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A Week Of Open Source Riches

Over the last couple of weeks, many of the open source projects that I use on a daily basis enjoyed new releases, including a Firefox competitor (sort of): Flock 2.0. Upgrade time!

Over the last couple of weeks, many of the open source projects that I use on a daily basis enjoyed new releases, including a Firefox competitor (sort of): Flock 2.0. Upgrade time!

I was using the Firefox 3-based beta of Flock 2 for quite some time without noticing a great deal about it that was, well, beta-like. For ages it served as my default browser on my notebook; it shared time on my desktop with Firefox 3.0 (and later the 3.1 beta), as well as Google Chrome. And now Flock 2 is finally fully-baked and ready for public consumption.

For those who didn't catch Flock back in its 1.x incarnation, it's Firefox plus a whole slew of tightly integrated social networking functions -- in my case, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. There are still a few rough edges that bug me -- it's not visibly easy to convert an existing folder of Firefox RSS "feedmarks" into entries in the Feeds sidebar, for instance -- but the good things about it have been made even better, and it runs every bit as well as the "regular" version of Firefox.

Speaking of Firefox, version 3.1 beta 1 is now up for public consumption. The full 3.1 release has been pushed back to shoehorn in a few more new features, like a version of Google Chrome's "incognito" browsing mode. And speaking of Chrome, too, we're still on build 2200; could we at least get an update that has a working bookmark manager, if nothing else? (I can't grouse too much about Google, especially since they just released Android for free -- lock, stock and network stack).

If you don't want to install the full FF 3.1 beta, go grab the PortableApps version and try it out nondestructively. Other newly revised apps in the PA stack include the 2.5.2 version of Pidgin, the 2.6.1 version of GIMP -- which, incidentally, if you haven't tried lately, has become phenomenally better -- a portable version of JKDefrag for those who hate Vista's uninteractive-by-design defragger, and ... well, still no final version of OpenOffice.org 3, but I'm a patient guy. (Get the release candidate, it's stable.)

And in only a few days, Ubuntu 8.10 ("Intrepid") will be officially out the door. I've already installed the pre-release edition on a couple of test machines and have been pretty impressed with the results, but I'll have more to say about it when it's been given the seal of approval and sent on its merry way.


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