Articles / Category Reviews

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No avatar February 16, 2008 00:00 Open Source Software Testing Beyond Java

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As mentioned in my previous article on Open Source software testing tools, I am going to provide an overview of some more test tools hosted by SourceForge and continue to demonstrate how they can improve the quality and productivity of a development effort. The previous article focused on testing tools that can be used for applications written in Java and Web-based applications. This article will provide an overview of testing tools for SOAP, databases, Testing suites/frameworks, .Net, and Linux, among others. Some interesting new Java testing tools have also been developed since the time I wrote the previous article, and I would like to include them. Like the previous article, this one will focus primarily on functional testing tools.

No avatar January 26, 2008 00:00 Comparison of Free Software Shooters

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Last Fall, Joe Barr posted a feature on Linux.com titled "New Alien Arena 6.10 blows away its FPS competition", yet gave no real comparisons with other similar games. This was done in the same style as Barr's previous feature, "Tremulous: The best free software game ever?", which described Tremulous, but also lacked comparisons and relations to other games. This feature hopes to be a thorough comparison of the major Free Software shooters.

No avatar July 09, 2005 00:00 Make alternatives

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Last week, I listed what I think is wrong with Make. This week, I offer my suggestions for alternatives.

No avatar November 06, 2004 00:00 Open Source Java and Web Testing Tools

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Just like writing an article, testing is a skill. While this may come as a surprise to some people, it is a simple fact. For any system, there are several possible test cases, and yet, invariably, we have time to run only a few of them, which in turn are expected to find most of the defects in the software. We know from experience that this is simply not possible. Therefore, in order to increase the chances of finding defects, testing tools may be used. There are numerous testing tools, each with specific capabilities and test objectives.

No avatar August 23, 2003 00:00 Spam Filters

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Spam is a growing problem for email users, and many solutions have been proposed, from a postage fee for email to Turing tests to simply not accepting email from people you don't know. Spam filtering is one way to reduce the impact of the problem on the individual user (though it does nothing to reduce the effect of the network traffic generated by spam). In its simplest form, a spam filter is a mechanism for classifying a message as either spam or not spam.

No avatar July 27, 2003 00:00 GUI Toolkits for The X Window System

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This article is aimed at Unix developers who already have some experience with programming languages and want to start developing GUI applications (mainly for The X Window System, though portability is discussed). It may also come in handy if you have used a particular GUI toolkit for some time and want to know whether others might suit your needs better. The main focus is comparison and introduction, but it serves as a bit of tutorial, as well.

No avatar April 26, 2003 00:00 Fractal Software

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Ever since I first stayed up late watching an 8-bit computer painstakingly draw a Mandelbrot set, I've been fascinated by fractals. Of course, I had to write a fractal-generating program of my own straight away; the combination of the amazingly simple math required to produce the Mandelbrot set and the amazing graphics that came out was irresistible. Clearly, I'm not alone; every programmer with even the slightest interest in math writes a fractal program at some point, and a good number of these are now available as Open Source. Here's a brief, opinionated, and decidedly non-exhaustive survey of some of the programs I've found.

No avatar January 18, 2003 00:00 Lightweight Web Browsers

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The computers you meet on today's desktops are equipped with very fast processors (usually over 1GHz) and a few hundreds megs of RAM. Even very complicated and resource-consuming applications don't cause any problems for them. However, there are still old machines around which can't easily run such programs. They either don't launch them at all or run so slowly that sensible work can't be performed.

No avatar November 30, 2002 00:00 Window Managers

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The freedom of choice offered by GNU and Linux, combined with the technological design of the X Window System, gives desktop users a windowing environment with a flexibility and capability that is unrivaled. In recent times, the desktop Linux world has been enriched beyond recognition by the KDE and GNOME projects, but window managers are still at the heart of these environments, as well being used widely on their own. In this review, I'll delve into this exciting world and look at the development and the state of the art of some of the most significant and most popular window managers.

No avatar October 05, 2002 00:00 Linux DVD Players

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With DVDs quickly ousting clunky old video tapes from the realms of video rental stores, and DVD-ROMs no longer the expensive beasts they once were, software to turn your everyday Linux box into a home entertainment system is becoming increasingly popular. This review looks at the four major DVD players available to Linux users and the general state of DVD playback under Linux.

No avatar September 21, 2002 00:00 Instant Messaging Clients

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Somehow, some way, people who are new to Linux have gotten the idea that Linux has limited IM choices. Since the Unix family was the first to have popular IM clients (with "talk" leading the way), that's more than a little silly. It is true that if you want the latest AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) features or MSN Messenger you're out of luck, but there are many other clients to choose from, and some will let you talk to your buddies whether they're on AIM, MSN, or even Yahoo!.

No avatar August 31, 2002 00:00 Linux Games

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The world is filled with Free Software to do all kinds of jobs. From top-to-bottom, a typical GNU/Linux system provides a kernel, basic administration tools, servers, clients, a graphical substrate, and (finally) high-level graphical environments sitting atop it all. Graphics, sound, input, output, networking... you can find Free Software for all of these. Despite this power given to hackers, Free Software games are often considered to be of lesser quality, compared to those available in the non-Free software world. In this review, I'll look at the variety of Free Software games available today and whether Free gaming software deserves its reputation.

No avatar June 29, 2002 00:00 XML Software

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There are two separate groups of XML software: Low-level, configurable software designed to work with any XML-based format, and high-level, special-purpose software designed to work with one or more specific XML formats. Like most people writing about XML, I will focus on the first group, which includes low-level tools and libraries like parsers, editors, browsers, transformation engines, and search and query tools.

No avatar June 01, 2002 00:00 Linux Clustering Software

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Just a few years ago, to most people, the terms "Linux cluster" and "Beowulf cluster" were virtually synonymous. However, these days, many people are realizing that Linux clusters can not only be used to make cheap supercomputers, but can also be used for high availability, load balancing, rendering farms, and more.

No avatar May 01, 2002 00:00 PalmOS Software

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So, you've just gotten a PalmOS-based PDA... now what? Here are some suggestions for Open Source Software/Free Software available for the Palm, grouped into the following topics: electronic books, games, miscellaneous software, and how to locate other software. I'll close with a few comments about the future of Palms.

No avatar March 30, 2002 00:00 Telephony Software

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The telephony software category includes applications that let you communicate via voice and/or video through the Internet to other people, software that lets you set up a software-based telephony PBX based on standard hardware, tools that let you analyze data from or control legacy telephony switchgears, and small, simple pieces of software that let you set up an answering machine using an old voice modem.

No avatar December 15, 2001 00:00 Sound and Music Software

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freshmeat's Sound/Audio software category lists more than 200 varied applications dealing with audio and MIDI. The newcomer to this collection may find himself (forgivably) a bit bewildered, but I hope to dispel some of that confusion with this review. freshmeat has already defined the application subcategories (many of which are self-explanatory), so I will focus on how to access the particular software to suit a specific purpose.

No avatar October 06, 2001 00:00 Non-SQL Databases for Linux

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The best-known databases these days are based on SQL, but are often overkill for what you need to do. This review discusses lighterweight alternatives, including xBase, DBM, and ISAM systems.

No avatar September 30, 2001 00:00 SQL Databases for Linux

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So you find you need to store some data on your Linux system, and are wondering what program to use... There are a vast array of database systems available for use on Linux. Some are simple, some sophisticated, some cheap, some expensive. One of the first things you ought to do is ask yourself what you need to do with the database, as that is critical to bringing the number of choices down from "stupendously bewildering" to merely "astoundingly many."

No avatar September 15, 2001 00:00 Printing Software

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To print something from a Free Unix, you use an application, which uses a client program to speak with a daemon process, which eventually executes some sort of driver or filter, which eventually sends print data to your printer. There are no universal standards for any step in this process; indeed, in many installations, hand-tooled scripts provide the glue between the various parts. This makes for a rather unpleasant configuration experience, to say the least.

No avatar August 04, 2001 00:00 Financial Software for Linux

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Applications are available for Linux to help with everything from balancing your checkbook to managing payroll and inventory for a Fortune 500 megacorp. This review hopes to point you in the right direction for whatever you need to do.
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