JDG1980 writes "Krita, an open-source graphics editor, has been around since 2005, but no stable version existed for Windows users — until today. With the release of Krita 2.8, full and stable support for Windows users is finally a reality, thanks to input from KO GmbH and Intel. Krita brings some things to the table that GIMP does not: 16 bit per channel color support, adjustment layers, and a name that won't set off red flags at HR, just to list a few. You can download the Windows version here. Might be worth looking into, if you're tired of the lack of progress on GIMP and don't want to pay monthly "cloud" fees to Adobe."
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An anonymous reader writes "Whenever I install a fresh operating system on my computer, I immediately grab a handful of programs that I simply must have. After that, I generally wait and install other pieces of software as I need them. My list of known, useful programs has dwindled over the past few years as projects died, ownership transferred, and functionality changed. At the same time, I've begun to have use for certain types of software that I've never needed before. It can be time-consuming and risky to install and evaluate every single option. So, I'm curious: what pieces of software do you find the most useful and reliable? Don't feel the need to limit yourself by operating system, platform, or hardware. If you're so inclined, a brief description about what makes the software great would be helpful, too."
Last week, we mentioned that the GIMP project had elected to leave SourceForge as its host, citing SourceForge's advertising policies. SourceForge (which shares a parent company with Slashdot) has released a statement about those policies, addressing in particular both ads that are confusing in themselves and their revenue-sharing system called DevShare, based on the provision of third-party software along with users' downloads. Among other things, the SF team is appealing to users to help them find and block misleading ads, and has this to say about the additional downloads: "The DevShare program has been designed to be fully transparent. The installation flow has no deceptive steps, all offers are fully disclosed, and the clear option to completely decline the offer is always available. All uninstallation procedures are exhaustively documented, and all third party offers go through a comprehensive compliance process to make sure they are virus and malware free."
Dangerous_Minds writes "GIMP, a free and open source alternative to image manipulation software like Photoshop, recently announced that it will no longer be distributing their program through SourceForge. Citing some of the ads as reasons, they say that the tipping point was 'the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge.' The policy changes were reported back in August by Gluster. GIMP is now distributing their software via their own FTP page instead." Note: SourceForge and Slashdot share a corporate parent.
hypnosec writes "Knoppix 7.2 has been released for public testing — unlike its predecessor, Knoppix 7.1, which was only made available through the annual Linux Magazine CeBIT edition. Based on Debian "Wheezy", Knoppix 7.2 packs quite a few new features, including newer desktop packages from Debian/testing and Debian/unstable Jessie. The latest version uses the Linux 3.9 kernel and xorg 7.7, and comes loaded with LibreOffice 4.0, GIMP 2.8, Chromium 27 (and Firefox/Iceweasel 21), Wine 1.5, and Virtualbox version 4.2.10. It uses LXDE by default. For users who still want to go for KDE or GNOME, version 4.8.4 and 3.4.2 of the respective desktops are available from the Knoppix DVD."
First time accepted submitter JDG1980 writes "According to CNET and various other sources, CS6 will be the last version of Adobe's Creative Suite that will be sold in the traditional manner. All future versions will be available by subscription only, through Adobe's so-called 'Creative Cloud' service. This means that before too long, anyone who wants an up-to-date version of Photoshop won't be able to buy it – they will have to pay $50 per month (minimum subscription term: one year). Can Adobe complete the switch to subscription-only, or will the backlash be too great? Will this finally spur the creation of a real competitor to Photoshop?"
Michael Ross writes "Web designers, graphics artists, and others who create and edit digital images, have a number of commercial image-manipulation packages from which they can choose — such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Fireworks (originally developed by Macromedia). Yet there are also many alternatives in the open-source world, the most well-known being GNU Image Manipulation Program. GIMP is available for all major operating systems, and supports all commonly-used image formats. This powerful application is loaded with features, including plug-ins and scripting. Yet detractors criticize it as being complicated (as if Photoshop is intuitively obvious). Admittedly, anyone hoping to learn it could benefit from a comprehensive guide, such as The Book of GIMP." Keep reading for the rest of Michael's review.
A while ago you had the chance to ask founder of the GNU Project, and free software advocate, Richard Stallman, about GNU/Linux, free software, and anything else. You can read his answers to a wide range of questions below. As usual, RMS didn't pull any punches.
OverTheGeicoE writes "TSA has had a preferred traveler program, PreCheck, for a while now. Frequent fliers and other individuals with prior approval from DHS can avoid some minor annoyances of airport security, like removing shoes and light jackets, but not all of the time. TSA likes to be random and unpredictable, so PreCheck participants don't always get the full benefits of PreCheck. Apparently the decision about PreCheck is made when the boarding pass is printed, and a traveler's PreCheck authorization is encoded, unencrypted, on the boarding pass barcode. In theory, one could use a barcode-reading Web site (like this one, perhaps) to translate a barcode into text to determine your screening level before a flight. One might even be able to modify the boarding pass using PhotoShop or the GIMP to, for example, get the screening level of your choice. I haven't been able to verify this information, but I bet Slashdot can. Is TSA's PreCheck system really that easy to game? If you have an old boarding pass lying around, can you read the barcode and verify that the information in TFA is correct?"
CmdrTaco sent in a link to his weblog post looking back on his experience running Slashdot for fifteen years: "For me the story of Slashdot is utterly inseparable from my own life. I built it while still in college: when normal people did their homework or had personal lives, I spent my evenings making icons in The Gimp, crafting perl in vim or writing a new story to share with my friends. I’ll never forget the nights spent tailing the access_log and celebrating a line from microsoft.com or mit.edu with friends like Jeff, Dave, Nate, and Kurt."
ekimd writes "Fedora 17 aka "Beefy Miracle" is released. Some of the major features include: ext4 with >16TB filesystems, dynamic firewall configuration, automatic multi-seat, and more. Major software updates include Gnome 3.4, GIMP 2.8, and GCC 4.7. The full feature list can be found here. Personally, I still find Gnome 3 to be an 'unholy mess' so I'm loving XFCE with Openbox."
Cryophallion writes "After many years of development, GIMP 2.8 is finally released. Among its features: the oft-desired single-window mode, layer groups, and many other massive improvements, including some of the GIMP UI team's work. This might be the release that helps make The GIMP a much more user friendly experience for newcomers, and has features that are rivaling those of certain exceptionally expensive commercial programs. While the porting of GEGL is still ongoing (and recently reported to have made massive advances made), this is a major step forward for one of the premier open source projects." Here are the official release notes.
A longstanding task for the GIMP has been porting the core graphics code from the ancient implementation (dating back to version 1.2) to GEGL. Progress has been hampered by the amount of code relying on details of the implementation of image data: tiles are directly accessed instead of linear buffers, and changing that detail would break the entire core and all plugins. A few weeks ago, two GIMP hackers got together to do some general hacking, and inadvertedly ported the core graphics code to GEGL. They work around the mismatch between GEGL buffers and GIMP tiles by implementing a storage backend for GEGL using the legacy GIMP tiles; to their surprise things Just Worked (tm), and their code branch will become the 2.9 development series once 2.8 is released. With this, 2.10 will finally feature higher bit depth images, additional color spaces (CMYK for one), and hardware accelerated image operations. There's still work to be done: to take advantage of the new features, plugins need to be ported to access GEGL buffers instead of GIMP tiles, but the conversion work is straightforward and current plugins will continue working as well as they do now in the meantime.
spuguli writes "VALO-CD is an open source software collection similar to The Open CD. Version 8 is now available in English. The open source collection has been available in Finnish for several years, but now it has been translated into English and is available internationally as well. The collection contains pretty much everything a typical end user would need: LibreOffice, Inkscape, Firefox, Audacity and many other programs. The main goal is to increase knowledge about open source software. The programs are for Windows since most Linux distributions already contain most of the programs, and Linux users obviously are already aware of open source. The CD is developed collaboratively in a wiki. It is freely available as a torrent download."
For the first few years of its existence, it would have been fair to say that Canonical was essentially polishing, packaging and publishing Debian Linux (and Gnome) to create the base Ubuntu desktop, to great acclaim. For the past few years, though, the company has pushed new looks and new applications (cf. Unity and Ubuntu TV), and refused to stick with prettifying existing interfaces. Now, Barence writes with this excerpt from PC Pro: "Ubuntu is set to replace the 30-year-old computer menu system with a 'Head-Up Display' that allows users to simply type or speak menu commands. Instead of hunting through drop-down menus to find application commands, Ubuntu's Head-Up Display lets users type what they want to do into a search box. The system suggests possible commands as the user begins typing – entering 'Rad' would bring up the Radial blur command in the GIMP art package, for example. HUD also uses fuzzy matching and learns from past searches to ensure the correct commands are offered to users. Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth told PC Pro the HUD will make it easier for people to learn new software packages, and migrate from Windows to Linux software without having to relearn menus. The HUD will first appear in Ubuntu 12.04."
With CmdrTaco moving on to his temporary retirement home, the Slashdot editors who will continue to poke and prod at reader submissions (the heart and soul of this site: without readers, there'd be nothing to talk about as well as no one to talk about it) would like to offer an extended 'Thank You' to Rob, and offer some thoughts on the years so far, as well as what comes next. (Of late, though, we're lucky to have the growing contributions of Clinton Ebadi, aka Unknown Lamer, who got an oddball start on the Slashdot page a long time back.) Read on for a few words from Samzenpus, timothy, and Soulskill.
An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix is reporting that The GIMP now has a working single-window mode, a long desired feature by the open-source graphics community to be more competitive with Adobe Photoshop. There's also a number of other user highlights in the new GIMP 2.7.3 release. The GPLv3 graphics software can be downloaded at GIMP.org."
JR0cket writes "Scribus is an open source desktop publishing tool that helps you create professionally laid out documents, from simple documents to full blown magazines, corporate brochures or even books. Desktop publishing tools are not a replacement for word processors, instead they give you the freedom to create uniquely designed documents and help you manage large sets of text and graphic content. Scribus is similar to Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress and gives you a wide range of tools to layout content in either print or digital media form. Scribus is pretty easy to get to grips with and has good documentation on the project website. The Scribus 1.3.5 beginners guide is a really handy guide through the workflow of desktop publishing and helps you clearly understand how to create professional looking results." Read below for the rest of JR0ket's review.
An anonymous reader writes "The developers of GIMP have finally released a new development version on the way to GIMP 2.8. GIMP 2.7.2 includes a huge bunch of changes — but it is not intended for production use. 'The new release comprises layer groups (which were introduced after 2.7.1), an almost done text-on-canvas feature, the all-new brush engine and of course the new single window mode.'"