Monday, September 10. 2007
lint is a program to check C programs for certain errors. FSlint performs a similar function for filesystems: it detects bad symlinks, name clashes, temp files, empty directories, non-stripped binaries, and other forms of debris within a filesystem.
The FSlint package contains a number of utilities which are stored in /usr/share/fslint/fslint and which may be run from the command line, but it also contains a very convenient graphical shell (fslint-gui) with a tab-based interface which makes it easy to explore problems. While using the GUI, you can save files to a new path or delete them with a click of the mouse.
This useful tool makes it easy to stay on top of your storage system, keeping it streamlined and free from the cruft that always accumulates over time.
Installing from the command line: yum install fslint
Thanks to Martial Boudant for suggesting this package! (If you'd like to suggest a package, please use the suggestion box on the right side of the main page).
Monday, August 27. 2007
Regexxer is a GUI search-and-replace tool for multiple text files. A divided window enable you to find files using a globbing pattern and recursive searching (left side of the window -- use the Find Files button to perform the search and populate the file list), and then specify a Perl-style regular expression and replacement text (right side of the window -- click the Find button to start searching). Each found occurrence is highlighted and displayed along with the proposed change; use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to skip (arrow), replace one occurrence (Replace), replace all occurrences in the current file (This file), or replace all occurrences in all files (All files). No changes are committed until you press the Save or Save all buttons (or use the corresponding options on the File menu).
There's nothing here that couldn't be done with sed or perl, but it's nice to be able to do this through a GUI with a statistical display and the option to confirm changes before applying them.
If you're unfamiliar with regular expressions: Regular expressions are search patterns that permit you to specify complex search criteria in regular text. You can learn about regular expressions by reading the manpages for perlrequick and perlre (enter the command man perlrequick and man perlre) or by reading this short introduction (PDF), but you can also use Regexxer by entering search text comprised of only alphanumeric characters and spaces, which will form a simple regular expression. The /g checkbox enables global replacement (replacing all occurrences on each line, not just the first one) and the /i checkbox makes the search case-insensitive.
Installing from the command line: yum install regexxer
Thanks to Tinh Truong Xuan for suggesting Rexexxer! If you have a package you'd like to see covered, please use the Submit a Package box on the right side of the main page.
Monday, August 20. 2007
Remind is a very flexible reminder service which can be used from the command line. With the tkremind program (in the remind-gui package), it can also be used with a graphical user interface.
The basic purpose of remind is to present reminder messages or run commands at particular times. In that way it sounds a bit like cron -- but remind handles complex recurrence patterns, advance and repeated reminders, and the skipping of weekends and holidays. The powerful remind script syntax can be daunting to learn, so a good place to start may be creating some reminders using the tkremind tool and then reviewing the ~/.reminders file to see the syntax of the created entries. The manpage for remind (man remind) is a critical resource.
For convenient viewing of reminders, the rem shortcut command is provided. When working in a GUI environment, run the tkremind program (minimized) to see as-they-happen reminders; when in a non-GUI environment, run remind in daemon mode:
(You may want to add that to your ~/.bash_profile).
The remind package also includes rem2ps to produce Postscript calendars from reminder files; this feature is also available from the Print... option in the tkremind window.
Installing from the command line: yum install remind remind-gui
Monday, August 13. 2007
A Wiki is a collaboratively-edited web site. Some of the best-known examples are the projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, including Wikipedia and Wiktionary, and Wikis are useful collaboratively editing and publishing many different types of web content. The software that powers the Wikimedia Foundation projects is called MediaWiki and is available within Fedora.
In order to use MediaWiki, you will need a database server. Since this may be on another computer, there is no dependency noted in the RPM file -- if you want to run the database server and MediaWiki on the same system, you'll need to select and install the database server manually. I usually use MySQL, but PostgreSQL can also be used.
To set up your wiki, you'll need to start Apache and your database server, if they're not already running:
If you have freshly installed MySQL, you'll need to set a password for the root user (replace YourBigSecretPassword with the password of your choosing):
Next, create a symbolic link from the desired wiki location to /var/www/wiki. For example, if you want to host a wiki with an address of http://Hostname/wiki, then execute these commands:
You will also need to create a link to the skins directory:
Then access the wiki's address (http://localhost/wiki) using a web browser on the the computer running MediaWiki. You'll see a welcome page with a setup link; click on that link to go to a setup form. Near the bottom of the form, select the User Superuser option and enter the root MySQL password where indicated -- MediaWiki will login to the server and create the required databases.
MediaWiki will then inform you of the success or failure of the setup operation (if it fails, read the message to find out why, correct the errors, and try again). Once you have successfully completed the setup step, copy the config file to the final location:
Your Wiki is now ready for use.
Tip: To set the logo that appears in the upper-left corner of the wiki pages, add a line to the end of /var/www/wiki/LocalConfiguration.php (just before the line which reads "?>" ) which sets $wgLogo to the URI of a 153 x 153 pixel image:
If your image is less than 153x153, add a transparent border to make up the difference.
Installing from the command line: yum install mediawiki
Monday, August 6. 2007
The Qcad package includes several sample drawings in the directory /usr/share/doc/qcad-18.104.22.168 in the AutoCAD-compatible DXF format, and a parts library for this package is available from the upstream website. Documentation for this software is in an online manual accessed through the Help menu.
Installing from the command line: yum install qcad
Monday, July 30. 2007
Gobby is a collaborative editor which enables multiple people to simultaneously edit a group of documents. It provides encrypted communication, on-the-fly server ("session") setup, multple document editing, connection password protection, syntax highlighting for popular programming languages, and an online chat facility. Text entered or edited by each user is highlighted in colour to indicate the source.
Gobby also enables cross-platform collaboration: MS Windows and (limited) Mac OS/X clients are available from the upstream website.
A reminder: Don't forget to open the appropriate ports in your firewall when setting up a Gobby server.
Installing from the command line: yum install gobby
Special thanks to Knight Walker for suggesting this package.
Monday, July 23. 2007
Cron is a tool that executes commands when a certain time has been reached. Incron is a new tool modeled after cron which executes commands when a filesystem event occurs. Without polling, Incron can watch a specific file or an entire directory for new files, file writes, closures, deletions, or other activity.
There are dozens of uses for incron, including:
This package contains a daemon named incrond. Use the server and chkconfig commands to start the server and configure it to be started at boot:
Incron uses per-user incrontab files, similar to crontab files. Each line in an incrontab contains a filename, a comma-separated list of events to watch, and a command to be executed. To display a list of available events, use the incrontab command with the -t (type) flag:
Most of these event names will be self-explanatory; you can find a brief description of each in /usr/include/linux/inotify.h (from the kernel-headers package -- this is the main header file for the inotify system, which incron is based upon).
To create an incrontab, use the incrontab command with the -e (edit) option. By default, vi will be used as the editor; you can change this with the EDITOR environment variable or in the /etc/incron.conf file.
Here are some examples of incrontab entries:
The third example shows that you can can insert information about the filesystem event into the arguments of the executed command. The documentation file /usr/share/doc/incron-0.5.5/README notes that these substitutions are available:
Incron promises to be an useful tool for system administrators and end-users alike.
Thanks to Mattew Miller for suggesting today's package. If you have packages you would like to see covered, please use the Suggest a Package form on the right-hand side of the main page.
Installing from the command line: yum install incron
Monday, July 16. 2007
Krecipes is a KDE recipe manager. It will store, seach for, and resize recipes, rate their nutritional content, and manage shopping lists. Recipes can be stored in plan files for personal access, or in MySQL or PostgreSQL databases for shared access (or very large recipe collections). You can select recipes based on nutritional requirements or ingredients-on-hand, and you can also generate a shopping list from a group of recipes with items added or removed to suit your needs.
Installing from the command line: yum install krecipes
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