Skip to content

Software Development News: .NET, Java, PHP, Ruby, Agile, Databases, SOA, JavaScript, Open Source

Methods & Tools

Subscribe to Methods & Tools
if you are not afraid to read more than one page to be a smarter software developer, software tester or project manager!

Open Source

NetBeans Community Day at JavaOne 2014 Conference

NetBeans Highlights - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 16:49
Join the NetBeans team at NetBeans Community Day at JavaOne 2014! We'll share highlights of how NetBeans has evolved; what's new and noteworthy today, and explore what's up ahead for NetBeans IDE.
Categories: Java, Open Source

CausalImpact: A new open-source package for estimating causal effects in time series

Google Open Source Blog - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 00:00
How can we measure the number of additional clicks or sales that an AdWords campaign generated? How can we estimate the impact of a new feature on app downloads? How do we compare the effectiveness of publicity across countries?

In principle, all of these questions can be answered through causal inference.

In practice, estimating a causal effect accurately is hard, especially when a randomised experiment is not available. One approach we've been developing at Google is based on Bayesian structural time-series models. We use these models to construct a synthetic control — what would have happened to our outcome metric in the absence of the intervention. This approach makes it possible to estimate the causal effect that can be attributed to the intervention, as well as its evolution over time.

We've been testing and applying structural time-series models for some time at Google. For example, we've used them to better understand the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and work out their return on investment. We've also applied the models to settings where a randomised experiment was available, to check how similar our effect estimates would have been without an experimental control.

Today, we're excited to announce the release of CausalImpact, an open-source R package that makes causal analyses simple and fast. With its release, all of our advertisers and users will be able to use the same powerful methods for estimating causal effects that we've been using ourselves.

Our main motivation behind creating the package has been to find a better way of measuring the impact of ad campaigns on outcomes. However, the CausalImpact package could be used for many other applications involving causal inference. Examples include problems found in economics, epidemiology, or the political and social sciences.

How the package works
The CausalImpact R package implements a Bayesian approach to estimating the causal effect of a designed intervention on a time series. Given a response time series (e.g., clicks) and a set of control time series (e.g., clicks in non-affected markets, clicks on other sites, or Google Trends data), the package constructs a Bayesian structural time-series model with a built-in spike-and-slab prior for automatic variable selection. This model is then used to predict the counterfactual, i.e., how the response metric would have evolved after the intervention if the intervention had not occurred.

As with all methods in causal inference, valid conclusions require us to check for any given situation whether key model assumptions are fulfilled. In the case of CausalImpact, we are looking for a set of control time series which are predictive of the outcome time series in the pre-intervention period. In addition, the control time series must not themselves have been affected by the intervention. For details, see Brodersen et al. (2014).

A simple example
The figure below shows an application of the R package. Based on the observed data before the intervention (black) and a control time series (not shown), the model has computed what would have happened after the intervention at time point 70 in the absence of the intervention (blue).

The difference between the actual observed data and the prediction during the post-intervention period is an estimate of the causal effect of the intervention. The first panel shows the observed and predicted response on the original scale. The second panel shows the difference between the two, i.e., the causal effect for each point in time. The third panel shows the individual causal effects added up in time.
The script used to create the above figure is shown in the left part of the window below. Using package defaults means our analysis boils down to just a single line of code: a call to the function CausalImpact() in line 10. The right-hand side of the window shows the resulting numeric output. For details on how to customize the model, see the documentation.
How to get started
The best place to start is the package documentation. The package is hosted on Github and can be installed using:

install.packages("devtools")
library(devtools)
devtools::install_github("google/CausalImpact")
library(CausalImpact)

By Kay H. Brodersen, Google

Categories: Open Source

Tim Boudreau: Frequently Undiscovered Features in NetBeans

NetBeans Highlights - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 22:43
NetBeans guru Tim Boudreau shares a few helpful but little-known tips to help speed up your work with NetBeans!
Categories: Java, Open Source

Glide 3.0: a media management library for Android

Google Open Source Blog - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 21:48
Today we are happy to announce the first stable release of Glide 3.0. Glide is an open source media management framework for Android that wraps media decoding, memory and disk caching, and resource pooling into a simple and easy to use interface.

Glide is specifically designed not only to be easy to use, but also to make scrolling lists of images as smooth and pleasant to use as possible. To reduce stuttery scrolling in lists caused by garbage collections due to Bitmap allocations, Glide uses reference counting behind the scenes to track and reuse Bitmap objects. To maximize the number of Bitmaps that are re-used, Glide includes a Bitmap pool capable of pooling arbitrary sizes of Bitmaps. 
The 3.0 version of Glide includes a number of improvements, including support for animated GIF and video still decoding, improved lifecycle integration to intelligently pause and restart requests, and thumbnailing support. 
Despite all of the new features, Glide’s interface is still simple and easy to use. To display an image, video still, or animated GIF in a view, you still need only one line:
Glide.with(context).load("http://goo.gl/h8qOq7").into(yourImageView);
Glide will intelligently determine the type of media you’re trying to load, decode it, and return a drawable object that can display the animation or still image in the view. If you want to load specifically a Bitmap, you can do that too:
Glide.with(context).load("http://goo.gl/h8qOq7").asBitmap().into(yourImageView);
You can also do more complex transformations. For example, to upload the bytes of a 250px by 250px profile photo for a user:
Glide.with(context)
.load("/user/profile/photo/path")
.asBitmap()
.toBytes()
.centerCrop()
.into(new SimpleTarget<byte[]>(250, 250) {
@Override
public void onResourceReady(byte[] data, GlideAnimation anim) {
// Post your bytes to a background thread and upload them here.
}
});
For a more complete list of changes, documentation, or to report issues please see the Github page. To see Glide being used in a real application, check out the recently released source of the 2014 Google I/O app and their excellent blog post on image loading. Finally, for questions, comments, or suggestions please join our discussion list.
By Sam Judd, Google Engineering
Categories: Open Source

Chess Programming Tools

Various tools to help a Chess programmer in development of Chess engines. Currently it features an PSQT editor, FEN Hover, Simple Playable Chess User Interfaces for JavaFX and SWT, and a toolset to help out debugging PERFT / DIVIDE for Chess Engine move generation.
This is my initial tools project which I hope will be useful for other programmers too. This will develop further since this is a hobby I have no plans to exit.

Note that the JavaFX interface requires Efxclipse being installed, the SWT works fine so no need to select the FX.

Categories: Open Source

The open source IFML editor

The open source IFML editor is a modeling editor to try all the benefits of the modeling language "Interaction Flow Modeling Language" (IFML), OMG standard. It is domain-independent and integrated in Eclipse as plugin.
The standard IFML is designed for expressing the content, user interaction and control behaviour of the front-end of software applications.
IFML allows the definition of:

- the pages/windows through which the application interacts with the user
- the objects/data displayed by the application or managed by business logic
- the bindings among displayed contents, objects/data and events
- the logic that determines the sequence of actions to perform in response to an event

Categories: Open Source

Projects of the Week, September 8, 2014

SourceForge.net: Front page news - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 18:12

Here are the featured projects for the week, which appear on the front page of SourceForge.net:

Ares Galaxy

Ares Galaxy is a free, open source BitTorrent and chat program that uses its own decentralized supernode/leaf network. Ares Galaxy has a simple, quick access interface with a built in audio/video viewer. Ares allows you to share any digital file including images, audio, video, software, documents, etc. You may now easily publish your files through the Ares’ peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

[ Download Ares Galaxy ]

7-Zip

7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. You can use 7-Zip on any computer, including a computer in a commercial organization. You don’t need to register or pay for 7-Zip. 7-Zip works for Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2008, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, and 98. And there is a port of the command line version to Linux/Unix.

[ Download 7-Zip ]

PortableApps

PortableApps.com is the world’s most popular portable software solution allowing you to take your favorite software with you. A fully open source and free platform, it works on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, iPod, memory card, portable hard drive, etc). With millions of users all over the world and a full collection of open source software (as well as freeware and commercial software), PortableApps.com is the most complete solution for life on the go.

[ Download PortableApps ]

Ubuntuzilla: Mozilla Software Installer

An APT repository hosting the Mozilla builds of the latest official releases of Firefox, Thunderbird, and Seamonkey. Do not manually download the files – read the website, http://ubuntuzilla.sourceforge.net for instructions on using the repository.

[ Download Ubuntuzilla: Mozilla Software Installer ]

Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice (formerly known as OpenOffice.org) is an open-source office productivity software suite containing word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, formula editor, and database management applications. OpenOffice is available in many languages, works on all common computers, stores data in ODF (the international open standard format), and is able to read and write files in other formats.

[ Download Apache OpenOffice ]

MinGW – Minimalist GNU for Windows

A native Windows port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), with freely distributable import libraries and header files for building native Windows applications; includes extensions to the MSVC runtime to support C99 functionality. All of MinGW’s software will execute on the 64bit Windows platforms.

[ Download MinGW - Minimalist GNU for Windows ]

SMPlayer

SMPlayer is a free media player for Windows and Linux with built-in codecs that can also play and download Youtube videos. One of the most interesting features of SMPlayer is that it remembers the settings of all files you play. SMPlayer is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the award-winning MPlayer, which is capable of playing almost all known video and audio formats. SMPlayer also lets you play Youtube videos or download subtitles.

[ Download SMPlayer ]

FileZilla

FileZilla is a cross-platform FTP, SFTP, and FTPS client with a vast list of features, which supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and more. FileZilla’s dynamic tools help you move files between your local machine and your Web site’s server effortlessly. For example, Filezilla lets you compare your files with in-directory server files to manage file syncing. You can also tab browse between servers and transfer files to them simultaneously, and edit server files on the go.

[ Download FileZilla ]

Quite Universal Circuit Simulator

Qucs is a circuit simulator with graphical user interface. The software aims to support all kinds of circuit simulation types (e.g. DC, AC, S-Parameter, transient, noise, and harmonic balance analysis). Pure digital simulations are also supported.

[ Download Quite Universal Circuit Simulator ]

Categories: Open Source

Introducing Open PostgreSQL Monitoring (OPM)

PostgreSQL News - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 01:00
Introducing Open PostgreSQL Monitoring (OPM)

Paris, September 8th 2014

Oversee and Manage Your PostgreSQL Servers

The OPM Development Group (see below) is proud to present the first public release of Open PostgreSQL Monitoring, a fully open source monitoring suite for PostgreSQL.

Get Graphs and Stats from your PostgreSQL instances!

PostgreSQL may be the most advanced database in the world but one of its biggest handicap is the lack of open source dedicated monitoring tools. Compared to its competitors, the PostgreSQL community has not been able to produce tools similar to Oracle Grid Control, MySQL Workbench or SQL Server Management Studio.

Today we'd like to present the OPM project: a fully open-source suite designed to provide dynamic graphs, custom stats series, performance analysis, server health overview and team management...

If you have serveral postgres servers in production, Open PostgreSQL Monitoring is the perfect to watch the current activity of your databases, with DBA-centric stats such as: database size, hit ratio, streaming replication lag, system load, page bloat, longest queries, WAL files generation, locks, backends status, etc.

Extensibility is the key

This initial public version is obviously a first step toward more features and more versatility.

OPM includes remote agents, a stat storage system and a web GUI. Most of the code is currently in Perl and the stat collection is based on Nagios, but the whole suite is designed to be extended to other monitoring frameworks and other languages. It is possible to your own remote agent, a specific stat storage or even an alternative user interface.

The OPM project was started in 2012 and it's been used in production for months, monitoring dozens of servers like a charm. We're publishing today the version 2.3 with the hope that it will be useful for other PostgreSQL users around the world.

Credits

The OPM Development Group would like to thank all the developers who contributed to this release, especially Sebastien Fauveau from Art is Code for his UI/UX design skills.

OPM is an open project available under the PostgreSQL License. Any contribution to build a better tool is welcome. You just have to send your ideas, features requests or patches using the GitHub tools or directly to contact@opm.io

Links

About OPM :

Open PostgreSQL Monitoring is a free software designed to help you manage your PostgreSQL servers. It's a flexible tool that will follow the activity of each instance. It can gather stats, display dashboards and send warnings when something goes wrong. The long-term goal of the project is to provide similar features to those of Oracle Grid Control or SQL Server Management Studio.

Code & Demo at http://opm.io/

About the OPM Development Group :

This project is driven by the OPM Development Group (OPMDG), a team of developers gathered to build efficient monitoring tools for PostgreSQL. So far the main sponsor of this project is DALIBO, the leading PostgreSQL company in France. However the project team is open to ideas and contributions: individuals and companies who share the goals of the OPMDG are welcome to join the team!

Categories: Database, Open Source

GWT.create 2015 Conference

Google Web Toolkit Blog - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 23:10
Vaadin is hosting the second GWT.create conference, with repeat events in Mountain View and Munich. This is going to be another exciting event, connecting GWT developers worldwide.

The following is a guest blog post from Fredrik Rönnlund of Vaadin Ltd.

GWT.create Conference, January 22-23. 27-28, 2015

The largest dedicated GWT conference is back in January.

Last year over 650 people joined the GWT.create conference and this time we're redoing the conference as an even larger conference.

We're happy to announce speakers from Google's GWT team, the original creators of GWT Bruce Johnson and Joel Webber from FullStory and steering committee members from Red Hat, Sencha, ArcBees, JetBrains, Bizo, Vaadin and many many more.

Come and hear about GWT3, Web Components, Polymer and Paper, Super Dev Mode, Functional UIs and remote controlled drones. This is your chance to collaborate with the core GWT teams, pitch your ideas and grab a beer in good company around emerging trends.

Early bird 20% discounted pricing available until September 30th at http://gwtcreate.com/register/.


See you in Mountain View, CA or Munich, Germany in January.
Categories: Java, Open Source, Vendor

Software Freedom Conservancy and Google Summer of Code

Google Open Source Blog - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 20:00
Today’s guest post comes from Bradley Kuhn, President of Software Freedom Conservancy. Conservancy and Google Summer of Code have had a long history as partners and in many cases Conservancy has made it possible for organizations to participate in our program. Read on for more details on how becoming a member of Conservancy can benefit your project in Google Summer of Code and beyond.

Software Freedom Conservancy, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that serves as a home to Open Source and Free Software projects. In this post I'd like to discuss what that means and why such projects need a non-profit home. In short, Conservancy seeks to makes the lives of Free Software developers easier and it gives contributors much less administrative work to do outside of their area of focus (i.e., software development and documentation).

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a great example to show the value a non-profit home brings to Free Software projects. GSoC is likely the largest philanthropic program in the Open Source and Free Software community today. However, one of the most difficult things for organizations who seek to take advantage of such programs is the necessary administrative overhead. Google invests heavily in making it easy for organizations to participate in the program (for instance, by handling the details of stipend payments to students directly). However, to take full advantage of any philanthropic program, the benefiting organization has some work to do. For its member projects, Conservancy is the organization that gets that logistical work done.

Google donates $500 to the mentoring organizations for every student it mentors. However, these funds need to go somewhere. If the funds go to an individual, there are two inherent problems. First, that individual is responsible for taxes on that income. Second, funds belonging to an organization as a whole are now in the bank account of a single project leader. Conservancy solves both those problems. As a tax-exempt charity, the mentor payments are available for organizational use under its tax exemption. Furthermore, Conservancy maintains earmarked funds for each of its projects. Conservancy keeps the mentor funds for the Free Software project, and the project leaders can later vote to make use of the funds in a manner that helps the project and Conservancy's charitable mission. Often times, projects in Conservancy use these funds to send developers to important conferences to speak about the project and recruit new developers and users.

Google also offers to pay travel expenses for two mentors from each mentoring organization to attendGSoC Mentor Summit. Conservancy handles this work on behalf of its member projects in two directions. First, for developers who don't have a credit card or otherwise are unable to pay for their own flight and receive reimbursement later, our staff book the flights on Conservancy's credit card. For the other travelers, Conservancy handles the reimbursement details. And on the back end, we handle all the overhead issues in requesting the POs from Google, invoicing for the funds, and tracking to ensure payment is made.
the annual

GSoC coordination is just one of the many things that Conservancy does every day for its member projects. If there's anything other than software development and documentation that you can imagine a project needs, Conservancy does that job for its member projects. This includes not only mundane items such as travel coordination, but also issues as complex as trademark filings and defense, copyright licensing advice and enforcement, governance coordination and mentoring, and fundraising for the projects. Some of Conservancy's member projects have been so successful that they've been able to fund developers’ salaries — often part-time but occasionally full-time — for many years to allow them to focus on improving the project's software for the public benefit.

If your project seeks help with regards to handling its GSoC funds and travel, or anything else mentioned on Conservancy's list of services to member projects, Conservancy is welcoming new applications for membership. Your project could join Conservancy's more than thirty other member projects and receive these important services to help your community grow and focus on its core mission of building software for the public good.

By Bradley M. Kuhn, President, Software Freedom Conservancy

Categories: Open Source

Web Development with Java and JSF: Author Interview with Michael Müller

NetBeans Highlights - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 14:57
Software developer and blogger Michael Müller discusses his new book, a practical guide for Java developers to enhance their web development skills and featuring NetBeans IDE.
Categories: Java, Open Source

Projects of the Week, September 1, 2014

SourceForge.net: Front page news - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 17:35

Here are the featured projects for the week, which appear on the front page of SourceForge.net:

Ares Galaxy

Ares Galaxy is a free, open source BitTorrent and chat program that uses its own decentralized supernode/leaf network. Ares Galaxy has a simple, quick access interface with a built in audio/video viewer. Ares allows you to share any digital file including images, audio, video, software, documents, etc. You may now easily publish your files through the Ares’ peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

[ Download Ares Galaxy ]

7-Zip

7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. You can use 7-Zip on any computer, including a computer in a commercial organization. You don’t need to register or pay for 7-Zip. 7-Zip works for Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2008, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, and 98. And there is a port of the command line version to Linux/Unix.

[ Download 7-Zip ]

PortableApps

PortableApps.com is the world’s most popular portable software solution allowing you to take your favorite software with you. A fully open source and free platform, it works on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, iPod, memory card, portable hard drive, etc). With millions of users all over the world and a full collection of open source software (as well as freeware and commercial software), PortableApps.com is the most complete solution for life on the go.

[ Download PortableApps ]

Ubuntuzilla: Mozilla Software Installer

An APT repository hosting the Mozilla builds of the latest official releases of Firefox, Thunderbird, and Seamonkey. Do not manually download the files – read the website, http://ubuntuzilla.sourceforge.net for instructions on using the repository.

[ Download Ubuntuzilla: Mozilla Software Installer ]

Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice (formerly known as OpenOffice.org) is an open-source office productivity software suite containing word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, formula editor, and database management applications. OpenOffice is available in many languages, works on all common computers, stores data in ODF (the international open standard format), and is able to read and write files in other formats.

[ Download Apache OpenOffice ]

corefonts

Core fonts for the Web was a 1996 Microsoft project to create a standard font pack for the Internet. These TrueType font formats are packaged as executable files (.exe) for Microsoft Windows and in BinHexed Stuff-It archives (.sit.hqx) for Macintosh. These packages are still published as freeware under a proprietary license imposing some restrictions on usage and distribution.

[ Download corefonts ]

Media Player Classic Home Cinema

MPC-HC is an extremely light-weight, open source media player for Windows®. It supports all common video and audio file formats available for playback. We are 100% spyware free, there are no advertisements or toolbars.

[ Download Media Player Classic Home Cinema ]

SMPlayer

SMPlayer is a free media player for Windows and Linux with built-in codecs that can also play and download Youtube videos. One of the most interesting features of SMPlayer is that it remembers the settings of all files you play. SMPlayer is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the award-winning MPlayer, which is capable of playing almost all known video and audio formats. SMPlayer also lets you play Youtube videos or download subtitles.

[ Download SMPlayer ]

FileZilla

FileZilla is a cross-platform FTP, SFTP, and FTPS client with a vast list of features, which supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and more. FileZilla’s dynamic tools help you move files between your local machine and your Web site’s server effortlessly. For example, Filezilla lets you compare your files with in-directory server files to manage file syncing. You can also tab browse between servers and transfer files to them simultaneously, and edit server files on the go.

[ Download FileZilla ]

Categories: Open Source

“Community Choice” Project of the Month Vote – October

SourceForge.net: Front page news - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 17:30

The vote for October 2014 Community Choice SourceForge Project of the Month is now available, and will run until Oct 24, 2014 12:00 UTC:

Vote here for the Community Choice SourceForge Project of the Month for October 2014

Ares Galaxy

Ares Galaxy is a free, open source BitTorrent and chat program that uses its own decentralized supernode/leaf network. Ares Galaxy has a simple, quick access interface with a built in audio/video viewer. Ares allows you to share any digital file including images, audio, video, software, documents, etc. You may now easily publish your files through the Ares’ peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

[ Download Ares Galaxy ]

7-Zip

7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. You can use 7-Zip on any computer, including a computer in a commercial organization. You don’t need to register or pay for 7-Zip. 7-Zip works for Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2008, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, and 98. And there is a port of the command line version to Linux/Unix.

[ Download 7-Zip ]

PortableApps

PortableApps.com is the world’s most popular portable software solution allowing you to take your favorite software with you. A fully open source and free platform, it works on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, iPod, memory card, portable hard drive, etc). With millions of users all over the world and a full collection of open source software (as well as freeware and commercial software), PortableApps.com is the most complete solution for life on the go.

[ Download PortableApps ]

Media Player Classic Home Cinema

MPC-HC is an extremely light-weight, open source media player for Windows®. It supports all common video and audio file formats available for playback. We are 100% spyware free, there are no advertisements or toolbars.

[ Download Media Player Classic Home Cinema ]

Wireless Universal Resource File

WURFL detects thousands of types of mobile devices accessing your web service to help you optimize mobile web content, effectively deliver advertisements, and analyze mobile traffic. It also reads HTTP requests from mobile browsers and search the Device Description Repository (DDR) for the corresponding device properties (i.e. capabilities). WURFL returns device capabilities to your application, which can leverage this knowledge to optimize the mobile experience.

[ Download Wireless Universal Resource File ]

Octave Forge

GNU Octave is a programming language for numerical computations. Octave-Forge is a central location for the collaborative development of packages for GNU Octave. The Octave Forge packages contains the source for all the functions and are designed to work with the Octave package system. In general the packages are designed to work with the latest development version of Octave, but it should be possible to use most packages with earlier versions.

[ Download Octave Forge ]

Clam AntiVirus

ClamAV is an open source (GPL) antivirus engine designed for detecting Trojans, viruses, malware and other malicious threats. It is the de facto standard for mail gateway scanning. It provides a high performance mutli-threaded scanning daemon, command line utilities for on demand file scanning, and an intelligent tool for automatic signature updates. The core ClamAV library provides numerous file format detection mechanisms, file unpacking support, archive support, and multiple signature languages for detecting threats. The core ClamAV library is utilized in Immunet 3.0, powered by ClamAV, which is a fast, fully featured Desktop AV solution for Windows.

[ Download Clam AntiVirus ]

TurnKey Linux

Turnkey GNU/Linux is a free Debian based library of system images that pre-integrates and polishes the best free software components into secure, easy to use solutions. TurnKey was started in 2008 by Alon Swartz and Liraz Siri who were inspired by a belief in the democratizing power of free software, like science, to promote the progress of a free & humane society. Without the freedom to freely distribute, tinker and learn from free software the Internet as we know it would not exist. Free software is the silent, often invisible power behind the greatest technological marvel of our era.

[ TurnKey Linux ]

SMPlayer

SMPlayer is a free media player for Windows and Linux with built-in codecs that can also play and download Youtube videos. One of the most interesting features of SMPlayer is that it remembers the settings of all files you play. SMPlayer is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the award-winning MPlayer, which is capable of playing almost all known video and audio formats. But apart from providing access for the most common and useful options of MPlayer, SMPlayer adds other interesting features like the possibility to play Youtube videos or download subtitles.

[ Download SMPlayer ]

Categories: Open Source

September 2014, “Community Choice” Project of the Month – OpenMediaVault

SourceForge.net: Front page news - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:37

For our September “Community Choice” Project of the Month, we elected OpenMediaVault (OMV), a next generation network attached storage (NAS) solution based on Debian Linux, which contains services like SSH, (S)FTP, SMB/CIFS, DAAP media server, RSync, BitTorrent client, and many more. The project manager, Volker Theile, who began OMV in 2009, shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): Tell me about the OpenMediaVault project please.
Volker Theile (VT): OMV is an open source network attached storage (NAS) solution. It is designed to be used without deep knowledge of the software and the operation system. The user should be able to install and use it within minutes and with minimal configuration options, OMV is not a Webmin replacement. The core system provides some default services like FTP, CIFS/SMB, NFS or RSync and can be enhanced via plugins.

SF: What made you start this project?
VT: I wanted to develop a software solution that allows me to easily set up a NAS in my home network. During my time as the project leader and main developer of the FreeNAS project, I realized that the code base couldn’t fulfill the plans and vision I had for the software.

For example, it was not possible to easily integrate a plugin infrastructure. Additionally I was unhappy with the package maintenance, too much time was wasted with compiling and stripping down software components. Then I decided to recode the whole project with Debian GNU/Linux, which was not desirable to the FreeNAS community, where I had contributed since 2006, so I started OpenMediaVault in 2009.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?
VT: The foundation for my original vision will be achieved with OMV 1.0, which will be released soon. But new ideas are already being born during this time so there is a continuous flow of work.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?
VT: Users who do not have the knowledge, skills, or time to set up a NAS and all its services on their own will benefit the most.

SF: What is the need for this particular network attached storage solution?
VT: In my opinion all existing solutions out there are too big and complex, or provide features that are unnecessary for a normal/casual user. Because of that OMV is reduced to its main purpose, to be a NAS. In addition it is free and can be used on nearly any hardware that is supported by Debian GNU/Linux.

SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using OpenMediaVault?
VT: Thanks to the Debian project, users have access to thousand additional software packages, even if they are not fully integrated into the Web GUI or the system back end as is the case with OMV plugins, which allow the them to customize the system to their needs. OMV uses shell scripts to generate system and service configuration files. These scripts can be customized via environment variables when the default values do not fit the user’s needs. Since OMV tries to respect Debian rules and use a Debian infrastructure when possible, power users expand the software’s potential through customization. Nevertheless, our default configuration helps anyone get results without deep knowledge.

SF: What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community?
VT: Continuous software improvements, bug fixes that address the users’ wishes, and forum moderators who help solve real everyday issues build up our community. I’d also like to single out the translators who help translate the Web GUI and other system parts into various languages.

SF: Have you all found that more frequent releases helps build up your community of users?
VT: I am not sure but I assume that more frequent minor releases give users a feeling that the project is alive, which might help propel them towards using OMV.

SF: What is the next big thing for OpenMediaVault?
VT: The release of version 1.0.

SF: How long do you think that will take?
VT: The release date is set for the near future.

SF: Do you have the resources you need to make that happen?
VT: Yes.

SF: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently for OpenMediaVault?
VT: Using a more powerful database backend for the configuration.

SF: Why?
VT: So we can implement the configuration restore feature which is badly missing at the moment.

SF: Any reason you can’t do that now?
VT: We want to keep backward compatibility and not loose all of our existing plugins.

SF: Is there anything else we should know?
VT: I am presently working on ideas how to implement the missing configuration restore feature!

[ Download OpenMediaVault ]

Categories: Open Source

September 2014, “Staff Pick” Project of the Month – PDF Split and Merge

SourceForge.net: Front page news - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:32

For our September “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, we selected PDF Split and Merge (PDFsam), an easy-to-use tool with graphical and command line interfaces to split, merge, mix, and rotate your PDF documents. One of the project’s managers, Andrea Vacondio, who has been with PDF Split and Merge since 2005, shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): Tell me about the PDFsam project please.
Andrea Vacondio (AV): PDFsam is an open source desktop utility I started developing in 2005. Its original purpose was to help users performing a simple split and merge on PDF documents but it grew quite a lot from there. Now it provides a comprehensive set of features.

SF: What made you start this?
AV: I wanted to practice my Java developer skills and I remembered that few years before I could not find a free, open source utility to merge my bachelor degree thesis. I soon found there was already an open source Java library called iText providing a PDF manipulations API. Developing a user interface over the iText library seemed like a reasonable task to exercise my Java knowledge.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?
AV: Sure, PDFsam is now used by thousands of people every day and I keep working on it.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?
AV: Occasional users, students needing to organize their notes, users dealing with digital documents (payslips, taxes forms, etc). We all have to deal with PDF documents in some way and PDFsam makes it a little easier.

SF: What is the need for this particular split and merge tool?
AV: PDF editors are often commercial and cumbersome. PDFsam is simple, multi platform, and it doesn’t require any training or documentation. It is not supposed to replace a full fledged PDF editor but it usually fits situations when the purchase of a commercial solution is not justified. A student trying to merge together all their physics class notes, an avid reader trying to extract few chapters from their e-books, the accountant sending your tax declaration upside down are just few examples where PDFsam shines.

SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using PDFsam?
AV: Read the features list but don’t expect it to do things it is not supposed to; it is not a replacement for other famous commercial products but it often helps.

SF: What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community?
AV: We have a forum where users can ask questions or suggest features and we try to reply to every single post. Most of the PDFsam features, except for the original split and merge, came from users suggestions from real use cases.

SF: Have you all found that more frequent releases helps build up your community of users?
AV: Unfortunately, I never managed to find the time for short release cycles. PDFsam has been a “spare time” project for long and releases come when I have time to implement new features, it all depends on how busy my week is.

SF: What was the first big thing that happened for your project?
AV: A French magazine wrote an article about PDFsam.

SF: What helped make that happen?
AV: People started using PDFsam and the voice spread, despite a limited set of features at that time. It was super easy to use and, like I said, we all have to deal with the PDF format.

SF: What was the net result for that event?
AV: PDFsam gained visibility and I realized it wasn’t something just for my entertainment because people were actually using it.

SF: What is the next big thing for PDFsam?
AV: PDFsam v3, the upcoming new release. I am completely rewriting it with eight years of experience, using some updated libraries, new technologies, and adding more functionality. I hope it grows into a sustainable business so I can dedicate more time to it and make it a more professional tool.

SF: How long do you think that will take?
AV: The first milestone release available to the public should be ready this Fall sometime.

SF: Do you have the resources you need to make that happen?
AV: Kind of. Some time ago I quit my daily job as software developer to be able to work on my personal projects, PDFsam tops the list. It’s a gamble but I think PDFsam v3 has the potential to grow into something professional and sustainable. If I am wrong I will go back to my traditional software developer job and PDFsam will remain a “spare time project”.

SF: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently for PDFsam?
AV: Probably nothing.

SF: Why?
AV: PDFsam and its satellite projects have been my playground for a while where I could experiment with things I couldn’t try at work. They helped me to grow as a developer and I am very happy with my career path, I wouldn’t change anything of it.

SF: Is there anything else we should know?
AV: Thanks to PDFsam I switched from a FOSS user to a developer. This made me realize just how much effort goes into creating open source tools.

So, don’t be shy, user support and feedback is extremely important to us, a message, a dollar, a tweet, a thumbs up, a polite criticism, everything adds up to keep we developers motivated. In the end, this helps us deliver better software to the open source community.

Categories: Open Source

Eclipse IDE UI montoring

Monitors the interactive UI performance and writes stack traces to the Error log in case the UI becomes unresponsive for more than 500 ms.

The platform.ui team plans to add this to the Eclipse Mars release but this update site allows to use this feature already in Eclipse Luna to report performance issues.

Categories: Open Source

Web Application Vulnerabilities Assessment: Introduction to ZAP

DevX: Open Source Articles - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 10:14
Learn more about ZAP—a penetration test and vulnerability assessment tool written in Java.
Categories: Open Source

J2OBJC Eclipse Plugin

J2ObjC Eclipse Plugin, is an Eclipse plugin for interfacing Google's j2objc compiler in Eclipse. It allows you to generate Objective-C source codes from existing Java projects in Eclipse. Most of the command line parameters required by the j2objc compiler is supported as preferences in the plugin. For more information on j2objc, visit http://code.google.com/p/j2objc/

Website: https://github.com/hemantasapkota/j2objc-eclipse-plugin
Tutorial: http://hemantasapkota.github.io/posts/j2objc-eclipse-plugin/

Note: The plugin only works in OSX and Linux. You'll also need to download the j2objc compiler from http://code.google.com/p/j2objc/

Categories: Open Source

DbWrench Database Design 3.2 Released

PostgreSQL News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 01:00
DbWrench Database Design v3.2 Released

Although version 3.2 did not contain new features it is still a significant release for DbWrench.

The primary focus of this release was to make it Java 8 compatible. This included:

- Upgrading the underlying NetBeans windowing platform. Which should be more responsive.

- Creating a new syntax highlighting SQL editor from the ground up.

A free trial download of this latest version is available at www.dbwrench.com.

Screen shots can be viewed here.

More About DbWrench

DbWrench is designed to increase the productivity of database developers by making creating and modifying databases much easier.

It's features include:

- Graphic entity relation diagram (ERD) designer

    - Forward engineer database designs with automatic SQL DDL script generation

    - Reverse engineer and visualize existing databases

    - A built in syntax highlighting SQL query editor

    - Runs on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux all in a single license
Categories: Database, Open Source

New Google Summer of Code Organizations - Final post

Google Open Source Blog - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 18:00
Today marks the final post in our series highlighting new Google Summer of Code organizations for 2014. Organization administrators from BioJavaScript, Julia and GNU Octave discuss their students’ projects below.
BioJavaScript (BioJS) is an open source library and standard for visualization of biological data on the web. BioJS provides widgets (a pre-made piece of code that performs a task needed in lab software) that can be easily reused, combined and extended, following a common architecture and documentation. BioJS is great for labs with few resources to be able to reutilize, find and share existing functionality.

For Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2014, our students worked on a series of widgets such as a taxonomy viewer that is zoomable at different resolutions and a phylogenetic tree viewer that displays proteins in a tree and branches according to their evolutionary proximity.

By Manuel Corpas, Organization Administrator for BioJS

-----------------------
Julia is a new dynamic programming language aimed primarily at technical computing. It is designed to be both high-level and high-performance, thus replacing the need to have separate languages to achieve these goals. Development on Julia started in 2009 and the project has since become a global collaboration—over 250 collaborators around the world have written close to 20,000 lines of code in the core Julia repository alone.

2014 marks our first time participating in Google Summer of Code and our three students have finished up their highly successful projects:
  • Simon Danisch is working on volumetric, particle and surface visualizations entirely in Julia and OpenGL. He has been blogging about his progress and all his code is available here on GitHub.
  • Mikes Innes is building a Julia environment on top of the excellent Light Table platform. It will support building big projects in small steps by modifying them as they are running. It tightly integrates tools such as the profiler and the upcoming documentation and debugging systems, with the aim of being accessible for novices and powerful for seasoned Julians. His work is available through the LightTable plugin manager as well as on GitHub.
  • Shashi Gowda is working on making use of the recently added real-time interaction support in IJulia notebooks. It will allow users to create widgets including sliders, drop-downs, colorpickers and other input elements in their notebooks and connect them to plots, DataFrames and other output. As part of this work he has also been working on React.jl, an Elm-inspired reactive-programming package for Julia. His code is available on GitHub.

By Keno Fischer, Organization Administrator for Julia

--------------------
GNU Octave is a high-level interpreted programming language primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides a command-line interface for solving linear and nonlinear problems numerically and for performing other numerical experiments using a language that is mostly compatible with MATLAB.

We are excited to have three GSoC students who worked with us this summer. Their projects include:
  • Improving finite element modeling capabilities through an interface to FEniCS
  • Adding incomplete matrix factorization capabilities
  • Improving the handling of sparse matrices

By Carlos Fernandez, Organization Administrator for GNU Octave

Categories: Open Source