Archive for the ‘software’ Category

tools for C++ on Linux

Big thanks to Ashish Grover for his 2012-07-18 post “10 tools C C++ Linux Programmer must know“. I was not aware of the ctags or cscope tools before reading his post, but I’m very happy to add those to my toolbox.

Ashish Grover portrait

First impressions of Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal)

For previous Ubuntu versions, I had used the Alternate CD .iso image installer in order to get disk encryption for my laptop. As Marius Nestor correctly points out, there’s no Alternate CD with 12.10 – this feature is now wrapped in the main installer. I discovered all this after my first install using the “Something else” option shown Marius’ post, which didn’t offer the disk encryption option (or perhaps I missed it).

Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal)

There’s no GUI method of turning off “Guest Session” login, but it can be easily done in config.

The launcher is much improved and rearranging icons is finally a user-friendly experience.

I don’t like advertised content in the Dash. I’m betting the community will shout that idea down. But in the meantime, I think I saw a way to turn them off along with Twitter/Facebook/Gmail/etc. integrations.

Overall, my early-2008 vintage ZaReason 2GB BigLap had been ready for a fresh install. Now it’s running 12.10 just fine, thank you very much. It’s a worthy upgrade.

configuration management for spreadsheets

OpenDocument Spreadsheet (Flat XML) (.fods) format in OpenOffice 3.0 is a great source format for spreadsheets. It’s human-readable XML, it’s good for “Save As…” into Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP (.xls) format.

Best of all, it allows you to easily configuration manage your spreadsheets (along with meaningful textual diffs) using Mercurial, git, etc.

rendezvous maneuvers inside the ISS

Here’s an ingenious use of the ISS as a navigational software testbed in the small.

SPHERES for guidance, nav, and control R&D

SPHERES for guidance, nav, and control R&D

cross-platform build alternative

There’s evidence that CMake may be overtaking Autotools as the cross-platform build tool of choice in the open source community.

Google Trends indicates that CMake has recently overtaken Automake in search volume, and here’s an insightful article about why KDE switched to CMake during the KDE 4.0 development cycle.

(2017 update): Per recent reddit, CMake has become the defacto standard, even though it’s not universally loved. I’m intrigued by Meson, which cooperates with the Ninja build system, which (in turn) was first imported onto Github on October 15, 2010 by Evan Martin.


installed Redmine tonight

Redmine is a snazzy web-based issue tracking tool that sits on top of Ruby on Rails and MySQL (one of its supported DB server options). I got it installed on Kubuntu 8.04.

some good stuff I missed

Software I explored today:

  • OGRE 3D – an open-source graphics rendering engine (with physics intentionally omitted)
  • Mercurial & Git/Cogito – distributed source control management tools (yes, I did watch this whole hour with Linus – he had no kind words for SVN)
  • Test soon – a unit testing framework for C++, not of the xUnit family
  • QEMU w/ KQEMU – an open-source PC emulator, with flexible host/guest options, with “near native” performance
  • Valgrind – an open-source profiling tool
  • open-source physics engines – further study needed to narrow down list
  • EGM96 – Earth Gravitational Model, Fortran
  • Capistrano – a tool for automating tasks on one or more remote servers, Ruby-based

Finally, I’ll probably make Ubuntu my distro of choice, (at least partially) since a space guy created it.

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