websec: monitor websites for changes
on 30.12.2006, 05:00
in packages-news
scli: a collection of SNMP command line management tools
on 27.12.2006, 05:00
in packages-news
Debian Weekly News 2006/42
on 26.12.2006, 00:00
in weekly-news
Etch Release Update
on 24.12.2006, 09:52
in news, release
unison: decentralized synchronization of files
on 24.12.2006, 05:00
in packages-news
unison: decentralized synchronization of files
on 24.12.2006, 05:00
in packages-news
qalculate: the ultimate desktop calculator
on 19.12.2006, 22:45
in packages-news
qalculate: the ultimate desktop calculator
on 19.12.2006, 22:45
in packages-news
htop: powerful top replacement
on 17.12.2006, 06:40
in packages-news
htop: powerful top replacement
on 17.12.2006, 06:40
in packages-news
python-scipy: get the math done
on 13.12.2006, 10:00
in packages-news
python-scipy: get the math done
on 13.12.2006, 10:00
in packages-news
Etch frozen
on 11.12.2006, 10:42
in news, release

websec: monitor websites for changes

published on Sat Dec 30 05:00:36 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Lucas Nussbaum. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

A lot of websites don’t provide RSS feeds yet. When you want to monitor changes to such sites, you can only visit it from time to time, or use public services such as FEED43 or RSSPECT. Websec (Web Secretary) automates the process of regularly visiting the website: it typically runs in a cron job, and compares the content of a web page with what it fetched during the previous run. If the content has changed, it will email it to you with the changed content highlighted.

It works quite well, but has some limitations:

  • You cannot monitor a whole website, but only single web pages ;
  • You can exclude some text from the comparison (typically “Generated in 0.2s”, the current date/time, etc), but I couldn’t get it to exclude multi-line expressions (this makes it impossible to monitor Google results, for example). See bug #402113.

I couldn’t find a package doing the same as websec, but generating an RSS feed instead instead of emailing the changes. If someone want to write one, it might be possible to re-use some of websec’s code.

You can find websec’s homepage at http://baruch.ev-en.org/proj/websec/

Websec has been available in Debian and Ubuntu for several stable releases, and doesn’t suffer from any really annoying bug.

scli: a collection of SNMP command line management tools

published on Wed Dec 27 05:00:12 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Kurt Pfeifle. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Some common daily problems for IT people….

  • You are installing a Laserjet driver for the brandnew Lexmark printer your boss bought, but you do not know: was the darn thing shipped with a PostScript module installed or does it understand PCL only?
  • You are wondering, what the LCD display of the printer down the hall currently indicates, but you’re too busy to get up and walk down?
  • You are bothered by a user who phones “My big HP jammed; though I removed the paper, this red light keeps blinking all the time!”?

Use scli.

scli is the command to invoke the “SNMP Command Line Interface”. A little known console utility, it is of great use to me on many occasions.

Executive summary:

scli connects to any SNMP-enabled network node and lets you interactively “browse” through the values stored in the device’s SNMP database (”MIB”, Management Information Base). My own personal usage is mainly for network printers (yeah, that’s why I picked these examples), but scli can work with many more device types: bridges, routers, gateways, switches, computers and more. (And it also has a scriptable, non-interactive mode).

Target users:

  • users who want to learn what kind of info the devices owned by them do reveal to their network neighbourhood
  • users who are executing a kind of “remote helpdesk” function (in their job, for their friends, or within their own family)
  • users who are just curious about SNMP functions, and want to learn about that resource and about their network nodes
  • users who are somewhat familiar with “snmpwalk”, but not familiar enough to run it without consulting the manpage every time again)

Links:

Glorious details for the curious:

scli does not only give you a more user friendly way than snmpwalk to run SNMP queries, it also formats the results it returns in a more user friendly way. You can run scli interactively (which gives you its own shell+prompt to run different commands) or in a way that just executes one command, displays the result and returns to your standard shell (this mode is also good for scripting stuff).

By default, scli returns plain ASCII text messages. But you can also tell it to return XML by using the “–xml” parameter. (XML may be useful if you want the return to be processed by software, instead of being read by a human).

Assuming the network node you are interested in poking at has the IP address 192.168.23.45. Start the tool by typing

  scli 192.168.23.45

SNMP-enabled devices by default use “public” as their “community name”, and if scli does not see a community name on the commandline, it tries to use “public”.

You wonder what that community name” thingie means? It is a very weak way of authorization; in essence, a password common to all users, but no separate user names. SNMP in version 1 will not even encrypt the community name on the wire! Yes, that’s very bad security for most devices, but that’s how the real life SNMP world around us currently is. (SNMP v2 and v4 are better, but not yet as common in devices used out there).

If you have a less open node, and you happen to know the used “community name”, use it as an additional argument:

  scli 192.168.23.45 "community-name"

If it succeeds connecting, scli will present you its prompt:

  scli > 

It is in interactive mode now. Type “help” to see the available commands. Type “show system info” to find out who the vendor of the device was, and what the model name is. I’m sure you will find more interesting queries of your own quickly.

scli has a good commandline auto-completion (using the [TAB] key) built in. Type “show system [TAB] [TAB]” to get a list of subcommands other than the “info” we used. You’ll see possible completions “devices info mounts processes storage”. That means “show system storage” is another valid scli full command. Try it.

Of course, you can even try “show system” on its own [without any of the available sub commands]. That makes scli execute all of these subcommands and return all results at once (but piped through a pager).

The same is true for “show [TAB] [TAB]” or “show” all on its own. Run it and see all SNMP info about of device you are currently accessing.

A few tips will help you get up to speed with scli:

  1. Your most important command to remember with scli is “show scli command [TAB] [TAB]”.
  2. Your most frequently used initial command with scli will probably be “show scli command tree”.
  3. scli ships with a very good man page; make sure to look at it at least one time.
  4. scli can return its qurey results XML-formated, if called with the “–xml” parameter.

scli is available in Debian (stable, testing and unstable all have 0.2.12-2, while experimental has 0.3.0-0.1). If you happen to use 0.3.0, don’t miss to try a scan for SNMP enabled devices in your neighbourhood. At the interactive scli command prompt (scli >), type “run scli scan <a-network-IP-address-in-your-reach>”. Or run scli in command mode from the shell, and type: “scli -c ‘run scli scan <a-network-IP-address-in-your-reach>’” (that network address may be something like 192.168.0.0/24 or 10.162.4.0/22). This scan command is one of the new ones in 0.3; it will present you a list of all SNMP-enabled nodes that respond to the (unsafe) community name “public” (which we didn’t explicitely need to type here). You may want to fix that hole…

scli was created by Prof. Juergen Schoenwaelder, who also is one of the people who created the SNMP standard and wrote the RFCs describing it.


P.S.: Oh, you *really* wanted to know the answers to these initial questions? Ok, here we go:

Is my new Laserjet PostScript-enabled?
kurt:~> scli 192.168.23.45 -c "show printer interpreters" | grep Description
Description:   Lexmark PCL
Description:   Lexmark PostScript
Description:   Lexmark XL
Description:   Lexmark PJL
Description:   Lexmark Automatic Language Switching
Description:   Lexmark NPAP

So, whatever “NPAP” is — PostScript is supported as well. It will be easy to print to it from CUPS…
 
 

What’s on the LCD display on that remote printer right now?
kurt:~> scli 192.168.23.45 -c "show printer display"
PRINTER LINE   TEXT
      1    1   No Paper: Tray 4

Uuhh, and you wondered why that thing didn’t give any noise since 2 hours…
 
 

Why doesn’t that red light stop flashing on that printer?
kurt:~> scli 192.168.23.45 -c "show printer covers"
Printer:      1
Cover:        1
Description:  Rear Door
Status:       coverOpen

Printer:      1
Cover:        2
Description:  Top Door
Status:       coverClosed

So, that’s easy. Tell your user: “Please shut that darn Rear Door again and the flashing red light will go away.”


Debian Weekly News 2006/42

published on Tue Dec 26 00:00:00 2006 in weekly-news

Welcome to this year's 42nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. DWN is currently not being published weekly but when authors have contributed enough items because its editor can't ignore other duties while the Debian project is indirectly paying some developers. In the meantime Christian Perrier has opened the 400,000th bug report. Jonathan Oxer called for participation in the sixth Debian mini conference which will be part of Linux Conference Australia in Sydney.

20,000 Submitters for Popularity Contest

Petter Reinholdtsen reported that Debian's Popularity Contest project passed 20,000 submitters. By installing the popularity-contest package users can collect and submit the list of installed packages on their systems which helps our developers to see how popular their packages are and where a need for additional packages is.

Five Years debianforum.de

On December, 20th the German speaking Debian discussion board debianforum.de is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Created in late 2001 by Sebastian Feltel debianforum.de was build upon the ideals and ideas that made Debian what it is now. Today the forum with more than 17,000 members is one of the largest discussion boards for Debian where beginners and advanced users help each other in a friendly and constructive manner. With booths at several Free Software events the forum is also active outside the world wide web.

ARM now third most-popular Debian Architecture

Rod Whitby reported that the Linksys NSLU2 is responsible for driving the ARM port to be the third most popular architecture among Debian Linux users who run popularity-contest. NSLU2 Debian installations are easily tracked and make up 90 % of all ARM installations reported by popcon.

Installing Debian without CD-ROM

Rainer Dorsch figured out how to install Debian on laptops with USB floppy but without bootable CD-ROM drive, such as a number of Sony Vaio laptops. Debian etch may be installed on these devices using PXE-on-a-disk, TFTP for retrieving the installation media from an TFTP server, and netbooting. The installer for sarge supported such notebooks, but the 2.6.18 kernel has grown so big that support for USB floppies had to be dropped.

Etch-CD with KDE as default Desktop

Joey Hess announced that he has created a special etch installation CD image which installs KDE as the default desktop environment. The same is possible with the original CD images when using more than one installation medium or installing using a mirror server. This is because Debian placed the GNOME packages on the first installation medium rather than the KDE ones.

Etch frozen

Andreas Barth, member of the Debian Release team, announced the freeze of the upcoming etch release. Packages contained in this distribution will only be updated after manual approval by the release team. Before etch can be released, several issues need to be addressed, especially release-critical bugs and security support.

Debian powers Australia's largest Satellite Network

Rodney Gedda reported that Australia's largest Internet via satellite network is powered by Debian GNU/Linux based routers. In the state of New South Wales 75 towns spanning upwards of 800,000 square kilometres are linked together with a combination of wireless LAN and satellite based Internet uplinks. Debian has been chosen as operating system for the network routers due to its known reliability and ease of package management.

Debian Package of the Day

Lucas Nussbaum announced that he is resurrecting Debian package a day featuring reviews of Debian packages. For the beginning the site will be updated twice a week, provided that readers contribute reviews. Interested people can subscribe to the RSS and Atom feeds. The old site from Andrew Sweger was discontinued in 2004 and finally found a successor.

New daily CD and DVD Builds

Steve McIntyre announced more types of daily built CD and DVD images, including business card and network installation images for etch and sid for all architectures except for S/390. Building these sets is triggered by the mirror pulse twice a day. The total build time for all 44 images is approximately 45 minutes. Full CD and DVD sets for all architectures are built weekly and also provide special KDE and XFCE variants of the first CD. Additionally, multi-architecture network installation CD and DVD are provided for AMD64, PowerPC and x86.

Extremadura Work Meetings Evaluation

Andreas Schuldei asked participants of Extremadura meetings held in Spain as announced at the end of 2005. The work sessions are over and he would like to gather information about the success of these. Andreas will collect impressions from Extremadura people as well and will report his findings.

FOSDEM Debian Developer's Room

Wouter Verhelst called for talks for next year's Free and Open Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) that takes place on February 24th and 25th in Brussels, Belgium. The Debian project will maintain the room for the entire weekend to give talks and organise developer meetings. In addition to this room the project will staff a booth to present the new distribution to other developers present in Brussels.

Etch Release Update

published on Sun Dec 24 09:52:09 2006 in news, release

Andreas Barth from the Debian Release Team posted another release update. He reported that security support for the next stable version 4.0, codename Etch, ist now available. He also gave an overview of the current status of linux-2.6 and the other release blockers. According to his posting also the release notes and the installation manual still needs some love before Etch can be released.

unison: decentralized synchronization of files

published on Sun Dec 24 05:00:36 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Gael Varoquaux. DPOTD needs your help. If you want it to continue in 2007, please contribute !

Unison allows to synchronize files between two or more computers. Unison does not require a dedicated server, or root privilege, it is able to run using ssh, or a direct socket connection. Transfers are optimised using a version of the rsync protocol.

Unison works by taking a footprint of the replicas at each synchronization, and using this footprint to find out which files changed between two synchronizations. Unison has no central repository, and you can synchronize replicas between an arbitrary number of computers, or even use an external storage as an intermediate replica to synchronize two computers with no network connection. It will detect conflicts between updates and signal them. Unison also garanties that a network or power failure will not lead to loss of data.

Links :

unison is available in Debian stable at version 2.9.1, testing and unstable both have 2.13.16. The latest Ubuntu release, 6.10/Edgy, the LTS release (6.06/Dapper) and the development version (Feisty) currently have version 2.13.16. The latest version upstream is currently 2.13.16 and the program is actively maintained, but no longer developed.

There also is a unison-gtk package, which brings a nice graphical front-end to unison:

Unison GTK

unison: decentralized synchronization of files

published on Sun Dec 24 05:00:36 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Gael Varoquaux. DPOTD needs your help. If you want it to continue in 2007, please contribute !

Unison allows to synchronize files between two or more computers. Unison does not require a dedicated server, or root privilege, it is able to run using ssh, or a direct socket connection. Transfers are optimised using a version of the rsync protocol.

Unison works by taking a footprint of the replicas at each synchronization, and using this footprint to find out which files changed between two synchronizations. Unison has no central repository, and you can synchronize replicas between an arbitrary number of computers, or even use an external storage as an intermediate replica to synchronize two computers with no network connection. It will detect conflicts between updates and signal them. Unison also garanties that a network or power failure will not lead to loss of data.

Links :

unison is available in Debian stable at version 2.9.1, testing and unstable both have 2.13.16. The latest Ubuntu release, 6.10/Edgy, the LTS release (6.06/Dapper) and the development version (Feisty) currently have version 2.13.16. The latest version upstream is currently 2.13.16 and the program is actively maintained, but no longer developed.

There also is a unison-gtk package, which brings a nice graphical front-end to unison:

Unison GTK

qalculate: the ultimate desktop calculator

published on Tue Dec 19 22:45:08 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Diwaker Gupta. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Qalculate‘s tagline says “the ultimate desktop calculator”. Though this might sound a little obnoxious, Qalculate lives up to its claims.

So what is qalculate? First and foremost, its a calculator. Which means that it can do what you typically expect a calculator to do, no surprises there. Here’s a screenshot of the main window.

There’s a convenient history window as well, and a handy keypad if you should need it.

But one rarely needs to use the keypad because another great thing about qalculate is the input mechanism – it is extremely smart, context sensitive and natural language oriented. So converting 50 kgs to lbs is as simple as typing “50 kgs to lbs”! And if you don’t know how to represent a unit (pounds or lbs), not to worry, qalculate will provide completion options as you go along:

And then qalculate can be used to do a lot of other things: simplify algebraic expressions, solve equations, a plethora of banking related functions (compute accrued interest etc), unit conversion, some basic plotting (via Gnuplot) and a lot of geometry related functions. Note that the Qalculate user interface has been implemented both in Qt and GTK, and so it will fit right into your desktop whether you are using KDE or GNOME.

Check out the full feature list, and also take a look at some of the screenshots.

qalculate is available in Debian sarge (v. 0.7.2). Version 0.9.x is also available in Debian testing/unstable, and Ubuntu since Dapper. And there are no open open bugs!

qalculate: the ultimate desktop calculator

published on Tue Dec 19 22:45:08 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Diwaker Gupta. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Qalculate‘s tagline says “the ultimate desktop calculator”. Though this might sound a little obnoxious, Qalculate lives up to its claims.

So what is qalculate? First and foremost, its a calculator. Which means that it can do what you typically expect a calculator to do, no surprises there. Here’s a screenshot of the main window.

There’s a convenient history window as well, and a handy keypad if you should need it.

But one rarely needs to use the keypad because another great thing about qalculate is the input mechanism – it is extremely smart, context sensitive and natural language oriented. So converting 50 kgs to lbs is as simple as typing “50 kgs to lbs”! And if you don’t know how to represent a unit (pounds or lbs), not to worry, qalculate will provide completion options as you go along:

And then qalculate can be used to do a lot of other things: simplify algebraic expressions, solve equations, a plethora of banking related functions (compute accrued interest etc), unit conversion, some basic plotting (via Gnuplot) and a lot of geometry related functions. Note that the Qalculate user interface has been implemented both in Qt and GTK, and so it will fit right into your desktop whether you are using KDE or GNOME.

Check out the full feature list, and also take a look at some of the screenshots.

qalculate is available in Debian sarge (v. 0.7.2). Version 0.9.x is also available in Debian testing/unstable, and Ubuntu since Dapper. And there are no open open bugs!

htop: powerful top replacement

published on Sun Dec 17 06:40:08 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Kristoffer Lundén. DPOTD needs your help. If you want it to continue in 2007, please contribute !

htop is a very competent interactive process viewer for the shell, providing all the functionality - and more - that the top utility does, in an easier and more intuitive way. htop provides easy-to-use menus for most operations and also has support for using a mouse.

In short, htop is an easier to use and friendlier version of top. While it hasn’t as much time behind it and therefore is less tested, it seems to work very well both locally and over SSH, and it’s well worth taking it for a spin. It’s just one of those small utilities that makes life a bit easier.

Target usages:

  • Users who don’t want to memorize or constantly look up keyboard shortcuts for top.
  • Users who want a clean and friendly interface to view and manage processes in the shell.

Links:

htop is available in Debian stable at version 0.5.1-1, testing and unstable both has 0.6.3-1. Latest Ubuntu release, 6.10/Edgy has 0.6.2-1, while the LTS release (6.06/Dapper) has 0.6-1. The development version (Feisty) currently has version 0.6.3-1. The latest version upstream is currently 0.6.5 and the program is actively maintained.

htop was created by Hisham Muhammad, who is also one of the developers for Gobolinux. Other contributors to the program are listed on the homepage.

htop: powerful top replacement

published on Sun Dec 17 06:40:08 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Kristoffer Lundén. DPOTD needs your help. If you want it to continue in 2007, please contribute !

htop is a very competent interactive process viewer for the shell, providing all the functionality - and more - that the top utility does, in an easier and more intuitive way. htop provides easy-to-use menus for most operations and also has support for using a mouse.

In short, htop is an easier to use and friendlier version of top. While it hasn’t as much time behind it and therefore is less tested, it seems to work very well both locally and over SSH, and it’s well worth taking it for a spin. It’s just one of those small utilities that makes life a bit easier.

Target usages:

  • Users who don’t want to memorize or constantly look up keyboard shortcuts for top.
  • Users who want a clean and friendly interface to view and manage processes in the shell.

Links:

htop is available in Debian stable at version 0.5.1-1, testing and unstable both has 0.6.3-1. Latest Ubuntu release, 6.10/Edgy has 0.6.2-1, while the LTS release (6.06/Dapper) has 0.6-1. The development version (Feisty) currently has version 0.6.3-1. The latest version upstream is currently 0.6.5 and the program is actively maintained.

htop was created by Hisham Muhammad, who is also one of the developers for Gobolinux. Other contributors to the program are listed on the homepage.

python-scipy: get the math done

published on Wed Dec 13 10:00:57 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Gaël Varoquaux. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

If you have numerical data to process, if you want to code some complex mathematical operations, or if you want to output some figures on nice graphs, scipy could be for you.

This package adds a module to the python language that allows it to do scientific data processing.

Using it, and a few friends (ipython, python-matplotlib) you have a numeric capable high-level language that allows both to replace matlab for interactive data processing, to run extensive computations, and even to build powerful GUIs for experiment control.

In the late 70s optimized fortran routines where wrapped in a high level language, MATLAB. The resulting specialized language, and its competitors, had an enormous success among engineers, as it allowed them to focus on their mathematical problem, without worrying about computing problems, such as variable types.

However these languages are very rich in math operations, but very poor in other fields. The scipy python modules adds rich numerical types and mathematical operations to an already very rich and conveniant language: python. This profits both the engineer using scipy, as he can benefit from python’s extensive librairy, and the python programmer, who can pick optimized numerical functions in scipy’s toolbox for his general purpose program.

The scipy community is very active and scipy is gaining momentum. It is a great tool to teach computing to physics and engineering studing. The goal of the project is to make coding math as simple as possible.

python-scipy is available in Debian (0.3.2 in sarge, 0.5.1 in testing/unstable) and Ubuntu (0.3.2 in dapper, 0.5.1 in edgy).

python-scipy: get the math done

published on Wed Dec 13 10:00:57 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Gaël Varoquaux. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

If you have numerical data to process, if you want to code some complex mathematical operations, or if you want to output some figures on nice graphs, scipy could be for you.

This package adds a module to the python language that allows it to do scientific data processing.

Using it, and a few friends (ipython, python-matplotlib) you have a numeric capable high-level language that allows both to replace matlab for interactive data processing, to run extensive computations, and even to build powerful GUIs for experiment control.

In the late 70s optimized fortran routines where wrapped in a high level language, MATLAB. The resulting specialized language, and its competitors, had an enormous success among engineers, as it allowed them to focus on their mathematical problem, without worrying about computing problems, such as variable types.

However these languages are very rich in math operations, but very poor in other fields. The scipy python modules adds rich numerical types and mathematical operations to an already very rich and conveniant language: python. This profits both the engineer using scipy, as he can benefit from python’s extensive librairy, and the python programmer, who can pick optimized numerical functions in scipy’s toolbox for his general purpose program.

The scipy community is very active and scipy is gaining momentum. It is a great tool to teach computing to physics and engineering studing. The goal of the project is to make coding math as simple as possible.

python-scipy is available in Debian (0.3.2 in sarge, 0.5.1 in testing/unstable) and Ubuntu (0.3.2 in dapper, 0.5.1 in edgy).

Etch frozen

published on Mon Dec 11 10:42:20 2006 in news, release

The Debian Release Team announced that the next stable version 4.0, codenamed Etch, has been frozen now. This means that only urgent changes will be done to Etch, in order to get the numbers of release critical bugs even more down, and release Etch soon.

scribus-ng: next generation of the desktop publishing program

published on Sun Dec 10 20:36:35 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Oleksandr Moskalenko.

scribus-ng is the successor to the scribus package, representing the current development tree of Scribus, the open source Desktop Publishing program.

Scribus is a cross-platform open source page layout program with the aim of producing commercial grade output in PDF and Postscript. Originally developed on Linux, Scribus also runs natively on MacOSX and Windows 2000 and XP. While the goals of the program are to make professional page layout accessible for beginners, it also has many professional publishing features, such as: spot color support, CMYK color, high grade PDF creation, Encapsulated Postscript import/export and creation of color separations. There is a great article on Desktop Publishing (DTP) versus Word Processing on wiki.scribus.net.

Target usages:

  • Layouts for newsletters, corporate stationery, posters, training manuals, technical documentation, business cards and other documents which need flexible layout and/or sophisticated image handling, as well as precise typography controls and image sizing not available in current word processors.
  • Users needing the ability to output to professional quality image setting equipment, as well as re-purposing for internal printing, web distributed PDFs or presentations.
  • Users needing to create interactive PDF forms for presentations and cgi-form submission via PDF.

Links:

There are no free software programs with Scribus’s capabilities. Proprietary world is represented by Quark Xpress and Adobe Indesign. Scribus holds its ground well against these programs and has been used to produce books, journals, newspapers and other publications (see Made_with_Scribus and Success_stories). There’s also a Jerusalem Post article that states flat out that you can do everything with Scribus that can be done with Adobe ID and QXP.

scribus-ng 1.3.3.5 is available in Debian testing and unstable. Sarge has the older stable branch of Scribus (package scribus, version 1.2.1), which is also present in Debian testing and unstable (also named scribus, version 1.2.5). Ubuntu has scribus-ng 1.3.3.5 in Feisty, 1.3.3.4 in Edgy, 1.3.3.2 in Dapper and scribus 1.2.5 in Feisty, 1.2.4.1 in Edgy and Dapper.

scribus and scribus-ng packages are maintained by Oleksandr Moskalenko. There are very few bugs (total of six for both packages, most are wishlist) and the Scribus development is tracked very closely. Upstream repositories for Debian stable/testing/unstable and Ubuntu breezy/dapper/edgy for scribus and scribus-ng packages are also maintained for the convenience of users. So, it is possible to transparently obtain the latest and greatest scribus-ng for Debian/Sarge for instance.

DPOTD needs your help, please contribute ! (We don’t have another post ready currently)

scribus-ng: next generation of the desktop publishing program

published on Sun Dec 10 20:36:35 2006 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Oleksandr Moskalenko.

scribus-ng is the successor to the scribus package, representing the current development tree of Scribus, the open source Desktop Publishing program.

Scribus is a cross-platform open source page layout program with the aim of producing commercial grade output in PDF and Postscript. Originally developed on Linux, Scribus also runs natively on MacOSX and Windows 2000 and XP. While the goals of the program are to make professional page layout accessible for beginners, it also has many professional publishing features, such as: spot color support, CMYK color, high grade PDF creation, Encapsulated Postscript import/export and creation of color separations. There is a great article on Desktop Publishing (DTP) versus Word Processing on wiki.scribus.net.

Target usages:

  • Layouts for newsletters, corporate stationery, posters, training manuals, technical documentation, business cards and other documents which need flexible layout and/or sophisticated image handling, as well as precise typography controls and image sizing not available in current word processors.
  • Users needing the ability to output to professional quality image setting equipment, as well as re-purposing for internal printing, web distributed PDFs or presentations.
  • Users needing to create interactive PDF forms for presentations and cgi-form submission via PDF.

Links:

There are no free software programs with Scribus’s capabilities. Proprietary world is represented by Quark Xpress and Adobe Indesign. Scribus holds its ground well against these programs and has been used to produce books, journals, newspapers and other publications (see Made_with_Scribus and Success_stories). There’s also a Jerusalem Post article that states flat out that you can do everything with Scribus that can be done with Adobe ID and QXP.

scribus-ng 1.3.3.5 is available in Debian testing and unstable. Sarge has the older stable branch of Scribus (package scribus, version 1.2.1), which is also present in Debian testing and unstable (also named scribus, version 1.2.5). Ubuntu has scribus-ng 1.3.3.5 in Feisty, 1.3.3.4 in Edgy, 1.3.3.2 in Dapper and scribus 1.2.5 in Feisty, 1.2.4.1 in Edgy and Dapper.

scribus and scribus-ng packages are maintained by Oleksandr Moskalenko. There are very few bugs (total of six for both packages, most are wishlist) and the Scribus development is tracked very closely. Upstream repositories for Debian stable/testing/unstable and Ubuntu breezy/dapper/edgy for scribus and scribus-ng packages are also maintained for the convenience of users. So, it is possible to transparently obtain the latest and greatest scribus-ng for Debian/Sarge for instance.

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