Software

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Mozilla Branding Update

A couple weeks ago, the Mozilla development team announced that after the 1.4 release of Mozilla they'll be switching primary development to separate browser and mail clients, codenamed Firebird and Thunderbird.



Since then, there's been a whole lot of heated discussion, mostly coming from supporters of the Firebird database project, about objections to Mozilla "stealing" their name. Regardless of who thinks who did what, the database project no more owns that name than the Mozilla group does. In the immortal words of CmdrTaco, "As always, a small group of users are being real asses about the whole thing. Yay." 'Nuff said.



Anyway, in response to this debate, a "Mozilla Branding" document was released today to clarify their branding strategy. To sum up:

  • "Mozilla Application Suite" is the name of the full Mozilla suite that we know it as today
  • "Firebird" and "Thunderbird" are the codenames of the standalone browser and mail clients, respectively, that will be used until Mozilla 1.4 is released
  • After the 1.4 release, the standalone client codenames will be dropped in favor of "Mozilla Browser" and "Mozilla Mail".

The full document and additional details can be found here:
http://www.mozilla.org/roadmap/branding.html

Crossover Office 2.0 Released

For anyone unfamiliar with the product, Crossover Office is a highly polished, commercialized version of Wine. It's main claim to fame is support for running Microsoft Office applications under Linux, but it also supports many additional applications, a very nice front-end and configuration program, and great integration between Linux and Windows apps.

Version 2.0 is an important release because it fixes numerous issues with glibc-2.3, as well as Xfree 4.3. In addition it adds support for Office XP and Photoshop 7, as well as enhanced support for existing Office Apps, Viso, Quicken, and Lotus Notes.

While using FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) is always encouraged, it's an unfortunately fact that some Windows applications will still need to be used. If this is the case for you, then give Crossover Office 2.0 a try. Evaluation copies are available.

Here's a link to the main application page, as well as the change log for what's new in the version.

Does Apple Still Need Microsoft?

6 years ago, Microsoft agreed to invest $150 million in Apple, as well as continue to develop Microsoft Office for the Mac platform. That agreement ended last year, has not been renewed, and doesn't seem likely to be renewed at this point.

On top of this, Apple has been developing and recently announced its own web browser, Safari, and its own presentation software, Keynote, which, compete directly with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Powerpoint.

A recent article on OSopinion discusses these events, what they might mean for Apple, and speculates where it may be heading. An interesting read.

Full story:
http://www.osopinion.com/perl/story/21256.html

Phoenix and Minotaur Officially Renamed Firebird and Thunderbird

"After months of discussion and further months of legal investigation, we're finally comfortable moving forward with new names. The new name for the Phoenix browser is 'Firebird'. The documentation and product strings will be updated soon. In addition to securing Firebird, we've also got the OK from those contributing legal resources to use the name 'Thunderbird' for a mail client. Hopefully this will be the end of naming legal issues for a while."

Phoenix/Firebird home page
Minotaur/Thunderbird home page

Apple May Buy Universal Music

I can't really see what good this would do, but interesting and noteworthy nonetheless. Here's the full story:

http://news.com.com/2100-1042-996532.html

The really funny thing is that Apple's stock took an 8% dip after this was announced. Also, a later article on this subject (can't remember the source) reported that Microsoft was also showing more than a passive interest in purchasing Universal Music. Interesting times...

Using Mozilla to Test and Debug Web Sites

We already know that, despite a few remaining problems, Mozilla is the best web browser available (well, we enlightened folk anyway ;-) ), but here's another very cool feature - debugging web sites.

I've messed with this capability a couple times in the past, just to see what exactly it does, but I never did anything more than just skim over the surface of it. Well, I recently came accross this site, which gives a VERY thorough tutorial and using the debugging and development capabilities of Mozilla to their fullest extent. It's most definitely worth reading for anyone that develops web pages.

The tutorial can be found ere:
http://gemal.dk/mozilla/mozdev.html

gobeProductive to be released under the GPL

According to this osnews article, gobeProductive is going to be released under the gpl. gobeProductive is an office suite that is multiplatform... so here is another option for Linux and Windows users.

Read the article here