The GNOME 2 Desktop Environment
The improvement in GNOME 2 that will most directly affect increasing free software's desktop market share is accessibility for people with disabilities. “The US government can now use open-source desktop solutions, which wasn't going to happen otherwise because of government regulations”, says Pennington. He adds:
It also benefits normal users in a lot of ways. For instance, one of the accessibility requirements is full keyboard navigation [mentioned above]. You can do just about anything from the keyboard now. Also, themes have been enhanced because of accessibility regulations: color contrasts, default font size and so on.
With the accessibility barrier eliminated, Linux's target market has been expanded greatly, and options for all users have been improved in the process. Pennington says, “Sun Microsystems first brought accessibility to GNOME's attention. It was a huge project involving a couple years of work and about 20 developers. We're very excited about it and we're proud of what has been accomplished.”
Besides the system configuration menus mentioned above, in the main menu there are several other menus for launching applications. A menu labeled Accessories includes a calculator, a dictionary and a simple text editor (gedit). Under the menu labeled Office, OpenOffice is included along with Dia for creating organizational charts and flowcharts, along with MrProject for project management. The Graphics menu provides links to The GIMP and a few other image manipulation programs. The Games menu includes many games, some of which utilize the GNOME libraries: a couple solitaire games, a few popular line-up-the-dots games, a GNOME version of Minefield, Mahjongg and several others. I can't list all of the applications installed by default, but as you can see, streamlining the GNOME menus did not short-change the user.
Probably the best application that makes use of the GNOME libraries is Ximian's e-mail client, Evolution. It was rated by Linux Journal in November 2002 as one of readers' favorite e-mail clients available for Linux. Evolution allows for multiple POP and IMAP accounts. It comes with e-mail filtering, spell checking and the ability to attach binary files. Although it works with standard POP and IMAP servers as is, with the addition of Ximian's proprietary Connector, users can connect to a Microsoft Exchange server for group address books and appointment planning—an important compatibility component.
One feature of Evolution that other e-mail programs don't have is virtual folders. “V-Folders allow the user more flexibility and ease of organizing e-mails—they're contextual views of your messages. That is something completely unique to Evolution”, says Christine McLellan, senior product manager for Evolution. For example, in addition to a view of e-mail shown in the inbox in which messages can be sorted by date, subject or sender, a virtual folder is provided that shows only the unread messages. This virtual folder can make working through new messages quick and easy. Virtual folders also can be set up for messages with certain subjects or from certain people. A word of caution though, if you delete a message in a virtual folder, it's deleted from all folders at the same time.
The GNOME Foundation has made fabulous improvements to the desktop, and they have achieved much-needed consistency and stability with GNOME 2. “None of this would have happened without our developers, hundreds of which aren't paid by GNOME and are not sponsored by their employers”, says Ney. At this point, the Foundation's plans are to release stable updates every six months, with the next one (v. 2.4) scheduled for June 2003. Version 2.4 will include a Nautilus drag-and-drop CD burner function and more improvements to fonts. With their commitment to scheduled improvements to the desktop, GNOME has become a desktop environment that can be relied on by businesses, users and developers.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide