LinkedIn open sources Two website's troubleshooting tools

LinkedIn has announced to have open sourced two new tools to assist engineers in automating the investigation of broken hosts and services: Fossor and Ascii Etch.

Fossor (Latin for gravedigger) is a Python tool, while Ascii Etch, another Python library, outputs information gleaned from Fossor in ascii-character graphs.

Python tool- Fossor’s design splits the two components of the program, the engine and plugins, to reduce the incidence of serious bugs. Whereas, Ascii Etch was originally created to draw the results from running Fossor.

Source : egyptfoss

3 open source alternatives to AutoCAD

CAD—computer-aided design or computer-aided drafting, depending on who you ask—is technology created to make it easier to create specifications for real-world objects. Whether the object you’re building is a house, car, bridge, or spaceship, chances are it got its start in a CAD program of one type or another.

Among the best-known CAD programs is AutoDesk’s AutoCAD, but there are many others, proprietary or open source, out there. So how do the open source alternatives to AutoCAD stack up? The answer depends on how you plan to use them.

Let’s start by being honest and upfront about something: If you’re looking for a drop-in replacement for your existing CAD program that will provide identical functionality and workflow without making any changes to your processes, you’re going to be disappointed. But I would argue that the reason for your disappointment has nothing to do with the licensing of the product—drop-in replacements for complex programs with long-time users who have specific needs and expectations for their software are hard.

The trick for deciding whether a replacement piece of software, whether open or closed, is a good choice for you is to tease out exactly what your needs are. The situation is no different than discovering that the person who insists that they “need” Photoshop is just using it to draw a few geometric shapes and remove red-eye from photos; what they really need is a graphics editing tool that can replace those specific functions. Whether it has all of the bells and whistles of the original is irrelevant if those features sit paid for but unused.

My personal journey through open source CAD programs was no different. I worked with AutoCAD briefly in grad school, so when I wanted to play with drawing three-dimensional plans for something, it was pretty much all I knew. But that alone didn’t make AutoCAD the best choice.

As I’ve strived to replace more and more software in my life with open source options, Blender turned out to be just as good for my 3D modeling needs, whether I was playing with models created for a 3D printer or looking at landscapes exported from other programs. And for the relatively simple task of planning out my home landscaping projects, Sweet Home 3D has been an excellent open source alternative.

If your needs are a little more specific and you really need a dedicated CAD program, here are great open source choices to consider:


BRL-CAD is a cross-platform CAD tool that dates back to 1979, although it would take 25 years for the source code to be released under an open source license. In fact, BRL-CAD is so old that it has been credited with being the oldest source code repository of an application currently in active development.

Originally developed by Mike Muuss at the Army Research Laboratory, BRL-CAD is been used for decades by the United States military for modeling weapon systems, but it also has been used for much more everyday design tasks, from academic to industrial design to health applications.

So what does more than 35 years of development bring you? BRL-CAD is made up of more than 400 different constituent tools and applications spread across more than a million lines of source code. Not all parts are under the same license, with licenses ranging from BSD to LGPL to simple public domain; the COPYING file within the project’s source code on SourceForge has more details.


FreeCAD is a parametric open source CAD program that was created to be able to design “real-life objects of any size,” and although it’s clear that many of the showcased examples created by users are smaller objects, there’s no specific reason it couldn’t be used for architectural applications as well. FreeCAD is written primarily in C++, and if you’re a Python coder you’ll want to take advantage of the ability to extend and automate FreeCAD using its Python interface.

FreeCAD can import and export from a variety of common formats for 3D objects, and its modular architecture makes it easy to extend the basic functionality with various plugins. The program has many built-in interface options, from a sketcher to renderer to even a robot simulation ability. Currently in beta, FreeCAD is being actively developed with regular releases, but the developers warn that it may not yet be suitable for production use.

FreeCAD’s source code is hosted on GitHub and is made available as open source under an LGPL license.


LibreCAD is another CAD program that is designed to work across Windows, Mac, and Linux alike. A fork of QCAD (mentioned below), LibreCAD has an interface that will look familiar to AutoCAD users, and by default it uses the AutoCAD DXF format for importing and saving, though it can use other formats as well. LibreCAD is 2D only, though, so it makes more sense if your intended use is a site plan or something similarly, err, flat.

Source : opensource

توجه لبنوك المنطقة العربية إلى الأنظمة مفتوحة المصدر!

يرى المدير العام للشرق الأوسط في شركة «ريد هات» المتخصصة في برمجيات مفتوحة المصدر، إن غالبية المصارف في المنطقة العربية لا تزال تواجه تحديات في التأقلم مع التقنيات الحديثة مثل «بلوك تشين» التي غيرت بالفعل خارطة السوق المالية وتشق في هذه الآونة طريقها بقوة إلى العديد من الأنشطة الأساسية في بنوك عالمية بمزيد من الأدوات التي تواكب مواجهة هذه التحديات، لافتاً إلى أن المصارف في العديد من دول العالم وجدت نفسها أمام واقع يفرض عليها «إعادة ابتكار» أنظمتها لمواجهة تلك التحديات والتوجه نحو ما بات يسمى بـ«النظام المصرفي المفتوح» الذي يفتح المجال أمام أطراف ثالثة لتطوير تطبيقات وخدمات خاصة بالمصارف بهدف خدمة عملائهم بشكل أفضل وأسرع مع المحافظة على دورهم كمستشار موثوق كما يفترض بهم.

وقال أدريان بايكرينج في تصريحات لجريدة “البيان” الإماراتية أن «النظام المصرفي المفتوح» يوفر كذلك عملاء البنوك بخيارات مالية أكثر شفافية لإدارة حساباتهم، لافتاً إلى أن «ريد هات» من قبل مع أكبر المصارف العالمية لمواجهة مثل تلك التحديات.

وأضاف: لا تملك جميع المصارف الدراية الكافية بما يجري في كواليس التقنيات المالية هذه الأيام، وهنا تبدأ المصاعب في الظهور. فعلى سبيل المثال إن أفكارًا مثل «الانفتاح» و«التشغيلي البيني» هي ليست بالضرورة من تلك الأمور التي تشغل اهتمامك كثيرًا كمصرف عندما يتعلق الأمر بأنظمة تقنية المعلومات لديك. لكن «النظام المصرفي المفتوح» أصبح السمة السائدة في الكثير من المؤتمرات والحوارات التي جرت في الأشهر الماضية.

وتتبوأ شركة «ريد هات» موقعًا ممتازًا لأجل مساعدة المؤسسات الإقليمية في التحول بأنظمتهم، فـ«النظام المصرفي المفتوح» يفتح باب لابتكارات من شأنها تحسين التجربة المصرفية بشكل كبير وإطلاق خدمات مالية جديدة، على سبيل المثال، يمكن أن تقدم شركات «فين تيك» خارجية تطبيقات تمكن المستهلكين من الحصول على استشارات من حسابات مصرفية مختلفة من خلال تطبيق واحد فقط، أو تطبيقات تسهل مشاركة البيانات مع المحاسبين.

ونعتقد أن البرمجيات مفتوحة المصدر تمثّل التقنية الأمثل لمساعدة الشركات على تحديث كامل بناها التحتية لتقنية المعلومات بسرعة وبتكلفة مجدية مع المحافظة على التشغيل البيني والاستقرار وأمن البيانات.

التحول الرقمي

وحول دور برمجيات مفتوحة المصدر في دفع عجلة التحول الرقمي في الدول العربية، أفاد بايكرينج: تعمل حلول المصادر المفتوحة على تسريع الابتكار واعتماد السحابة، وتعزيز الاستفادة من البيانات الضخمة والتحليلات، وإنترنت الأشياء (IoT)، والذكاء الاصطناعي (AI) و«بلوك تشين»، وهي تعتبر بديلا مرنا وفعالا لناحية التكلفة ومرونة البرمجيات ذات الملكية المسجلة، والطريقة الأفضل لتحقيق الاتصال على نطاق واسع دون الاعتماد على أطر ومنصات مفتوحة المصدر ضمن البنى التحتية الرقمية.

وبما أن معظم دول الشرق الأوسطـ ومن بينها دول عربية مثل مصر والإمارات، تعمل على تفعيل مبادرات التحول الرقمي الوطنية لدفع التنوع الاقتصادي، فإن حلول المصادر المفتوحة ستستمر في اكتساب المزيد من الزخم في المنطقة.

وفي الإمارات، تعمل الحكومة بنشاط على تشجيع الابتكار. في الواقع، نشهد زيادة ملاحظة في عدد الحاضنات، والشركات الناشئة، والتكنولوجيا المالية التي يجري إنشاؤها في الدولة، ما يؤدي بالتالي إلى الاستفادة من الحلول مفتوحة المصدر لإنشاء خدمات رقمية جديدة. كذلك هو الواقع في مصر، حيث بدأت الحكومة المصرية مؤخرا عدة مبادرات لنفس الأسباب.

فوائد أمنية

وحول الفوائد الأمنية للتعامل مع حلول المصادر المفتوحة، أفاد بايكرينج: تكمن الفائدة من تبني أسلوب تطوير المصادر المفتوحة في الاستفادة من مجتمع عالمي يتكون من مطورين ومستخدمين يتمتعون بمصادر جماعية ومعرفة ترفد المطورين الذين توظفهم شركات تقنيات المصادر المفتوحة. معوقات

وحول معوقات استخدام المصادر المفتوحة، أفاد بايكرينج أن ندرة توافر المهارات في هذا السوق هو التحدي الأول في تبني المصادر المفتوحة بشكل أسرع، مضيفاً: لمجابهة هذا التحدي وللمساعدة على تطوير المهارات والمواهب في أنحاء المنطقة، قدمت «ريد هات» استثمارات كبيرة في المنطقة بالعمل مع الجامعات المحلية لتأسيس برنامج «أكاديمية ريد هات»، حيث سبق أن تعاقدنا مع أكثر من 20 جامعة في الشرق الأوسط لتمكين الطلاب من الاستحواذ على المهارات المتعلقة بالمصادر المفتوحة.


المصدر : منصة مصر للبرمجيات الحرة مفتوحة المصدر

ثلاثة بدائل مفتوحة المصدر عن برنامج النشر المكتبي Microsoft Publisher

توجد طرائق عدَّةً لنشر كتابك إلكترونيًا، وإنَّ نشره ورقيًّا أمرٌ واردٌ. وسواءً اخترت تلك الطريقة أم غيرها للنشر فأنت تحتاج إلى تصميمٍٍ ينسجم مع محتوى الكتاب وغلافه وحتى الشعارات التي يحتويها.

يوجد في هذا العالم الكثيرُ من التطبيقات المحتكرة، مغلقة المصدر، لبعض الشركات والتي تقدِّم الكثير من أدوات التصميم، منها تطبيق “QuarkXpress” من شركة Quark وتطبيق “Adobe InDesign” الأكثر شهرةً من شركة Adobe. ويُعدُّ تطبيق النشر المكتبي “Publisher” من شركة مايكروسوفت الأكثر شهرةً وانتشارًا من بينهم جميعًا والذي يُستخدم على الأقلِّ من قِبل الأفراد و الشركات التجاريَّة الصغيرة. ويُعرف هذا التطبيق على أنَّه من أكثر التطبيقات استخدامًا على منصات النشر خصوصًا بتكلفته المنخفضة وسهولة استخدامه خاصَّة لمن اعتاد استخدام حزمة مايكروسوفت المكتبية “Microsoft Office”.

أظنُّ أنَّك تفكِّر في ما ذُكر عن التطبيقات المحتكرةوأدواتها التصميمية الرهيبة. لا تقلق إذا كنت من مستخدمي نظام لينكس أو حتى إذا كنت عالقًا في نظامي ويندوز أو ماك، فهنالك خياراتٌ كثيرةٌ مفتوحة المصدر ستساعدك بالاستغناء عن تطبيق النشر المكتبي “Publisher” وتصميم كتابك القادم.

أولًا: Scribus

أحدثَ هذا التطبيق ضجَّةً كبيرةً عندما انخرط في مجال النشر المكتبي المفتوح المصدر. ستجد فيه بعد التطوير الحثيث والمستمر عبر عقدٍ من الزمن الكثير من الأدوات والميزات التي يحتاج لها مستخدمٌ متمرِّس. يستطيع هذا التطبيق الاستيراد من صيغ كثيرةٍ ومنوعةٍ، ويستخدم واجهةً سهلةً تجعله الخيار الأفضل للمستخدم المبتدئ كما أنَّه يدعم اللُّغة العربية. بالإضافة إلى أنَّ وجود مجتمع ضخم من المستخدمين يفيد بتوفير المصادر الكثيرة والدعم الخارجي الذي تحتاج له من كتبٍ وقوالب جاهزةٍ تلبِّي جميع الاحتياجات.

ثانيًا: LibreOffice

ألا تحتاج إلى تعلُّم استخدام تطبيقٍ جديدٍ من تطبيقات النشر المكتبي؟ تقدِّم لك هذه الحزمة من التطبيقات قدرات تصميمٍ رائعةٍ عبر العديد من تطبيقاتها. حيث يزودك التطبيق “Writer” بتصميماتٍ أساسيَّةٍ وبمقدرةٍ على الرسم تُوسِّعُ مجال استخدامه كثيرًا. ويعدُّ الخيار الأمثل للتصميمات المعقَّدة جزئيًا كالأخبار أو النشرات أو الأبحاث. بالنسبة لي، اعتدت على استخدام “Impress” لنشر الإعلانات العلمية أثناء القيام بمشاريع في الجامعة بالإضافة إلى استخدام النماذج الافتراضية في تطبيق “PowerPoint ” واستيرادها.

ثالثًا: Markup

الخيار الثالث هو استخدام لغة Markup. إنها ليست بهذه السهولة وغير مفضَّلة لبعض المستخدمين، وقد لا تتمكن أغلب الأوقات من استخدام بعض محررات النصوص المتطورة مع هذه اللُّغة والتي تُظهر النتيجة النهائيَّة للنص أمامك أثناء كتابتك الكود. وإذا كنت تعرف القليل عن هذه اللغة، فلماذا لا تطور خبرتك في استخدامها؟ ولا أعني بالضبط استخدامLaTeX فقط، وهو نظام لمعالجة المستندات النصية وتنسيقها ويعتمد على لغة markup ويتميز بسهولته وشموليته وهو مفتوح المصدر ومتوفرٌ على جميع أنظمة التشغيل، بل إنَّ استخدام لغة HTML أو لغة CSS، وهما الأساس في تصميم صفحات الويب والتعامل مع النصوص باحترافٍ كبيرٍ، سيكون كافيًا لك لمعظم المشاريع التي تقوم بها. كما ستجعلك هذه اللغة تستخدم الكثير من الأدوات الموجودة لديك مسبقًا بدءًا من محرر النصوص البسيط وحتى تطبيقاتٍ أكثر تطورًا، حيث تقوم بادئ ذي بدءٍ بالعمل مع صفحات الويب ثم نهايةً تحوُّل ما كتبته إلى نسخةٍ إلكترونيَّة جاهزة للطباعة باستخدام PDF عبر أدواتٍ للتحويل. قد تكون هذه اللغة بديلةً عن سابقاتها ولكنَّها تُستخدم للتصميم في مجال النصوص بشكلٍ احترافيٍ وتلبي الكثير من الاحتياجات.

ولكن لماذا نستخدم لغة Markup في مجال التصميم؟ إننا نستخدمها لعدَّة أسبابٍ. أولها بساطة النص، حيث يمكنك التعديل والتحديث على النص مباشرةً و بسهولةٍ من خلال استخدام أدواتٍ مختلفة أو من سطر الأوامر. ثانيها تقليل وقت التنسيق والإخراج عند العمل على وثائق متشابهة سواءً للويب أو للطباعة. ثالثها أنها لغة قابلة للقراءة، وهذه الخاصيَّة المفضَّلة لديَّ، حيث أحصل على ما أتوقع دائما عند كتابة الكود أثناء التصميم.

ألا زلت تنتج التصميمات للنسخ المطبوعة؟ ما هو التطبيق الذي ستستخدمه؟ هل هو من إحدى التطبيقات التي ذُكرت أم تستخدم تطبيقًا آخرًا؟ ربما تستخدم أداةً لتعديل الرسوميات والتصميمات مثل GIMP أو Inkscape أو تطبيقًا آخرًا؟ شاركنا رأيك وخبرتك في التعليقات.

المصدر :وادي التقنية

Mir is a powerful display server that can meet your IoT display requirements

IoT is one among the hot discussion topic in these days. It changes the way in which we communicate with the devices surrounding us. The majority of IoT devices use sensors and other actuators to interact with people. While there is a class of devices which requires a graphical display to communicate with people.

Linux is the most popular operating system chosen by IoT manufacturers and researchers to build IoT devices. When we use Linux on IoT devices, we have handful choices. It includes selecting a complete display server to custimizing a simple toolkit. The Mir server is a display server that can be used a variety of devices.

The IoT promises to bring about a revolution in the way we interact with devices around us. While many IoT devices will be hidden away, from sensors that measure manufacturing tolerances in a factory to hubs that control lighting around the home, there are a class of devices that need to provide some sort of graphical output or display to the user. Some examples include digital signage, interactive kiosks, automotive in-car entertainment gateways, smart meters, and the plethora of display screens seen on everything from washing machines to smart thermostats. All of these examples need some way to output graphics to a screen display but in an embedded environment that is not always easy.

Linux is one of the most popular OS choices for manufacturers and solution providers to use in IoT devices and with it there are a few options available for graphical environments. From custom software to drive the display, through direct frame buffer access with toolkits such as QT, to a full X windowing server. All of these options have their pros and cons and often it is a trade-off between custom software and off-the-shelf components to speed up development. Custom software takes time and requires developers to continue to maintain a code base for the lifetime of the device, while using a graphical toolkit such as QT requires less code but comes with commercial licencing. The open source X windowing server is a popular choice but, being over 30 years old, has some shortcomings. It has been well documented that the design of X windows, although revolutionary at the time, has some security risks especially around application isolation and privilege escalation which has led to efforts to replace it by redesigning the graphical server from the ground up. One such effort is Mir.

Source : egyptfoss

كوالكوم تعلن عن منصة DIRBS لتحديد الهواتف المسروقة

أعلنت شركة كوالكوم عن سعيها لإطلاق منصة جديدة تحمل اسم DIRBS، والتى تعمل كمصدر مفتوح يتيح للمستخدمين تحديد الهواتف المسروقة أو غير القانونية.

وقالت كوالكوم إن منصتها الجديدة تأتى لتحديد هوية الأجهزة والتسجيل والحجب “يعزز هوية كل جهاز لمساعدة المشاركين في صناعة الهواتف المحمولة والحكومات على حد سواء في محاربة الهواتف المسروقة والمقلدة التي تم الإبلاغ عنها ، والتي يمكن أن تتجاوز القوانين ومتطلبات إصدار الشهادات”.

وأضافت كوالكوم: ” فيمكن استخدام منصة برمجيات DIRBS القائمة على الخادم للمساعدة فى تحديد الأجهزة المحمولة غير القانونية والمسروقة فى بلد ما، كذلك ستساعد منصة برمجيات DIRBS الوكالات التنظيمية على تصنيف الأجهزة وتوليد قوائم IMEI للإخطار والعفو وأغراض المنع، وتأتى هذه الخطوة فى إطار جهودها لمكافحة الاستخدام غير الصحيح للأجهزة المزورة وغير القانونية والمسروقة على الشبكات الخلوية.. “

وبالتالي ، فإن النظام الأساسي ليس مخصصًا لسوق الولايات المتحدة فقط ولكن أيضًا في الأسواق العالمية. في الواقع ، قالت كوالكوم إن منصة DIRBS التي أطلقتها في باكستان في مايو وسوف تتوسع قريبا إلى إندونيسيا وعدد من الدول الأخرى. ومن المقرر أيضاً أن يتم إطلاق برمجيات منصة DIRBS كمصدر مفتوح على موقع Github، مع توقعات أن يكون التحميل مجانى للمستخدمين، كما أشار “محمد رحال كمال” المدير الأول لحقوق الملكية الفكرية فى Qualcomm Incorporated، إلى أن الهواتف غير القانونية أدت إلى خسارة تصل إلى 45.3 مليار يورو فى مبيعات الهواتف الأصلية سنوياً.

Microsoft, Salesforce plan to open source major enterprise software products

Microsoft and Salesforce have separately announced plans to release some key software products as open source for anyone to use in their data centers.

Microsoft plans to release its Open Network Emulator (ONE), a simulator of its entire Azure network infrastructure that it uses as a way to find and troubleshoot problems before they cause network outages. The announcement was made by Victor Bahl, a distinguished scientist with Microsoft Research, on a Microsoft podcast.

Meanwhile, Salesforce announced its intention to open source TransmogrifAI, key software behind its Einstein AI product. TransmogrifAI helps build machine-learning systems at enterprise scale. The news came on the Salesforce Engineering blog by Shubha Nabar, senior director of data science at Salesforce Einstein.

Such actions by either company would have been unthinkable ten years ago and reflects how important the cloud and AI have become. More to the point, it also reflects an acknowledgment by both companies that on-premises isn’t going anywhere.

Bahl said the emulator works by mimicking the network, so when networking engineers and operators make changes, they actually are changing the emulator. “It mimics the network underneath so amazingly that you can’t tell the difference. So, once you make the changes, the emulator will then try them out and make sure everything is good. Once everything is good, it’s going to go and put it on the network below,” he said on the podcast.

Microsoft ultimately decided that ONE is too important to keep to itself. “We have decided that this is such an important resource for everybody that just hoarding it ourselves is not the right thing to do,” Bahl said. “So, we are making it available to the entire community so that they can now — and it’s not just for production systems, but also for students that are now graduating.”

The software will help large enterprises improve their network uptime by simulating changes to their network before rolling them out live.

Microsoft hasn’t disclosed where it plans to release ONE, but GitHub — which Microsoft is in the process of acquiring — seems the logical choice.

TransmogrifAI is an automated machine learning library for structured data, which makes sense coming from Salesforce, since its CRM products are built on the traditional row-and-column structure of a relational database. It’s written in Scala and built on top of Apache Spark, Apache’s in-memory analytics software.

Nabar said Salesforce customers are looking to predict a host of outcomes, but every customer’s data is unique, with different schemas, different shapes, and different biases introduced by different business processes. That means building thousands of different models.

“The only way to achieve this without hiring an army of data scientists is through automation,” she wrote.“Most auto-ML solutions today are either focused very narrowly on a small piece of the entire machine learning workflow, or are built for unstructured, homogenous data for images, voice and language. But we needed a solution that could rapidly produce data-efficient models for heterogeneous structured data at massive scale.”

TransmogrifAI promises an efficient coding process with just a few lines of code executing tasks, where a data scientist can automate data cleansing, feature engineering, and model selection to arrive at a performant model without hassles.

Source :egyptfoss

4 open source alternatives to Gmail

Gmail has enjoyed phenomenal success, and regardless of which study you choose to look at for exact numbers, there’s no doubt that Gmail is towards the top of the pack when it comes to market share. For certain circles, Gmail has become synonymous with email, or at least with webmail. Many appreciate its clean interface and the simple ability to access their inbox from anywhere.

But Gmail is far from the only name in the game when it comes to web-based email clients. In fact, there are a number of open source alternatives available for those who want more freedom, and occasionally, a completely different approach to managing their email without relying on a desktop client. You’ll still need an email server to use with these clients. If you don’t already have a favorite, look for an upcoming article with some options to consider.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the free, open source webmail clients out there available for you to choose from.


First up on the list is Roundcube. Roundcube is a modern webmail client that will install easily on a standard LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) stack. It features a drag-and-drop interface that generally feels modern and fast, and comes with a slew of features: canned responses, spell checking, translation into over 70 languages, a templating system, tight address book integration, and many more. It also features a pluggable API for creating extensions.

It comes with a comprehensive search tool, and a number of features on the roadmap, from calendaring to a mobile UI to conversation view, sound promising, but at the moment these missing features do hold it back a bit compared to some other options.

Roundcube is available as open source under the GPLv3.


Roundcube screenshot courtesy of the project’s website.


The next client on the list is Zimbra, which I have used extensively for work. Zimbra includes both a webmail client and an email server, so if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, it may be a good choice.

Zimbra is a well-maintained project that has been hosted at a number of different corporate entities through the years, and was acquired by Synacore in 2016. It features most of the things you’ve come to expect in a modern webmail client, from webmail to folders to contact lists to a number of pluggable extensions, and generally works very well. I have to admit that I’m most familiar with an older version of Zimbra, which felt at times slow and clunky, especially on mobile, but it appears that more recent versions have overcome these issues and provide a snappy, clean interface regardless of the device you are using. A desktop client is also available for those who prefer a more native experience. For more on Zimbra, see this article from Zimbra’s Olivier Thierry, who shares a good deal more about Zimbra’s role in the open source community.

Zimbra’s web client is licensed under a Common Public Attribution License, and the server code is available under GPLv2. S


Zimbra screenshot courtesy of Clemente under the GNU Free Documentation License.


I have to admit, SquirrelMail (self-described as “webmail for nuts”) does not have all of the bells and whistles of some more modern email clients, but it’s simple to install and use and therefore was my go-to webmail tool for many years when I was setting up websites and needed a mail client that was easy and “just works.” As I am no longer doing client work and shifted towards using forwarders instead of dedicated email accounts for personal projects, I realized it had been awhile since I took a look at SquirrelMail. For better or for worse, it’s exactly where I left it.

SquirrelMail started in 1999 as an early entry into the field of webmail clients, with a focus on low resource consumption on both the server and client side. It requires little in the way of special extensions of technologies to be used, which back when it was created was quite important, as browsers had not yet standardized in the way we expect them to be today. The flip side of its somewhat dated interface is that it has been tested and used in production environments for many years, and it’s a good choice for someone who wants a webmail client with few frills but also few headaches to administer.

SquirrelMail is written in PHP and is licensed under the GPL.


SquirrelMail screenshot courtesy of the project website.


Next up is Rainloop. Rainloop is a very modern entry into the webmail arena, and its interface is definitely closer to what you might expect if you’re used to Gmail or another commercial email client. It comes with most features you’ve come to expect, including email address autocompletion, drag-and-drop and keyboard interfaces, filtering support, and many others, and it can easily be extended with additional plugins. It integrates with other online accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Dropbox for a more connected experience, and it also renders HTML emails very well compared to some other clients I’ve used, which can struggle with complex markup.

It’s easy to install, and you can try Rainloop in an online demo to decide if it’s a good fit for you.

Rainloop is primarily written in PHP, and the community edition is licensed under the AGPL. You can also check out the source code on GitHub.


Source :

Two open source alternatives to Flash Player

In July 2017, Adobe sounded the death knell for its Flash Media Player, announcing it would end support for the once-ubiquitous online video player in 2020. In truth, however, Flash has been on the decline for the past eight years following a rash of zero-day attacks that damaged its reputation. Its future dimmed after Apple announced in 2010 it would not support the technology, and its demise accelerated in 2016 after Google stopped enabling Flash by default (in favor of HTML5) in the Chrome browser.

Even so, Adobe is still issuing monthly updates for the software, which has slipped from being used on 28.5% of all websites in 2011 to only 4.4.% as of August 2018. More evidence of Flash’s decline: Google director of engineering Parisa Tabriz said the number of Chrome users who access Flash content via the browser has declined from 80% in 2014 to under eight percent in 2018.

Although few* video creators are publishing in Flash format today, there are still a lot of Flash videos out there that people will want to access for years to come. Given that the official application’s days are numbered, open source software creators have a great opportunity to step in with alternatives to Adobe Flash Media Player. Two of those applications are Lightspark and GNU Gnash. Neither are perfect substitutions, but help from willing contributors could make them viable alternatives.


Lightspark is a Flash Player alternative for Linux machines. While it’s still in alpha, development has accelerated since Adobe announced it would sunset Flash in 2017. According to its website, Lightspark implements about 60% of the Flash APIs and works on many leading websites including BBC News, Google Play Music, and Amazon Music.

Lightspark is written in C++/C and licensed under LGPLv3. The project lists 41 contributors and is actively soliciting bug reports and other contributions. For more information, check out its GitHub repository.

GNU Gnash

GNU Gnash is a Flash Player for GNU/Linux operating systems including Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian. It works as standalone software and as a plugin for the Firefox and Konqueror browsers.

Gnash’s main drawback is that it doesn’t support the latest versions of Flash files—it supports most Flash SWF v7 features, some v8 and v9 features, and offers no support for v10 files. It’s in beta release, and since it’s licensed under the GNU GPLv3 or later, you can help contribute to modernizing it. Access its project page for more information.

Want to create Flash?

*Just because most people aren’t publishing Flash videos these days, that doesn’t mean there will never, ever be a need to create SWF files. If you find yourself in that position, these two open source tools might help:

  • Motion-Twin ActionScript 2 Compiler (MTASC): A command-line compiler that can generate SWF files without Adobe Animate (the current iteration of Adobe’s video-creator software).
  • Ming: A library written in C that can generate SWF files. It also contains some utilities you can use to work with Flash files.

Source : opensource

3 alternatives to LibreOffice Writer

Even though I write for a living, I rarely use a word processor these days; I do most of my work in a text editor. When I do need to use a word processor, I turn to LibreOffice Writer. It’s familiar, it’s powerful, and it does everything that I need a word processor to do.

It’s hard to dispute LibreOffice Writer’s position at the top of the free and open source word processor food chain—both in popularity and in the number of features it has. That said, Writer isn’t everyone’s favorite word processor or their go-to application for writing.

Sure, the number of free and open source word processors has dwindled over the years. But LibreOffice Writer isn’t the only game in town. If you’re in the market for an alternative to Writer that’s also open source, test drive these three word processors.

Calligra Words

Calligra Words is easily the most powerful of the three word processors I’ll look at in this article. It does just about everything that LibreOffice Writer does, and actually does one or two things that Writer doesn’t.

You get all the advanced features you’d expect in a word processor, ranging from text manipulation to handling tables and images. Calligra Words gives you a lot of control over all elements of a document, and it uses ODT as its native format. It also has a distraction-free mode, which takes over your screen and shows only what you’re writing. There are no window decorations, menus, or toolbars to pull you away from your writing.

While Calligra Words has a limited number of import and export filters, there is one pleasant surprise: the ability to convert your documents to EPUB and .mobi (two popular e-book formats). The files I converted to EPUB turned out fairly well, although the .mobi files I exported wouldn’t open in calibre.

You might find the Calligra Words user interface not to your liking at first. It doesn’t look like most word processors you’re used to. Most of the tool’s formatting functions are in a dockable side panel that takes up quite a bit of screen space. You really need to try to get used to it before writing Calligra Words off.


Calligra Words screenshot

Calligra Words


AbiWord is one of my long-time favorites; I’ve been using it on and off since around 2000. Its longevity is a testament to the fact that not everyone needs all the power and features of a word processor like LibreOffice Writer. Light and functional are two of the best words I can use to describe AbiWord.

It’s light, but it delivers a solid punch. AbiWord packs all the basic features you’d expect from a word processor—like styles, text formatting, graphics handling, and tables—and a bit more. You can, for example, copy the styles from another document into an AbiWord document, giving you an instant template. AbiWord also comes with a surprising number of import and export filters, including some formats (like Applix Words and ClarisWorks) that were long thought forgotten.

While it’s grown in size over the years, AbiWord is still fairly lightweight. It performs smoothly on the Chromebook where I installed GalliumOS.


AbiWord screenshot



The first word processor I used was SpeedScript on a Commodore 64. SpeedScript served me well towards the end of high school and through university. Wordgrinder, much to my surprise, brought back a few fond memories of SpeedScript.

Wordgrinder is a barebones terminal word processor. You might think that it’s a jumped-up text editor. It isn’t. Wordgrinder’s functions are limited, but they’re more than enough to write with. You can format headings and body text, create lists, and even add preformatted text and code samples to a document. There’s no support for tables or images, though.

Wordgrinder saves documents in its own binary format. You can, however, import ODT, HTML, and plaintext files. If you want to share or publish your work, you can export it to those formats as well as to Markdown, LaTeX, and troff.


Wordgrinder screenshot


Source : opensource