Cliff’s List Filter – July 13 – 19


Author: Ian Palmer

The great thing about open source is that there’s always something going on. We’re here every week to summarize news, tips, patches and releases that comes across the Linux, GNOME, KDE, and Mozilla lists and newsgroups. This week: discussions on desktop and multimedia performance priorities in Linux; end-user impressions of Balsa 2.2.0; the latest Rekall release for KDE (is it good enough to replace Access?); and more.

Linux Kernel


  • Sometimes application sounds are cute the first few times you hear them, but can become increasingly annoying over time. This holds particularly true for Balsa users, since the sound that plays when you get a new mail is an edit of a famous South Park quote and AOL’s ever present “You’ve got mail.” Currently Balsa doesn’t have a preference to reset this sound, but you can still replace it with something else by replacing the sound file with something more appropriate and restarting your X11 server.

  • While on the topic of Balsa, those of you looking forward to 2.2.0 may be interested in reading some impressions from an end user on the latest Balsa release, and the responses it generates.

  • Limited functionality for Drag and Drop has returned to GnomeMeeting. There is currently a limit to the drag sources and drop targets which are currently supported, but anything that saves time and adds interoperability between GNOME apps, particularly communications oriented apps like Evolution and GnomeMeeting, can only be a good thing.
  • There were recent reports of Nautilus having problems dealing with automounted directories. It was determined that the automounter in question (submount) and GNOME’s volume management didn’t play well together and a patch for gnome-vfs was drafted that seems to solve the problem. Users who have been having similar issues with Nautilus should consider applying this patch and dropping notes of their experiences to the developers. Also, since gnome-vfs is already on our minds, it’s only fair to mention a recent patch that adds Kerberos support.

  • Sawfish users looking to start applications on a specific Workspace may be interested in a creative solution that uses the .xsession file to do just that.

  • Highlighted software from this week’s GNOME releases:
    • Hardware Monitor applet v1.2 was released on July 14.
    • The GNOME System Tools takes another step closer to release quality with the release ov version 0.90.0 on July 19. This package provides cross-platform configuration tools for Unix systems on which GNOME is supported.

    • GGV v2.6.2 with more bugfixes from the stable (2.6) series, was released on July 18.


  • Rekall 2.2.0-final was released on July 15. Rekall is a database front end that can connect to MySQL, PostgreSQL and even XBase (DB4) tables with the use of an SQL wrapper. It also provides GUI based table design, forms, reports, a graphical query designer, and even has a Python scripting engine. If you’ve been looking for an Access equivalent for Unix, this piece of software may be what you are looking for.
  • aKregator comes one step closer to the 1.0 milestone with the release of version 1.0-beta5, which was announced on July 17. For those of you unfamiliar with this program, aKregator is an internet feed reader with support for RSS, RDF and Atom feeds.


  • Mozilla users who are looking to use Windows Media Player to handle internet radio from Mozilla or Firefox links should look into the registry patch for WMP.

  • A common issue that pops up on the Mozilla lists is that of keeping a common Mozilla profile across several machines. Someone in the Mozilal groups pointed out that there is a program that will keep profiles in sync.

  • Thunderbird users who are having problems sending attachments and having those attachments displayed inline by other email programs may want to insure they have the proper content disposition and display settings set. It wouldn’t be nice to send a 500k text file and have it show up in the email body, even though it was added properly as an attachment when you originally sent it.