First off, it's been quite a busy couple of weeks for me and I'd like to apologize for the lack of news. Luckily, the world doesn't revolve around me and so some interesting stuff happened in the last few weeks:
- The Portland project made their first release. The Portland project is a kind of vague teaming up of various desktop environment developers with the aim of making it easier for software vendors to create Linux software that worked consistently across the various desktop environments (KDE, GNOME, etc.) out there. The first release consists of a daemon that applications can interface with through DBUS and some command line tools to perform various tasks like installing an application's icon or disabling the screensaver. The way a programmer would normally go about doing stuff like this is specific to each desktop environment (in general), and so Portland's DAPI solves that problem by offering a single unified way of going about that. I don't think there's anything in Portland right now that would convince Adobe to release a supportable version of Photoshop for Linux, but making companies like Adobe's lives easier is what Portland aims to do. I think it's a small step in the right direction, but once it reaches critical mass, it'll become a crucial part of the Linux desktop.
- True Combat: Elite 0.49 was finally released after a long period of waiting. TC:E is a realistic combat mod for Enemy Territory that's similar to Counter-Strike. However, TC:E has plenty of unique features like the iron-sights system that make it a fun, memorable play. Several of the maps have been updated in this version, as well as new ones being added. Additionally, several of the weapons were tweaked and there are some new snazzy graphics effects as well.
- For any Woot.com fans, someone created GWoot, which might be handy.
- Automatix 2 for Ubuntu 6.10/Edgy Eft has been released. This thread has some extra screenshots of it, and it seems like it's come quite a ways from the cheap bash script it once was. Good job Automatix team!
- The under-appreciated Linux Rock Star blog uncovered Mute, which is a new rewrite of the incredibly powerful Jeskola Buzz. Buzz is a Windows-only modular synth "tracker-on-steroids" whose source code was lost in 2000, but continued to be developed through clever add-on hacks. The Buzz community has been waiting for something to replace it for a while, and it looks like Mute is a good contender. (Buzztard is another one to get excited about too.) While you're at it, check out the Mute screenshots - it's a pretty impressive clone of Buzz. (I currently use Buzz under WINE for music production as a hobby, but unfortunately it has some issues.)
Also, I upgraded to Edgy last week. If I told you it was easy to do, I'd be lying. Long story short: Wait until it's officially released unless you're prepared to file bug reports. It's working great now though and I've been able to play with some brand new software that wouldn't run in Dapper. I'm enjoying the built-in AIGLX now too - No more hacks to make OpenGL games run with Compiz/Beryl. :)