...or just open a terminal and type "Google ___________" and stare at it.
Now, I guess that I should give it credit for what it's really useful for. It does have HTTP and proxy authentication, supports tabs, background downloading with a que, and java/ruby/lua/and GNU guile scripting. Assuming that you were doing a totally minimal net install, it would be a fantastic tool to go to a website to check to see what mirrors were available. Or (and this is a hypothetical that would never actually occur to someone as careful as I am about backing things up O:) )....you broke Xserver because you were playing with Wayland packages, you could use Elinks (as opposed to wget and emacs/vi) to go to the internet to search for how to reconfigure files like they used to be before you got carried away. That makes it a super-useful tool for anyone who is fond of trying out random things just to see what they do. One thing that I noticed is that it actually does work with g-mail...and I am pretty certain that w3m failed at this task the last time that I attempted it. Going with the previous "I broke Xserver" example: what if you not only needed to look up how to fix your broken X, but also needed to send an e-mail to your wife to tell her that you were out of coffee at the office (assuming that your cell phone was still at home.) Well ELINKS TO THE RESCUE!
Okay, so now to the downsides. It doesn't seem to hold the original formatting nearly as well as w3m does. This is by no means a deal-breaker for me, as if you're really concerned with what the web artist was trying to communicate with elaborate bits of CSS, you're probably not going to be using a CLI to browse with.
Honestly, for a useful utility, I think really highly of it now that I've played with it a bit. For more information, including how to hack it up and add style to it (because that's worth at least 50 hipster points at the local coffee shop and will improve how much you can show off with in desktop threads), check out Xteddy's website. I would imagine that it would also be a perfect fit for a "just how low can I get on resources" or "I want to get way into the raspberry Pi" kinds of uses.
I love the idea behind this thread - "I suppose it is tempting, when your only tool is a framing hammer, to see everything as dimensional lumber." Lovely write-up of elinks; I never realized there was a cli browser that played OK with Gmail!
Is this intended to be a personal software blog-like thread, or are you inviting the rest of us to contribute here as well?
Is this intended to be a personal software blog-like thread, or are you inviting the rest of us to contribute here as well?
I would love it if other people would contribute. I'm a very small slice of the user base, and I'm certainly going to miss a lot of good stuff about some programs. I'd also like to have someone who didn't use some of the programs that I regularly use fire back about how they feel (for instance, I need a vim guy/girl to do a real review of emacs.) I just want myself and everyone else to get outside of their comfort zone and really take a look at what all is out there.
Day 2: medit
Well, I did do the whole Statler install because as I had said, "I don't want to have to reconfigure graphics again," but...Statler is old. So, I whipped out the old Waldorfx64 disk and did a fresh install. Since I had to do some basic bash scripting to get the graphics on this piece of junk laptop to work again, I decided I'd try out a new text editor in the process. It's always good to kill two birds with one stone.
So, I did the whole, "nomodeset" install and changed grub parameters, and then decided that I'd hack rc.local and make a shiny NEW bash script to deal with those annoying times when you wake up from a suspend to RAM...and the backlight goes low again. So, I looked at the big old list of text editors and pulled "medit" out of the hat to see what I've been missing.
Me using medit for standard bash editing, and using it's included terminal emulator.
More screenshots of it being used are available here.
Okay, so looking into this little piece of software, I learned that it's actually "Mooedit" (which gives it +5 points as it has a fun name). It's a multi-platform editor (Win and Unix compatible), and this may actually prove to be a big reason why I don't think that it's a good fit for minimal GNU/Linux systems. It seems to be a project that was originally packaged with GGAP (the GUI front end for the GAP computer algebra system), but has grown into its own niche market. If you go to their Bitbucket, you'll see that about 6 of the last 7 commits were "visual studio" related. This doesn't really bode well for an editor who's going to be running the gauntlet against some really superb little guys in the same class (gedit, emacs, vim, geany, etc). I'll admit that it's nice to have things that are cross-platform, so that if you get used to using it, you could always put it your coworkers' computers or carry it around on a flash to work on almost any system. The thing is, it's not quite Notepad++...and it's certainly not emacs. It's just not there yet.
On the other hand, assuming that you want to change how the syntax highlights, you can do that with little difficulty. It has support for configurable keyboard accelerators, so if you're used to "meta - n", then you can make it respond to that instead of it's standard layout. It's got a little "tools" area on the top bar, which is sparse on initial install, but plugins for this can be written in Python, C, lua or shell script. I'm sure that with enough time and hacking, this little guy would be a monster. Plus, it's got a terminal emulator frame which is just a button-press away at all times. That's a nice little addition. It supports a markup list out of the box that I'm not going to take the time to type out, but just know that it's a lot of freaking options. There is an open bug list that seems to have regular updates and the owners seem (to me at least) to be working on improving it in any way that they can. That's a good thing. The wiki certainly needs some work as it's pretty much just a default page with some links to their main page on it.
All in all, I managed to write up my "backlight.sh" script, make it executable from the terminal emulator, and it did save without crashing. I didn't really ask it to do too much, but for what I did...it worked perfectly well.
this is an awesome project
if only i had the time to follow suit
do you want to become a tester to get shit other people can't compile/build
or just stuff out of the repo's
heres one for you to look at anyway
doesnt get much love i dont think
but it has been my default forever
So come up to the lab...
And see what's on the slab
@appretice. I'm just hoping to see more of the software world than I'm used to and share it with others. It doesn't really matter where it comes from (repositories, git, source that some dude built using alphabet soup), just that I've not ever used it. I want other people to join in the fun too. I've run across some really great things just by trying out something new previously. If you never take the scenic route, you miss a lot of good stuff.
Day 3: X File Explorer (xfe)
On the behalf of apprentice, I checked into xfe (X File Explorer).
First and foremost, File Managers are possibly the most boring subject ever. I mean...they allow you a way to look at your file system. I certainly wasn't about to call the kids over and be like, "Hey look at my '/etc/' folder....isn't it wonderful!" The flip side of that is that they make keeping up a very populated file system so much easier.
When I first opened xfe (as I pulled the theme pack too, because apt said it was a good idea) I noticed that it was pretty snappy on my hardware. Now, Jarvis (Core2/3GB RAM) isn't exactly stone-age, but it's not bleeding edge either. I come from the wilderness of Arch and Debian Net Install land, where being quick and lightweight is more of an art than a necessity sometimes. I use minimalistic builds on my A8 with 12GB of RAM, and my thoughts on how software should function are colored by that. That being said, this one made me smile immediately. It didn't require a huge KDE or Gnome dependency list. For it to be functional, all you need is the FOX library. I was surprised by this a little, because the initial pull seemed a bit large for a really minimal file manager, but that's possibly because there are lots of pre-packaged tools (X file view, X file write, X file Image, X file Package, etc.) for dealing with how you can edit the files inside of it. These aren't really very bloated, and since #! comes with pretty much every basic editor/viewer you'd truly need....I didn't test each little part individually. I can see both advantages and disadvantages of have a toolset integrated. This one is something that each user will have to decide if they like or dislike about it.
So, onward to actually using it. OOTB it looks like something from WinXP. It can be operated in 4 modes without any real work: one panel, directory tree and one panel, two panels, and directory tree and two panels. After playing with it for a bit, I changed up the color sets, icon themes, and set a few "bookmarks." All of that was very intuitive and simple. Then, I noticed that from a user-level log in, I can switch on the fly without having to reopen xfe, to root (su or sudo supported.) It has support for archive packaging/unpackaging from the GUI, a path-linker, drag-n-drop support, a que for playing multimedia, UTF-8 support (well, FOX has it, and you have to have FOX...so I guess that you can call this a feature of the file manager), and I'm sure there's probably a lot of little features that I haven't personally checked into because I don't have the attention span required to sit and really go through every possible option available on a file manager of any kind. If I've missed something major, perhaps someone who uses it regularly (*cough* appretice *cough*) might be so kind as to point it out.
The keybindings were very intuitive. The responsiveness was great. It's layout may not be for everyone as it's obviously designed for functionality over flair, but all in all, I really like it. I'm possibly biased because it's a good choice for minimal systems, it's written in c++ (thus making it a playground for me to hack in), and well...it does most of what I'd expect out of a file manager. It manages files.
xfe's Documents Page for those interested in learning more.
I love medit... have used it for years after gedit went on the bloat ride
Gonna have to check out XFE...
Great thread DJ, well done mate!
Feel free to link any pertinent How To's to this thread as well.. there are a lot of good reviews in the How To's that have already been written
VSIDO | Words That Build Or Destroy
I dev VSIDO
Nice thread. Only ever used elinks a small amount. Have used uzbl and surf quite a bit recently though. I'll make a comparison post of suckless' surf if nobody else does. Good threadin'.
Day 4: Amarok
Okay, so it's really day 3.5, but I just had a killer day in the gym (benched my bodyweight for a set of 11...and I'm not a little guy) and have a busy day planned for tomorrow, so I'd rather get in some testing today if I'm going to be out of place tomorrow. So today, I thought I'd take on what may be one of the most highly ranked pieces of open-source software I've seen in it's class.
A short disclaimer: When I was a younger guy studying chemistry and computer programming in college...living off of ramen noodles and booze, I used to play music to pay my rent (and buy ramen noodles and booze, lots and lots of booze.) I've still got 13 guitars and a bunch of old Vox amps sitting around. I've got the Les Paul that Joan Jett signed when we played with her hanging over my fireplace. All in all, what I'm trying to get to here, is that I love music. REALLY love me some music. I don't know how this will affect my review, but I might be considered an audiophile by some.
So first...I downloaded amarok (all 293MB of it). I'm pretty sure that it comes with KDE (all of it) as there were so many QT4 libs that I couldn't count them all. Then I fired it up. It took about twice as long as my boot time to load, and then popped up with a big splash screen that covered the "alert box" that I needed to click to tell it where I was located. So, I grabbed the corner of the box, dragged it down so that I could click "Ok" and then both of them gave way to something that I could screenshot to show the actual program. (Oh look, it has streams already set up, and since I haven't put any music on Jarvis yet...let's see.....how about some trance music *boosh boosh boosh boosh*.)
Let's get this out of the way first. I have mentioned that I'm all about minimalism. From this point forward, I'd like to recommend some new additions to our vocabulary as I'm pretty sure that "amarok" should now be a synonym for "bloat." As in, "Unity might not be so bad if it wasn't for all of the 'amarok' that Canonical throws in there."
-New dictionary entires-
Bloat: See "Amarok"
Amarok: See "Bloat"
The streaming worked great OOTB. I threw a flash with some MP3's on it onto the computer and they played too. Ok, so it plays music. Well, moc plays my music too...and streams, but at a fraction of the overhead. So, I decided to see what it offers that's different than what I'm used to. Well the media sources panel shows that I can load up libraries that I already have, stream from a bunch of preloaded sites, ...purchase music from the online Amazon store (Richard Stallman just died a little right), and download independent artists' music. Okay, the independent artist thing is pretty cool. I wouldn't say that it's necessary to be packaged with your music player, but it's not a bad touch. It seems to be compatible with FLAC, Ogg, Opus, MP3, AAC, WAV, Windows Media Audio, Apple Lossless, WavPack, TTA and Musepack. It doesn't have support for digital music embedded with DRM. It associates music with corresponding album covers that it gets....from....Amazon (RMS still does not approve.) There's support for tagging songs, and setting up playlists (or using a smart or dynamic playlist, that allows scripting to include all kinds of extra data such as "ratings" because I guess some people can't remember if they liked the song the last time they heard it.) It has an "Addon script" option that allows...you...to...download...MORE stuff, which appears to be user-submitted scripts.
Let's just copy-paste their "technical" data: Three main window panes: playlist browser, collection and player window. Systray icon support. Song collection, which includes specific folders on the filesystem. Searching Files/Artists/Album/Genre in Collection can be performed using Simple and Advanced options. Intelligent Playlists support(Dynamic Playlists) Integration with online services such as Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, Last.fm and Shoutcast. Amarok File Tracking (since 1.4.3): Stores file checksum in the collection. This allows the file be moved around in the filesystem without Amarok losing track of the song statistics (because once you move your song...you might forget if you liked it). Collection filter (newest songs, highest rated, most played, etc.). Support for Phonon engine. The backend of Phonon dictates which media types Amarok can play and how they play, but the stock Phonon won't open a mixer with Crunchbang, which depressed me. I really wanted up crank the bass on my tiny little laptop speakers while listening to the "boosh boosh boosh boosh". When using Xine, Amarok supports crossfading, but not seeking in seekpointless FLAC files. When using Gstreamer, Amarok supports seeking and gapless playback, but not crossfading.
Support for moodbars. Uses TagLib for tags. Amarok can be controlled via D-Bus. And, as you'd expect, it supports QTscript.
I ran across something during this test that made me laugh out loud. It seems that once upon a time, Amarok was released on a live CD whose sole purpose was to "demonstrate Amarok." Holy cowsay! It's its own distro. I'm going to start telling people that I run Amarok Linux with KDE, just for laughs. I've actually ran smaller total distros (Puppy/Damn Small Linux.)
There is absolutely something that I've missed, as it has so much stuffed into it that no one person could pick it up and learn it all in a day. So check out The AmaroK website for more details. This is another one that I probably won't be using beyond today because it clashes hard with my minimalistic mentality. On the other hand if you've ever though, "Man I sure wish my Music player could _______" then amarok very possibly has an option for that, and it's probably animated.
I would imagine that amarok is pretty far removed from what most of the people who like Crunchbang would prefer. It's not easily hackable, lightweight, or very sleek looking. I'm sure that someone loves it, but it's just far too much for me to really dig.
I found this one http://flavio.tordini.org/musique to be mildly interesting (at least it doesn't pretend to be smart and all technical & has a nice face imho).
edit: my try at version 1.2.1, deb https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/795 … _amd64.deb
md5: 22ac5c43cef1c0a3645f287cf59e0009 musique_1.2.1-1_amd64.deb
(weirdness: Can't seem to find an expected option to find album picture from playlist even in 1.2.1)
p.s. If I'am stealing your thread, let me know.
Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2013-04-22 22:02:45)
@brontosarusrex, nah bro...you're more than welcome to contribute. My threads are all under the GPL v 2 and thus, belong to everyone.
I honestly went into this one expecting that I'd be able to ignore the bloat of it because I'm really into music (and by proxy, music players.) That didn't really happen. I still stick by the fact that I like to listen to music, not look at album art and fidget with scripting a ranking system. moc has served me well, and I'll keep using it until something that really impresses me comes along. If you are wanting me to check out the above, then I'll do it, though. I'll probably skip to another subtopic for the next few days (not tomorrow, I have to review other people's work and mow my yard), but there's no way that the subject of music software is done yet. I'll gladly revisit it again.
-New dictionary entries-
Bloat: See "Amarok"
Amarok: See "Bloat"
moc has served me well, and I'll keep using it until something that really impresses me comes along.
I know what you are after, but i had a feeling this thread is about alternatives? (You will not be using amarok either, i hope ...), musique is like pink ponies here.
Day 5: mComix
Well, testing went well yesterday. Got the reviews done, did great on my little test at school (keep in mind, I'm an older guy going back to school,) got my yard work taken care of...not too bad of a day. My neighbor popped his head over my fence while I was mowing ala Wilson from Home Improvement, and apologized for knocking golf balls into my yard. I told him I'd just throw them back over the fence to him, and since I didn't hear any breaking glass or audible screams...I guess they all ended up where I meant to throw them. I appreciate good neighbors, who even though they are knocking golf balls into your yard, are nice enough to warn the big shaven-headed goatee'd guy to be careful to not mow over them.
Anyhow, todays review is one I was really excited about. I still love comics. I don't go to the comic store anymore, but the wife and I will totally sit down and watch the Avengers pretty often. I can pretty well explain any of the major happenings in the Marvel Universe up through Fear Itself, and my 1-year-old can say "Dada," "Mama," "Love You," and "Batman." I will always have a soft spot in my heart for comic books.
So, I saw mComix and got really excited. I have a 500GB flash drive filled with old .cbz and .cbr comics, and so I broke those out for this test. It's almost a miracle that I didn't just sit down and read a bunch of them and forget to write anything for the day. For today's screenshot, there's not much going on other than the program itself.
I guess technically, it's a general use image viewer. There's a lot of those, so let's really focus on what it was truly made for. It has the ability to read from ZIP, RAR, 7Zip, LHA or tar/gz/bz2 archives without unpacking them to a separate directory. When you get a scanned comic book, 9 times out of 10, this is how they come. For most of the comic archives that I have, they're other people's scans of books that I have still packaged. This saves the comc fan from having to destroy their books in order to actually read them over and over, thus making it so that the collectors and the readers can share the joy of actually seeing whats inside the book.
I've used the oldest 4.0.4 package of Comix previously, but mComix is a fork that picks up development after the Comix project dropped off in 2009. The mComix guys/gals are still working on keeping up bug fixes and working on stability...none of which did I have an issue with while testing it. Everything seemed to work seamlessly. It's written in Python 2 (2.5+ supported), and uses GTK+ and PyGTK dependencies. Now, in order to open .cbr files (comic-book .rar archives) you'll have to have a separate unrar program, which will be pulled in my mcomix to actually unpack the files for reading.
As far as functionality is concerned, it is a pretty standard image-viewer with fullscreen mode, double-page mode, fit image to window width, height or both. It did exactly what I had hoped for. I had no trouble with any format of compression supported. It has a wonderful "clicky the buttons to scroll...lag at the page end....flip to next page" interface, and if you have multiple archives in a single directory, it will lag at the end of one archive before opening the next one in sequential order (ie: Book 1, Book2, Book3...in the order they are placed in the directory.) This is a very nice little transition if you're reading a series.
Surprisingly for a Python2 program, it's very lightweight and snappy. It fits all of my requirements for being considered minimalistic and still performing the job it was intended for perfectly. I thought that perhaps I was being a little bit too forgiving for this project because it's something that I had gone without for a while, and then I ran across their sourceforge review page. It would appear that they have exactly 1 negative review so far. Everyone seems to agree that this particular fork of a classic is really a superb example of what open-source is all about.
It comes in Debian's official repos, as source, and also as a prepackaged Windows binary (which includes all of the python you'd need to actually make it work.) If you're interested in digital comic archives, seriously, take my advice and check this one out. It's just about as close to what my idea of "perfect simplicity" should be as anything has ever been.
Day 6: Bluefish
I am not now, and have never claimed to be a web developer. The only real experience I have with HTML is what I took back in my freshman year of college for the "Introduction to Baby Computing" or whatever that class was called. Anything that I've ever made with HTML would probably look just as good on a CLI browser as it would on FF/Chromium/etc.
That being said, I'm going to do my best on this one. If I can make it work, then ANYONE should be able to. (Oh no, you don't start HTML with <stdio.h>? How does this make anything?)
First and foremost for any of the grab-bag tests is how bloated does it seem. Honestly, this one was pretty sparse for a GUI editor. Even installed, it was under 10MB. I don't know if I'd call it truly minimal (as I'm sure that someone who really knows web coding well could do this without any GUI tools), but it certainly isn't filled with a lot of "amarok." It opens quickly and seems to handle multiple tabs very well. According to the information on it, it has been tested to open >10,000 documents at the same time. I have no idea why you'd ever need that, but it's cool. If you customize settings, they restore for that project on reopening. It has multi-threaded support for remote files using gvfs, supporting FTP, SFTP, HTTP, HTTPS, WebDAV, and CIFS. I played around with the "search and replace" option, and was pretty impressed with the ability to change "dog" to "cat"...but according to people who actually know what you should be putting into a web-page, it has support for Perl Compatible regular expressions, sub-pattern replacing, and search and replace in files on disk. (Wait a minute....these features aren't HTML specific....just a second guys, I'm about to play a bit:)
Ok, now to get down to reviewing the actual software since I pulled it with pacman and realized I can open code that makes sense to me with it. This thing integrates with GNUmake, which is cool. I went ahead and checked into it, and it would appear to also integrate with lint, weblint, xmllint, tidy, javac, or you can pipe info out of it directly to a script of your own. It has a pretty decent buffer as I used "undo" on about 25 steps, and then put them all back. Not sure how many steps it will handle, but it doesn't seem to have a limit. The spell-checker that comes on it can differentiate between languages other than HTML (pretty cool.) It also has some "auto completion" options that integrate with C/C++, and it will auto tag-close to some degree...even when nesting scripting inside of another language. I have no idea what zencoding is....but it has an option for it if that means something to you.
I do like the tree-dialog on the left hand side of the screen which allows quick access to your directory structure. I'm sure that's nice if web guys like to span multiple directories when creating. The "tabs" options on it allow you to quickly format indent spaces (such as 4 space indents), and it does support framing within a single document so that you can look at multiple parts of code spaced far away from one another simultaneously. There is also support for multiple encodings (UTF-8 standard, but also ISO 8859-1/15 OOTB) which is a nice touch. The GUI allows linking to a lot of options (style sheets/picture/movies/tables/forms), which I can only assume is a feature. It also allows recursive file opening...pretty sweet.
I'd love it if I could get feedback from a web-developer on how it works for what it was actually designed for. I simply am not enough of a pro with HTML to do it justice, but since it also seems to be able to deal with files that are WAY outside of something you'd put on a web-page, I am certainly impressed.
Day 7: Two for One Day, Freemind/Hugin
Well, I looked at the big scary list of stuff that I could do today, and remembered that someone here on the forums had mentioned using Xmind with #!. I had to look up what Xmind was, and thought "Hmm. We have guys that I work with that call big meetings together where they do stuff like this." Now, these guys normally wear ties and suits and don't have superheros on their desktops. They also don't really want to know how the magic happens, but when we come up with a really great idea, they pat themselves on the back for "motivating" us to crank up some music and take some old junk and make crazy answers because new parts and technology isn't in the budget. I thought I'd give it a shot for today's brainstorming session on what I'd review.
I don't know how to do this right, but it did lead me in the direction of something that we do have a good option for in open source software. By the way, FreeMind (the mind-mapping software shown above) is probably useful for making maps that I would normally use a pencil and paper for. Assuming that this is the kind of thing that you do, it seems to make lines and stuff in a pretty intuitive manner.
After thinking and playing with this for a second, I asked my wife to take some pictures (she was going to the store anyhow, and has a camera, and that's all you really need for photo editing, right?) She came back and threw her SD card at me and started complaining about how there's no good scenery around here.
So I'll share a photo of someone else using it.
When I first booted this guy up, all of the word were stacked on top of one another. (Not a good way to start a test guys.) After maximizing the program, it took all of the stacked up wording and threw it to the corners of the screen in what was now a semi-organized way. I used the "wizard" for my first attempt to see if I could at least grasp the basics of how this thing worked, which prompted me to import all of the pictures that were to be stitched together. I uploaded the 4 photos that my wife had taken and clicked on the next step button. It ran some (was that bash?) scripting in the background and then informed me that there were 72 matching points in the supplied photos. Sweet!
Eventually, after some cropping and such, I did manage to make a cohesive panorama. I'm not going to say that it's particularly easy to understand as you'll not be looking at a final product for most of the important steps. I did notice that on their main page that there are a list of tutorials, and if you were going to really get into using this software regularly, I'm certain that those would be worth your time. It would at least help to prevent my "what does this button do?" moments from being your main source to get comfortable with the software.
It's cross-platform (well, the base is, but it supports Python scripting for plugins...so I can't promise you that additional features will be available on all systems.) To see some really great examples of the work by someone who knows what they're doing with it, check out this link right here. There are some fine pieces of work on display. Assuming that you really want to understand the technology that they're attempting to base their software on, I found a really interesting paper on Radiometric Alignment and Vignetting Calibration. There's a lot of information on this one, and parts of it are probably more specific to photographers than to the general users.
It seems to be pretty neat at first glance, but I honestly don't think that I can do it justice. I can't tell you if this is minimal for what it does or not, as this is WAY outside of anything that I've previously used or would ever need. It does seem to be really glitchy, but I didn't have any full failures during testing.
moc has served me well
but there's no way that the subject of music software is done yet
I'll gladly revisit it again
but due to time and brain power i have had no luck
if it looks interesting give it a whirl
keep 'em coming
So come up to the lab...
And see what's on the slab