KompoZer – Easy Web Authoring – FREE

KompoZer – Easy web authoring

Easy Web Authoring!
kpz-scr-01thumbKompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing.
KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding.

Key features of Kompozer:

  • WYSIWYG editing of pages, making web creation as easy as typing a letter with your word processor.
  • Integrated file management via FTP. Simply login to your web site and navigate through your files, editing web pages on the fly, directly from your site.
  • Reliable HTML code creation that will work with all of today’s most popular browsers.
  • Jump between WYSIWYG Editing Mode and HTML using tabs.
  • Tabbed editing to make working on multiple pages a snap.
  • Powerful support for forms, tables, and templates.
  • The easiest-to-use, most powerful Web Authoring System available for Desktop Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh users.
This great HTML editor is often used in conjunction with GIMP (THE opensource free graphics editor) to produce some great websites. If you are lucky enough to have a subscription to Lynda.Com (video tutorials) then you can watch a great tutorial on how to create a great website using pure .CSS by just using opensource tools (namely Kompozer and GIMP)

Komodo Editor for OpenSource

activestateKomodo IDE 4 is the first unified workspace for end-to-end development of dynamic web applications. A rich feature set for client-side Ajax languages such as CSS, HTML, JavaScript and XML, coupled with advanced support for dynamic languages such as Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby and Tcl, enables developers to quickly and easily create robust web apps.

komodo-editKomodo Edit 4 is a free, multi-language editor that makes it easy to write quality code. Focus on what your code can do; let your editor sweat the details. Background syntax checking and syntax coloring catch errors immediately, while AutoComplete and CallTips guide you as you write. Available on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

Download Komodo IDE from here

From the same organisation you can download the brilliant ActivePerl and ActivePython. Also checkout all the code (easily downloaded) that you can learn from here.

via Komodo | ActiveState Community Site.

Google reader shortcuts

Really just for my own use! Google RSS reader shortcuts – just because I use it and can never remember them! One interesting way of organising the feeds is to add ‘tags’ to the entries. This way you can quickly find them again just using your tags – a bit like delicious and other social media systems online.

j/k item down/up selects the next/previous item in the list
space/shift-space page down/up moves the page down/up
n/p scan down/up in list view, selects the next item without opening it
o open/close item in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
enter open/close item in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
s toggle star stars the selected item
shift-s toggle share shares the selected item
m mark as read/unread switches the read state of the selected item
t tag an item opens the tagging field for the selected item
v view original opens the original source for this article in a new window
shift-a mark all as read marks all items in the current view as read
1 expanded view displays the subscription as expanded items
2 list view displays the subscription as a list of headlines
r refresh refreshes the unread counts in the navigation
shift-n/p navigation down/up selects the next/previous subscription or folder in the navigation
shift-x navigation expand/collapse expand or collapse a folder selected in the navigation
shift-o navigation open subscription opens the item currently selected in the navigation
gh go to home goes to the Google Reader homepage
ga go to all items goes to the “All items” view
gs go to starred items goes to the “Starred items” view
gt go to tag allows you to navigate to a tag by entering the tag name
gu go to subscription allows you to navigate to a subscription by entering the subscription name
u toggle full screen mode hides and shows the list of subscriptions
? keyboard shortcuts help displays a quick guide to all of Reader’s shortcuts

Convert WordPress to a full CMS system

There’s an interesting article on the ONLamp.Com web site describing how John McCreesh used the wordpress blogging software to create and maintain a CMS based site. The site was originally using phpWebSite; which is an opensource community-driven CMS system based around php.

It seems to me that this should be very simple as there are loads of plugins for wordpress and the basic CMS system straight out of the box is more than adequate with its customised page templates and multiple ‘page’ capabilities. Really all it needs is some styling and layout changes to make the system into a very useable day to day web based CMS system – all for free!

Many people are now concentrating on the ‘content’ of a web site rather than the look and feel. The layout is of course important, especially if you are looking for brand image, but underneath all the show, there has to be good content. A content management system (CMS) is the ideal way to breach the gap between the two. By using the power of wordpress and the plethora of add-ons and support in the community plus an adequate content management system to bring it all together you have the best of both worlds.

A friend of mine (Les Edgecumbe) runs a wordpress site for the community highlighting the outrageous monstrosity that is the CLS Laundry based in Newton Abbot. Originally Les used a web based commercial CMS system, some things were not easy and he relied on my help. I converted him to wordpress and now he maintains the site without my assistance and gets a good number of hits. He can concentrate on the content and not worry about the underlying technology that runs his site; it’s maintained by 1000’s of developers out there all the time!

I suggest you use wordpress and once your up and running, pop over to the wordpress ThemeViewer to choose a suitable style for your web, create a few pages and articles and your running. If your interested in CMS systems themselves, go to opensourcecms. This web site does a really good job of comparing CMS systems, and lets you ‘try’ different cms based systems online to help you decide which one is best. It has the usual popular systems such as joomla, drupal, typo3, php-nuke and mambo plus some other systems that you may not of heard about.

PortableApps.com – run FREE applications from a USB memory stick

Update (26/10/2008): You can now compress some of the portableApps to squeeze even more applications onto your memory stick with the PortableApps.Com AppCompactor. This is also packaged as a portable app (but note this is intended for developers or advanced users).

Now you can take FREE applications with you as you travel between work and home or abroad. The web site portableapps.com has a collection of applications that can be installed on a USB memory stick and run directly from that device on any PC.

portableapps The portableapps web site (FREE) also has a dashboard (menu system) that allows you to install more applications and run the applications that you already have installed

on the USB device. Some of the key applications available (from sourceforge) are:

  • Audacity (sound recording)
  • Pidgin (IM client)
  • Scribus (DTP)
  • FileZilla (FTP client)
  • Firefox (Web browser client)
  • NVU (Web design package with WYSIWYG)
  • OpenOffice Suite (Full office application suite)
  • GIMP (Graphics)
  • VirtualDub (Video editing)
  • VLC (Video player)
  • Plus many more…

I found all the applications installed without a single problem. If you use the portableapps menu application to install the software it automatically adds the new program to the menu. You do not need to install the dashboard but in doing so you get a neat backup / restore utility that backs up your memory stick applications to your local hard disk.

I use the IM client everyday (as it connects to most IM systems with one program). This is a brilliant way of carrying around some key applications in your pocket without having to rely on a PC having them pre-installed. I now use Windows Live Writer quite a lot to create blog entries, and came across a site explaining how to install Live Writer as a portable application, I have not tried this yet, but will blog my findings when I do.

On the portableapps web site you’ll also find a download that is self contained and has all the essential applications (currently about 90Mb download). It’s called the portableapps.com suite. There’s also a ‘lite’ version that is only 30Mb (uses AbiWord instead of the full OfficeSuite).

Paint.Net – Free graphics program with support for layers

paint.net logo

Paint.net is a free graphics program similar to Microsoft Paint but a lot more powerful. Windows users may prefer it’s simple interface compared to the GIMP, which can be complicated for the first time user. The software requires the .Net framework from Microsoft to run, but this is pretty much installed on most PC’s these days.
Paint.net has numerous features that make it a very useable program, that’s completely free; it has support for layers, unlimited undo’s, special effects, plus much more. A nice touch is the facility to use bezier curves normally only found in higher end graphics programs. The software is distributed under an opensource license.

MediaCoder – batch transcoding free

MediaCoder is a batch transcoder, which means it enables you to convert multiple files simultaneously. It supports all the major formats, and you can use it either to convert files from one format to another, or to resample files – for example, by reducing a video clips quality to make it phone-friendly. It is distributed under a GPL license which puts together loads of audio/video codecs and tools from the opensource community into an all-in-one solution.

Convert to and from many audio and video compression formats and re-multiplex into various container formats, on the fly, in batch

  • Give you the control over the transcoding process and all the parameters of the transcoded files, so you can learn about, compare among and play with various codecs
  • Specific user interfaces for specific devices with device plug-ins and extensions
  • Fully standalone, no dependent on any media player, filter or codec, no registration of any components into system

It’s easy to use, and you can exampnd it with plug-ins thta enable you to convert files for particular devices, such as the PSP. The only downside is that the whole process can take some time. There is a WIKI with loads of HOWTO’s to help the process.