Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Communications Apps

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mitch074

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I'd like to add something to the article...

- Skype for Linux is currently in version 2.1 (beta) which differs from 2.0 (final) only in the fact that it is now able to deal with ALSA, OSS and PulseAudio transparently - and it doesn't wreck webcam outputs as much.
- Skype for Linux has supported video ever since version 2.0 (beta); it does work quite well if your webcam sends uncompressed video to the system (if your webcam streams MJPEG and you have a 2.6.28+ kernel, you will need some hacker-fu; details on demand)
- a quite well known single protocol IM is aMSN, which is also multiplatform; its other main advantage is that it supports voice and video chats. However, it's not always very stable and requires manual setting up of a TCP port for video and voice to work properly.
 
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How about benchmarking the applications. Which ones use more ram vs. functionality? How about responsiveness and stability? Those are questions I would like to see laid out because much of the Linux user base have older hardware and don't like things eating away their CPUs and ram.
 

oralward

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You should really cover something with kde desktop as only because of protest by gnome users is it still the default desktop in any of the three versions you are covering. Its also easier for someone coming from windows. There is a version of ubuntu called Kubuntu that uses kde. This is the other main desktop.
 
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Great article.

As far as KDE vs. Gnome, I see no problem with the current format, maybe just do a Ubuntu(Gnome) vs. Kubuntu(KDE) vs. Xubuntu(Xfce) vs. MoonOS/OpenGEU/JAD(Enlightenment) roundup, to show off the different desktops(and the few apps that only work on a particular desktop). Any look good with the right theme and some Compiz/Beryl, but KDE and Enlightenment have an edge right out of the box.
 

rrockman

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It's... "Surprising" that you didn't analyze Mercury, one of the most advanced multi-account IM apps.
 

haplo602

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ah gui only options ... well have a look at CenterIM when you have time. It's a great little IM tool that runs in the terminal. This way I can get to my client everywhere with just a simple ssh client :)
 
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"The one major protocol that Empathy supports and Pidgin doesn't is the increaasingly-popular Jabber."
This is just plain wrong. Pidgin has supported Jabber for a long time. It's called XMPP in the later versions which is the name of the protocol used by jabber clients
 

rdawise

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Again, I praise Mr. Overa's coverage of Linux. I am looking forward to the Games section of Linux since I don't have much experience with native games.
 

jppayne2

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"My major problem with Thunderbird is that it will continually ask for confirmation to ignore a security certificate every time it checks for new mail, by default, every ten minutes. Most of the other clients in this roundup give you the option to always accept or ignore."

Actually, Thunderbird allows you to permanently accept the certificate, which will do what you want. Just pay attention when the confirmation dialog comes up, and select "Accept this certificate permanently". It's the first option (the default is the second option, which is to accept the certificate for the current session).
 
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I prefer Xubuntu!
It's a great lightweight Os, without all the frills and gadgets of Ubuntu, runs on low system specs, which means on a regular system it just flies.
Takes a little of experience over Ubuntu to handle things, but over time you'll get the hang of things.
Runs good on a USB stick too!
I like the 'Live' idea, no need for installing; but for a full experience it's best to just remove your HD (which can get messed up in installations), and install the OS on an external USB!

Some users experience a very good system response on a PCIE SLC SSD. Latest version you can install on 4GB, previous versions you could install on less.
Takes about 2,75GB in size, with some apps and updates installed.
 
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Who's voting all the comments down? I smell a Mac fanboy having Linux-envy-induced menstrual cramps...
 

jasperjones

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Thunderbird is quite popular and can be easily extended to be a fully-fledged PIM client. E.g., the Lightning plugin provides an integrated calendar. The very sweet Provider for Google Calendar plugin allows bidirectional access to Google Calendar (i.e., you can make the same calendar visible on each machine which has it installed, no need for manual syncing). Several other plugins consist that, imo, make Thunderbird more powerful than Outlook. Especially if you have an Android phone and use Google Calendar and Google Contacts, you will have the same contacts, calendar, and email available on all your devices.
 

WheelsOfConfusion

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Coming from a Windows background and daily use of mIRC, I loves me some X-Chat. It's a pretty great mIRC replacement, supporting those quirky color codes and enhancing readability by displaying your own messages slightly gray by default so you can tell at a glance where your messages are in relation to everyone else's, without having to use a color script.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]heffeque[/nom]JFYI: Emesene is MSN=em-es-en but in Spanish: eme-ese-ene.[/citation]
Ahh, so that's where they got that name, awesome. Thanks for the tidbit :)
 
Hey toms, could you do a file system benchmark? I want to know how ext3/4 vs Reiser(4) vs JFS. I would also like to see the effect of file system on SSD vs HDD. Currently, there is ongoing debate between which performs best on SSDs, Reiser4 vs ext3/4.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]Shadow703793[/nom]Hey toms, could you do a file system benchmark? I want to know how ext3/4 vs Reiser(4) vs JFS. I would also like to see the effect of file system on SSD vs HDD. Currently, there is ongoing debate between which performs best on SSDs, Reiser4 vs ext3/4.[/citation]
Fantastic idea! I've got my plate full right now, esp with the gaming guide on the horizon, but I like this a lot. I will begin looking into it for Q1.
 
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Anyone know what kind of taskbar and dock are in the first screen shot? They look great.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]WheelsOfConfusion[/nom]Would the Phoronix test suite be the best bet for a hdd/ssd benchmarking session?[/citation]
Phoronix is great, but I'm in search of cross-platform benchmarking tools (meaning Windows too). Just comparing Linux to Linux isn't as helpful (or provocative) to nearly as many people on a general PC hardware site. If you already don't care about comparing against Windows PCs, Phoronix is pretty dang sweet, but I won't be using it much for articles here. If anybody has suggestions for Linux/Windows benching, pls share, cause I'm putting together a battery of tests for future use.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]supasso[/nom]Anyone know what kind of taskbar and dock are in the first screen shot? They look great.[/citation]
The bottom taskbar is just a GNOME panel jacked up to 48 pixels and made black/transparent. I used a Vista/7 style orb instead of the 'apps/places/sys' menu. The top dock is CairoDock, as are the gadgets/widgets. Just make sure to get CairoDock from the web and NOT the VERY old version in Ubuntu's add/remove.

I was going for the Win7 w/RocketDock look on this one :)
 
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