When will Linux become the leading desktop
system? Many people (including your editor) are already using Linux
on the desktop for many years and don't even have a second
operating system installed. Why is Linux then taking off so slowly
on the desktop? There are certainly enough applications: Word
processors like Ted, KWord, Abiword, Openoffice, Applix ...,
web browsers like Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, konqueror.... but
what is wrong with these applications? Building a functional, well
structured and very stable desktop application is a long and
difficult task. Netscape and Mozilla have finally managed to have a
fast, customizable (different components, settings and Themes,
looks really cool!) browser but it is really lacking stability. You
can use it to visit well designed sites but many commercial sites
just crash the browser. Staroffice was known as the desktop on top
of the desktop. Many people did not like it at all. Openoffice is
now what you would expect from an office application. It can even
use (and print!) all your fonts including truetype fonts but it
dies when you click on frames or prints grabage when you
use different fonts on one page. I guess you understand what I mean.
We are still in the middle of the development and the few applications
rock solid, like Ted and Opera 5, do lack functionality. The result
is that you need to use several applications in parallel to work
around the problems. You find yourself visiting web sites A, B and
C with Opera while other sites are better viewed with Netscape.
What shall we do? Linux is one of the leading server operating
systems, it is a good operating system for embedded systems and it
is very good for software development. This is certainly just
the start of Linux on the desktop. I am very
sure that the situation will change in the near future.
Until then we need
to work together to support the development projects with bug reports,
code patches and get perhaps even involved in the design. I am
convinced that we will as well be strong on the desktop. It will
just take a little bit more time.
- GCC - the root
of all , by Lorne Bailey
GCC is a good compiler but the man-page is long and complex. This
article shows how to use the compiler under normal circumstances
-- and it is very easy to use.
to Ncurses , by Reha K. Gerçeker
Ncurses is a library that provides window functionallity to
- IOS, another
REBOLution , by Georges Tarbouriech
The Internet Operating System from Rebol is a very light weight
"group ware" application.
- Game Review -
Barrel Patrol 3D , by Harald Radke
Barrel Patrol 3D is a cute little 3d game, based on Ripoff, a
classical arcade game from the early 80's.
The LinuxFocus Tip
The Unix command diff is very
good to compare 2 text files line by line and you can easily see
which lines are different. Often it is however difficult to see
which characters within a line are changed. Here comes the emacs
diff mode. Ediff marks all the changes in color and makes it easy
to spot even the differences within a line . To start ediff open
emacs and type:
In the following dialog you just enter the 2 files you want to
diff. Put the cursor on the small popup that will appear and you
can jump from diff to diff with the n and p keys.
www.linuxprinting.org is a
very good source for printer drivers. For black and white Laser
printers and most color printers you will probably find very good
information about printer drivers. For recent color jet printers
you should also take a look at www.turboprint.de. Turboprint offers
commercial drivers for Linux but under fair conditions and you can
test the software before you buy. Your editor found that the
turboprint driver for his hp970c produces actually better results
than the original Linux driver from HP.