by Valery Makarenko, PHP Senior Developer
Linux has been implemented on my computer for about a month, and this is what comes out of it.
1. Stability. It really exists. Applications come and go, but the system keeps working.
2. Convenience. Open source says for itself. If you stay in KDE (Desktop Environment), for example, the user interface is the same throughout.
3. Compatibility. As for the compatibility of documents formats, OpenOffice performs its job well enough. At least it can read and create the main types of Office XP documents: DOC, XLS, PPT.
4. Programs. Following is a list of software with some comments and the Windows analogues for reference.
- Instant messenger: qip
o SIM fully satisfies all the needs of instant communication (the ICQ protocol) without any problems with character encoding, etc. Some minor snarks are likely to depend on the SIM version and KDE, which can be overcome with time.
- Web browser: Mozilla Firefox / Opera / IE
o Mozilla Firefox / Opera. I didn’t try Opera as Firefox fully satisfies all requirements on surfing the net and developing applications (Java script).
- Sniffers: HTTPAnalyzer, ServiceCapture (AMF)
o Wireshark capture everything possible; AMF doesn’t understand and requires special root privileges to run.
- File manager/editor/archiver/ftp/scp/… – FAR
o bash / MC / Krusader. The console is unavoidable. Forget about the universal character of FAR, and you’ll enjoy MC. It is principally similar, but substantially yields in convenience.
Krusader seems to be quite raw and fails to work without any serious reasons.
As for Konqueror, in fact, it’s a good analogue of Windows Explorer.
- MySQL: EMS MySQL manager
o MySQL Tools created by MySQL team. The GUI set of MySQL Tools utilities allows administrating MySQL server, manipulating tables and database entries and debugging SQL quieries. It also includes a built-in Help on MySQL. He disadvantages are the product being somewhat raw and limited to only 5 and higher versions of MySQL.
- E-Mail: TheBat
o KMail, ThunderBird. Both mail clients are worthy. If you stick to KDE, KMail seems to be a good variant (only it doesn’t support different mail accounts and requires additional filters tuned). However, both applications are suitable for purposes of everyday communication.
- Office: MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
o OpenOffice is fully compatible with MS Office XP, which is enough for everyday work. There might appear some problems with difficult Exel documents with scripts inside, but I haven’t face them yet.
- Dictionary: Lingvo
o StarDict can be plugged into the system quite conveniently. Moreover, it has a wide choice of dictionaries.
- Hardware monitoring: DTemp/MBMonitor
o GKRellm performs its functions well enough, has a lot of skins.
- Organizer: WinOrganizer, ATNotes
o KNotes / Kwallet are almost identical to their Win-analogues, KWallet being embedded into KDE and saving all the passwords, which can be used without the user’s interference.
- SVN client: Tortoise SVN
o KSVN is a good GUI-SVN client with all the standard operations like CheckIn, CheckOut, Diff-view. It can be embedded into Konqueror similar to TortoiseSVN.
- CASE: Enterprice Architect
o Umbrella / ArgoUML (Java) / DIA. The new DIA allows drawing diagrams and there is a choice between it and Umbrella; ArgoUML is a bit slow as it is written in Java.
- Multimedia (audio): winamp
o Mplayer / BMP. Perform their functions perfectly.
- Multimedia (images): ACDSeee, Photoshop
o gwenview, digiKam / Gimp. The pair gwenview and digiKam are quite convenient for viewing, cataloguing and simple picture processing. Gimp is also a powerful tool, but Photoshop ultimately wins the competition.
- IDE: Eclipse (Java)
o Eclipce (Java) in my personal opinion is a highly problematic solution, slow and hanging. KDevelop – KDE package seems to be much more convenient with all its possibilities – projects, class browser, folding, code completion, etc.
- Java works a bit unsteadily, much slower and with more snarks. Firefox failed to customize for working with Java applets.
- Printer won’t work properly as well.
In general, we are working on these challenges and hope to overcome them in the near future.