Save time with Gedit snippets

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Some people think that Gedit is a toy text editor not suitable for more experienced users. And while it might lack Emacs's psychiatrist or Vim's undo branching, it turns out that Gedit has a lot of power under its hood - if you know where to look.

One feature that is guaranteed to save you time is Snippets, a plugin that enables quick insertion of commonly used text, and something we use frequently here on TuxRadar. We're going to show you how to get started using the built-in snippets, and how you can use shell commands and even Python code to make your own...

Vim: master the basics

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In depth: There are more text editors for Linux than you can shake a stick at. Every man and his dog seems to have had a go at one. The ones written by dogs usually involve a lot of sniffing around the connectors at the back of the computer and are probably best ignored, but that still leaves quite a lot - emacs, kedit, gedit, kwrite, kate, mousepad, leafpad, fte, joe, jed, nano, pico... the list goes on.

But the one that most Unix and Linux professionals prefer is the grand-uncle of them all, Vi, and its younger brother, Vim. (Vim stands for "Vi improved" and is a 1991 Vi rewrite produced by Bram Moolenar.

MythTV made easy

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In depth: MythTV is an incredibly ambitious suite of applications designed to sit at the heart of your home entertainment centre. It records, pauses and rewinds television, plays music and videos, catalogues your photo and DVD collections, browses the internet, makes phone calls, delivers the news and the weather and plays games - and it does all this thanks to the power of Linux.

Read on for our guide to installing MythTV and getting it to do just about everything you could want from a Linux box in your lounge...

How to install Gnome Do in 3 minutes

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Gnome Do is easily the coolest piece of software on any Linux desktop right now, so it's no surprise you want to try it for yourself and see whether it lives up to all the hype. Well, follow these simple instructions for Ubuntu 8.10 and you'll have it up and running in minutes - and you can get on with trying all its features!

We've included as many screenshots as we possibly can to make it easy enough for everyone to try Gnome Do - there's no excuse any more.

Google snubs Qt; chooses Gtk for Chrome

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Despite Qt's cross-platform credentials Google has opted to use Gtk+ with its Linux port of the Chrome browser. Ben Goodger (Chrome's Interface Lead) stated that this choice was to avoid using a framework which "limits what you can do" to its lowest subset, and to avoid more obscure problems when porting the program between platforms. Goodger describes the latter as the application "speaking with a foreign accent".

The Chromium team initially felt that a Windows clone would be acceptable for Linux users (eg via Wine), but was later convinced that this was not a permanent option. However, as one pundit (Alex Russell) said, the solution they need was one which "would work for *most* Linux users", because building a separate version for each platform was "out of the question". See OSNews.com for further analysis.

Group test: download managers

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Download managers exist for two reasons. Firstly, they help organise your downloads, moving them to a single, central location on your desktop. Secondly, they help to improve download performance. But with so many around, which to choose? Let us help you...

Get more from OpenOffice.org!

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Master OpenOffice.org - a Linux Format Special

Are you looking to master OpenOffice.org? Or do you want to help one of your friends or family make the switch from Microsoft Office (or, worse - Microsoft Works!) to something free and just as good?

Look out for our new special edition magazine on OpenOffice.org 3.0 in your local magazine outlet, or buy one from our online store with delivery available worldwide - it's 132 pages of tutorials and tips to help everyone get more from OOo, and includes OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux on the free disc.

Contains 40 hands-on tutorials: Writer, Calc, Impress and Base are all covered, as is Draw, macro scripting, extensions, web-site creation, working with templates and more!

Awn - because Linux deserves to look cool

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The industrious folks behind Awn, the Avant Window Navigator, have popped out a new release. "This represents a year's worth of bugfixes, performance improvements, and new applets", with oodles of back-end work to make the spiffy dock integrate better with desktops. We like where this is going -- sure, it's very heavily inspired by the Mac OS X dock, much like Gnome Do as we've covered before, but that's not a bad thing. To get Linux in the hands of new users, a bit of eye candy never goes amiss, so having this on the next round of Linux-powered netbooks would truly rock our world.

Group test: home finance software

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In the past, Linux was not overly blessed with decent budgeting software, and installing GnuCash was regarded by many as the epitome of a descent into dependency hell. Thankfully, things have since changed, and anyone using a modern distribution could now have the software ready to go in just a few minutes.

Group test: web browsers

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In depth: Never before has the once humble browser been so powerful. These days it's not just basic tasks that can be undertaken without leaving the confines of a Firefox or Konqueror window; some of the jobs that used to require complex desktop applications - database design, video editing, photo manipulation - are now perfectly viable for those with just browser software and web access.

This kind of power makes your choice of browser almost as crucial as your distribution and operating system. If an application is written using standard technologies - such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS - it should run well on anything capable of rendering those technologies, whether the browser launches from Linux or another OS. In fact, a good browser can make your choice of OS largely irrelevant.

There are other more proprietary and equally widespread technologies around, but as these in-browser application frameworks rely on plugins to work correctly, it could be seen as a little unfair to judge them in this Roundup. However, we're concerned with getting things done, so if a favourite site works better in one browser than another - even as result of better support from a developer - then we'll take it into account.

Think of it this way: we could offer a picture of how well each browser does on the Acid 2 test, chuck in a table of features and have done with it. But that would be lazy, because browsers rely on content from other sources and you need to know what really works best for you.

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