leafpad: a graphical text editor that starts really fast
on 27.09.2009, 05:00
in packages-news
timeout: send a signal to a process after some time
on 20.09.2009, 05:00
in packages-news
yeahconsole: a dropdown terminal emulator wrapper for X
on 13.09.2009, 05:00
in packages-news
DebConf10 visa information available
on 06.09.2009, 21:29
in debconf-news

leafpad: a graphical text editor that starts really fast

published on Sun Sep 27 05:00:34 2009 in packages-news

Article submitted by Emmanuel Kasper. Guess what? We still need you to submit good articles about software you like!

Leafpad in actionSometimes you know you just need to change a single line or a only a few things in a file, but for sure you don’t need syntax highlighting, Gnome VFS integration, or a plugin manager. Then you can spare a few seconds and start leafpad, instead of the usual Gedit/Kedit. Leafpad is is a very simple GTK editor, who can just do search/replace, line numbering and, yes, you can change the default font. Actually, as the result of creeping featurism, printing was added to Leafpad in version 0.8

Leafpad starts always in less that a second, in contrast to 3-4 seconds for gedit on my computer. And for just removing a single line, it makes a difference.

Since leafpad has an installed size of 672k, giving it a try will surely not clutter your hard drive.

Leafpad has been in Debian since at least Etch, and in Ubuntu since Dapper Drake.

timeout: send a signal to a process after some time

published on Sun Sep 20 05:00:49 2009 in packages-news

Article submitted by Carsten Aulbert. Guess what? We still need you to submit good articles about software you like!

timeout (part of the SATAN package) is a nice little tool to terminate/send a signal to a process after a given time.

It usually takes two arguments, the first one is the time limit in seconds and the second the program to start. All trailing options are then passed to the started program.

It accepts a single numerical option which specifies what signal to send — be careful as its default is SIGKILL.

Quite useful on many occasions, e.g.: strace stats of a process PID for the next 300 seconds

timeout -2 300 strace -tt -c -p PID

Ensure that your kids don’t play childsplay all day long (of course you need to make sure that they won’t be able to restart it ;))

timeout 3600 childsplay

Similar programs could be timelimit.

Package is available in Debian for ages (at least since etch) and Ubuntu since at least dapper.

yeahconsole: a dropdown terminal emulator wrapper for X

published on Sun Sep 13 05:00:21 2009 in packages-news

Article submitted by Pete Daniels. Guess what? We still need you to submit good articles about software you like!

yeahconsoleyeahconsole is a “quake-like” dropdown terminal emulator wrapper for X. Originally written to complement the author’s window manager (yeahWM), it can be used anywhere, and is lightweight and dependency-free.

yeahconsole can be invoked by itself (in which case it simply starts your preferred terminal emulator) or with the -e (execute) argument. Once started, the default hotkey to drop down the terminal is Ctrl-Alt-y.

yeahconsole can be configured via your ~/.Xresources file, in the format:

yeahconsole*foo: value

Type yeahconsole -h to view possible resources and their default values. Some highlights:

term: Your preferred terminal emulator. xterm and urxvt are supported.

xOffset, screenWidth, consoleHeight: Set the placement and size of the
terminal. Offset and width are measured in pixels, height in lines.

aniDelay, stepSize: Delay and step size settings for the slide
animation. Setting stepSize to 0 disables the animation.

toggleKey, keyFull: Hotkeys to drop down the terminal. Set to
Control-Alt-y and Alt-F11 by default, respectively.

See the man page for more; see also the man pages for xterm and urxvt and their respective resources. Particularly note that if urxvt is used as the terminal emulator, pseudo-transparency is supported.

Other alternatives

Yakuake (featured in another debaday article) and Tilda: For KDE and Gnome, respectively. Yakuake is a wrapper for Konsole and Tilda for Gnome-terminal libvte (on which Gnome-terminal is based on). Both highly useful and, in some respects, more full-featured, but both carrying obvious overhead (and dependencies), especially if you’re not using KDE or Gnome. For instance, both Yakuake and Tilda have tabs, a feature which yeahconsole lacks. However, this writer has found yeahconsole + screen to be a much more lightweight, configurable, and ultimately satisfying solution.

Availability & Status

yeahconsole has been available in Debian since at least Etch, and in Ubuntu since Gutsy. It is unknown to this writer whether yeahconsole is in active development, but it seems to be bug-free.

DebConf10 visa information available

published on Sun Sep 6 21:29:00 2009 in debconf-news


The DebConf10 local team would like to announce availability of visa information at http://debconf10.debconf.org/visas.xhtml

Full information is contained at that page, provided by our lawyer; however some important points are indicated below.

- The United States depends on its tens of millions of visitors annually for its economy to function. Getting approved for a visa is not a rare exception, and it is even easier given our generous free help from an immigration lawyer.

- If you are from a Visa Waiver Program country (see visa page), fill out the ESTA web form to apply for your travel authorization now. You don’t need any information about the conference itself or your means of travel.

- If you will need to apply for a visa, check the visa information page for information on what to do. Carefully check the wait times for your country’s embassy. For most countries there is no *immediate* urgency, but plan to get an appointment well in advance of May 2010.

- Make sure you will have a passport that will expire in February 2011 or later (6 months after the latest possible DebConf date). If not, apply for a new passport.

Special note to Venezuelans: Since the wait time for a visa appointment in Caracas is so long, we have been paying special attention to its visa application process. We have reports that the dates for visa appointments are moving quickly, getting later and later. If you are are applying for a visa in Caracas, you need to make an appointment immediately. You just need to make an appointment now, supporting materials can be assembled later. Also consider applying for a visa in a different US embassy such as the Quito, Ecuador one with a significantly shorter wait time. Consult with our lawyer for advice on the advantages and disadvantages of doing this.

The local team hopes that everyone interested can meet us in New York City and have a great DebConf10 experience! Feel free to email us (publicly archived list) or ask in #debconf-team or #debconf-nyc on OFTC with your questions or ideas.

- The DebConf10 Local Team