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A Host For Native Linux VST Plugins ?

Fully functional support for the VST plugin standard is one of the most important remaining problems for the Linux audio world. VST plugins are ubiquitous in the Win/Mac audio worlds, they are employed extensively in professional and desktop music software, and it may be no exaggeration to claim that the VST standard has revolutionized computer-based creation of music and sound. Given its great popularity this writer believes that stable VST support would give Windows users a compelling reason to try Linux as an alternate or replacement platform, especially if they have a sizeable investment of money and experience in their collection of VST plugins. more>>

New Releases Lead to Better Ruby Testing

The last week or so has seen new releases of two of my favorite additions to testing (or speccing if you're of the BDD persuasion) in the Ruby world. zenspider and Kevin Clark have released a new version of Heckle on the 20th, and Mauricio Fernandez released a new version of rcov this morning (the 21st). more>>

Ruby Performance

Antonio Cangiano posted a Ruby Implementation Shootout on his blog last week. While it's an interesting piece (and will likely be more interesting over time), it's still very premature. more>>

Commercial Linux Transforming the Community? Or Do They Need a Wakeup Call?

Last week, I had the privilege of addressing the North Texas Linux Users Group. Ralph Green asked me to present information on my upcoming book called "Linux System Administration" by O'Reilly. I only had the digital images of the cover and gallies, since the book actually goes to press in early March. So, I showed my digital images. more>>

Recent GNOME panel apps

The basic set of GNOME panel apps ranges from the practical, such as clocks and system monitors, to the mildly amusing, but apparently too traditional to dispense with, such as Fish. However, in the last few years, an increasing number of GNOME applications are being designed to fit into the panel. Since many of these recent apps are interesting but too minor to rate a full-length review, here's a roundup of some that have caught my attention. Although all of them are in early release, each hints at new functionality and levels of customization that might soon be available on the desktop. more>>

Configuring OpenOffice.org Writer

Like other OpenOffice.org applications, Writer has dozens of options available from Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org Writer. These options allow you to adjust both the general settings of Writer and specific options for different kinds of formatting. Many are ideal for desktop publishing, and a similar set of options is available for web documents under Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org Writer/Web. more>>

Is there a secret story behind the Novell/Microsoft deal?

Was the Novell/Microsoft deal a worthwhile well-meaning effort between renegade open-source geeks at Microsoft and geeks at Novell that got derailed by salespeople and management, after which it was turned into a nightmare deal with the devil? I raise this question because I know someone with ties to people at both Microsoft and Novell. He has a credible story to tell about what really happened, and how much it differs from what we now know about the Novell/Microsoft deal. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get him to write up the history - yet. While I continue to pester him, here's the short version, third hand. more>>

Save the BBC from Windows DRM! - Update

The BBC has a long and glorious past as a technological innovator. Throughout the history of broadcasting, it has often been the first to develop and promote new technologies. Sadly, it seems now to be teetering on the brink of making technical choices that will not only damage its own reputation as a world-class institution, but which will also have serious knock-on consequences for free software. more>>

Building an Relationship Economy

Is there something new that open source development methods and values can bring to the economy? How about something old?

I think the answer may come from the developing world, where pre-industrial methods and values persist and offer some helpful models and lessons for a networked world that's less post-industrial than industrial in a new and less impersonal way.

This began to become apparent to me a few years ago I had a Socratic exchange with a Nigerian pastor named Sayo, whom I was lucky to find sitting next to me on a long airplane trip. more>>

Mix Libre

It's a mixed bag this week from Studio Dave. I'll skip the preliminaries and just invite you to dive in and check out some of the latest news from the ever-expanding world of Linux sound and music software. There's far more going on than I can possibly cover in my allotted space, but here's a quick survey of some recent remarkable activity.

more>>

Putting the Wholes Together

If incoming mail contains the word "identity" it goes to a mailbox I started in late 2004. It has over 7000 emails in it now. The majority of those are from the Identity Gang list.

The Identity Gang got its name when it first met informally on the December 31, 2004 edition of Gillmor Gang. I've lost track of how many workshops and meetings and other exercizes in convergence we've had, but the progress continues to be amazing.

I just looked at what Eric Norlin of IDG wrote here, then at what Scott Kveton of JanRain wrote here then at what Kim Cameron of Microsoft wrote here — to pick just three out of countless posts, all connected somehow. You can see the progress in just one month.

This observation comes in the midst of thinking about a form of Vendor Relationship Management that has the same initials as CRM, but a different meaning: Creator Relationship Management.

I would like to relate to creators in a better, less intermediated way. more>>

Let There Be Light: Promoting OpenOffice.org with Sun

The OpenDocument Format (ODF) just keeps on getting stronger. It is now an official ISO standard; there are numerous applications that support it, with varying degrees of fidelity, including Google's online word processor and spreadsheet; there's an official Microsoft-funded plug-in for Microsoft Office that allows it to open and save ODF files, and a program that converts between ODF and the Chinese UOF XML office format; and the ODF community has largely sorted out issues of accessibility that threatened to de-rail its adoption by Massachusetts. more>>

Now revealed! Secrets of line spacing in OpenOffice.org Writer

The fact that OpenOffice.org Writer is more than a word processor is an open secret. Designed to write long documents, Writer is in many ways a document processor comparable to FrameMaker, suitable for designing books and dissertations while falling short of a complete desktop publishing solution. For this reason, it includes a number of tools for tweaking lines of text, including Tools > Language > Hyphenation and the tools for adjusting character width and letter space for individual characters. However, by far the least understood of these high-end tools is Writer's ability to adjust line-spacing. more>>

LDAP: Attributes and Keeping Them Simple

A consensus exists among many writers about jargon. Throw a bunch of undefined words at a reader and he or she will soon fall asleep. In fact, put one term in a paragraph that the reader doesn't understand and a page or two later sleep will start to creep and the reader will lose interest. more>>

Microsoft Tries to Patent a Crippled Baseline OS

Microsoft is applying for a patent for an operating system that starts out crippled. You must pay to do things like take the throttle off network speed, disk access, install drivers, install software, and more. Trust me, I rarely even visit Groklaw, even if this is my second consecutive blog entry with a link to a Groklaw article. My VarLinux.org readers posted the article, A Brave New Modular World, and I had to share it. more>>

Regional Ruby Conferences Are Taking Shape

Last summer, I wrote about local Ruby events and the RubyConf*MI event that was (at that time) just announced. Since then, I've taken some time to write about regional conferences, and to encourage people to check out the Ruby Central grant program. more>>

LDAP: Replacing Exchange Revisited

LDAP can occupy numerous places in an IT infrastructure. For example, you can migrate Network Information Services (NIS) to LDAP and many Legacy UNIX centric organization have done just that. While the NIS migration model serves as one excellent example, many others exist. Most recently, I saw LDAP used as a simple white page - name and address - directory service. I consider that under utilizing LDAP. more>>

What happened to the guts?

What happened to the guts in mainstream publications? I recall back in the 80s InfoWorld pressured Lotus into ditching its copy protection scheme by docking Lotus 1-2-3 several points in reviews because of the inconvenience. I believe Lotus was the first to buckle, but other vendors jumped on the bandwagon and abandoned copy protection. Fast forward to today. Not only has copy protection come back from the grave, it has risen like a juggernaut zombie bent on eating everyone's brains. Worse, many consumers and writers alike seem to be unscrewing their scalps and willingly offering up the meal. "I want the latest iThing, it's so cool!" Sure, you'll find appropriate outrage in Linux Journal and a handful of renegade publications like the Register. But what happened to the mainstream journals with the guts of yesteryear? more>>

HD as the first step beyond TV

What comes after television? That's a question I've been asking at every Consumer Electronics Show. The answer, of course, is not just "more TV" but bigger and better TV, with better sound and higher resolutions, made possible by digital sources, processing and displays. In other words, computing and networking.

So does TV become just become a suburb of computing, or does the reverse happen? The TV folks imagine the latter. But the former is inevitable. Our job is to make the inevitable happen sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, we get to watch Big TV metasticize — and to enjoy what we can of it. more>>

The Software Ecology Of Rui Nuno Capela

Rui Capela's software has appeared in this column many times. I've written about it directly (see At the Sounding Edge: Using QSynth and QJackCtl and HDRs and DAWs For Linux: The New Breed) and it shows up in almost every article I write. I'm not exaggerating when I state that Rui's programs have become indispensable components here at Studio Dave, so naturally I'm interested in the mind behind it all. In this entry I'll recap the nature and state of Rui's software, after which we'll meet the man himself in another lively interview here at the sounding edge. more>>

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