informa
/
Commentary

Open Source You Can Use, November Edition

In this edition: two ways to browse the web, and one great way to find everything scattered across all your storage media. Read on.

This month's open source roundup include: polished Chrome, portable Office, a bird (almost) out of its beta cage, and ... another bird bearing mail.

Fans of the Google Chrome browser who've been perennially frustrated by the lack of some of the simplest user utilities -- like, say, a bookmark manager -- will be heartened to know that the current development branch of the program now has just that. It hasn't shown up in the public releases yet, but it's only a matter of time. The PA suite has their own take-it-with-you edition of Chrome in development, too.

Open source music player Songbird's entered release candidate status. Good points: broad support for just about every media format I've thrown at it; very good handling of large (100+GB) music libraries; fantastically good music-community plugins (like mashTape). Bad points: Inconsistent behaviors in the UI that make it difficult to determine what the consequences of a given action will be. Example: The title of the currently-playing track is a hotlink, but clicking it doesn't always take you where you think it'll go.

Another bird worth mentioning is Spicebird, the Thunderbird-base email / PIM / calendaring client that's shaping up to be a serious contender for a proper Outlook replacement on my machine. The current 0.7 release is available for the PA suite, but you can always download the full installer from the original site. With Thunderbird 3 itself progressing terribly slowly, my attention has shifted here

Finally, you won't see this from the homepage of the PortableApps.com suite, but a portable edition of OpenOffice.org 3 has been baked and is available for general testing. It's as stable as the full release version on my system, and a lot less messy to install!


Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/syegulalp