January 19, 2005

Site review: Lynucs.org

Author: Tina Gasperson

Lynucs.org is an intriguing site for Linux users of all experience levels. Billing itself as "the free desktop screenshot archive," Lynucs.org lets users share screenshots of their Linux desktops, which other users can rate. It's a kind of AmIHot.com for Linux screenshots, but with some useful additions.Lynucs's members upload pictures of their highly stylized desktops running Linux. When a member uploads a screenshot, a thumbnail appears on the front page in a scrolling showcase of the artistic talents of hundreds of Linux users. Each thumbnail is clickable; a click takes you to a screen with a larger view, along with a button to rank the desktop on a scale from zero to ten. Votes are tallied and the total is continuously updated and displayed along with the graphic.

The unique part of Lynucs.org, and the feature that makes it most useful, is the additional information included on each screenshot's page, which includes the distribution used, the name and function of each open program shown, and links to a special page on the Lynucs.org site that gives more information about the application and shows all the desktop screenshots that feature that application. All the desktops are sortable by rating, relevance, number of views, and date uploaded.

The "relevance" tag comes into play if you use the search function to look for the perfect desktop. Each screenshot is keyworded to make searching for a specific application or feature easy. For example, I searched for different colors, shapes, and distributions.

Sylvain Zimmer, a math student in Metz, France, founded the Lynucs.org site early last year. Since then the site has amassed more than 2,400 screenshots and almost 2.5 million views of those shots, along with more than 850 members and more than 100 applications listed in the Lynucs.org database.

The site employs Villagehub, a PHP framework written by Zimmer and friends. At the top of each page is a link that toggles on or off a "babe filter." One quick perusal of the screenshot database will make the reason for the existence of this feature obvious.

Lynucs.org also has the beginnings of a wiki, where each member can have his own page. The site maintainers are working on creating the "full guide to creating the desktop you've always dreamed of." Honestly, I haven't always dreamed of making a beautiful, artistic desktop -- but Lynucs.org has at least caused me to think about it.

Category:

  • Free Software
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