Wednesday, 9 September 2015

My setup and work-flow

I have spent a lot of time on Linux to narrow down some favorite applications.
Here's a list, always growing but the ones listed here are tried and tested. The tagline from Linux Luddites suits these applications and me in general too; "We try all the new open source software and decide we like the old stuff better"

This is the best programming editor that I've used in years of Linux use and development. It has lots of handy little features that make coding much more enjoyable. To me, having everything accessible via keyboard shortcuts is paramount, I find it annoying having to breaking your flow every time you need to grab the mouse to access something in the menu. Bluefish can be used for web-development and programming in a huge range of languages.

One thing I've always had trouble with in Filezilla is that I can't uncompress a package that I've uploaded. Maybe it's the way FTP works, but it's frustrating uploading, then having to go into Cpanel just to uncompress. Can anyone recommend another application that does this?

I've tried other browsers, but always come back to Firefox. I have used it since it was called Firebird in the early 2000's. I've tried Chrome and Opera once in a while but like the flexibility Firefox offers and it's more open than Chrome. There is one other browser that I think is just as good, if not better than Firefox, that is Seamonkey.
Seamonkey is branched from Mozilla before Firefox started cloning Chrome. The one feature I need to move to it permanently is syncing (used to work before Mozilla changed it's account handling) and a mobile version.

I rely on Zim to remember all my notes from a variety of topics. It's tried and tested, never crashes and syncs across platforms.

Gimage Reader
This is great sofware, designed to do one thing and do it well, following the Unix philosophy to the letter. It reads all the text with a high degree of precission and very rarely see errors in the output unless there are images on the page and well, that's not the fault of the software.
There is only one issue I have with it, all the new GTK3 apps seem to like replacing the menu with a stupid gear icon. I find that so annoying, so you have to break your process to get to some menu option with your mouse. Some applications use f10 to access the menu, but it's inconsistent and therefore useless in my opinion.
I've thought about forking it to suit my own needs, but honestly, I rarely need the menu in this application because everything is at hand in the toolbar. The most handy feature I use quite often is the rotating the image.

If you need an E-mail client that does an awesome job, then I can highly recommend Sylpheed. It's simple, yet has lots of features if you need them. I use it to view several email accounts in the window and I find it just keeps out of your way. Another great application that follows the Unix philosophy.

When you need to capture your screen and microphone, this is the application you need. I've never found it to hog the system resources and encoding the video is done very quickly to whatever video format you prefer. I've tried other screen capture applications, but they had very limited features or slowed everything down to the point of being useless, but this one is consistently brilliant.

This is the only place where I have an install of Windows, it gets fired up once a year to lodge my tax. Virtualbox is great at what is does and keeps getting better. I sometimes try out distro's or a flavour of BSD once in a while. Can't fault it.

Over the years, I've tried many image viewers and happily say Viewnior is THE best. It works just the way I expect it to. Simple things like using arrow keys to change images, ctrl + to zoom in and out.  Another favorite feature I like is cropping images, but Viewnior lets you control it with either the keyboard or the mouse, I use this all the time.

Other image viewers seem to have some features I like then have weird settings or have to much bloat to get at simple task done, not Viewnior; it's lightning fast.

Simple Scan
I have used Simple Scan for many years now and it too follows the Unix philosophy.  It has all the useful tools of rotating, flipping and cropping but the feature I like best is scanning multiple pages and saving it as a single PDF. I used to manually join the scans on the command line, but now Simple Scan does that for me.

In my opinion, there isn't much the Gimp can't do. I use it on a daily basis. I haven't had too much exposure to Photoshop, so can't compare it fairly. But it does all I could ever need and way more. I'm always surprised at what it can do and always finding new features.

Inkscape is one hell of a brilliant piece of software. If you need to achieve anything with vectors, then this is what you need. I've used it, just to create random bits of vector art and have found it more than capable and up to any task you can throw at it.

GNU Nano
Some people use Emacs, some use VIm but I feel at home in Nano. I find that is simple enough to get the job done and has all the features I need. I could spend hours learning vim, (and probably will when I can spare the time) but Nano has everything I need weather I'm editing text or creating shell scripts.

Sunflower File Manager
For anyone that likes their file manager to be feature rich, keyboard driven and heavily customizable then Sunflower is the one for you.
Featuring a twin pane view with as many tabs as you like, including terminals, shell session or local directories.

The best part about this great file manager is that it is Python based, so you can hack away to your hearts content.