Software

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OpenOffice 1.1 Beta

OpenOffice 1.1 Beta is now available for download.

For those unfamiliar with it, OpenOffice is a free, open-source, cross-platform (Linux, Windows, Solaris, and Mac OSX) office suite. I've been using it pretty exclusively for a while now, and it's quite capable. It does have a few rough spots (as of 1.0.2 - I haven't tried this new beta yet), but it can definitely replace other well-known expensive and proprietary office suites. Check it out.

Mozilla Updates

Both of these have been posted to Slashdot already, but it's worth mentioning here as well.



First of all, Mozilla 1.4a has been released. See the Release Notes for more information.



Second, it seems the Mozilla organization is making a radical change of direction with their latest development roadmap update. The two major highlights:

  • Mozilla is dropping the integrated Mozilla suite after 1.4, and instead releasing a componentized Mozilla based on the Phoenix web browser and the Minotaur mail client
  • More focused development and refinement of the Gecko rendering engine

Mozilla Minotaur Project Formally Launched

Most fans of the Mozilla web browser suite are probably aware of Phoenix, the lightweight, cross-platform browser heavily based on Mozilla's code. Phoenix supports the same web standards as Mozilla, but it has a much smaller memory footprint due to it's stripped-down codebase, lack of integrated mail client, etc.

Well, here's more good news for speed-happy or low-end hardware users - Minotaur. Designed with the same goals as Phoenix, this will be a lightweight, cross-platform mail client based heavily on the Mozilla Mail code. You can read additional details in this usenet post, or on the project homepage.

I just want to also say that, although I personally prefer the standard Mozilla suite, this is a good thing. Older machines especially will benefit from this, as well as anyone that's put-off by Mozilla's sometimes long startup times (due to the fact that, unlike another web browser, it's not loaded as part of the OS).

phpMap 0.1 Released

This is a late announcement here, but phpMap 0.1 was released a couple weeks ago. Why am I announcing it here? Becuase it's my project! What does it do? It's an online, php-based map program. Right now it's still in very basic form (it only allows image zooming and navigation), but in the future it will also include location recognition, database tie-ins to retreive additional information, location pinpointing, a menu-based navigation system, etc.

For more information, see the phpMap web page. To see it in action, check out the Ole Miss Campus Map. Remember, though, that most of the features in the Campus Map are not currently present in phpMap.