Friday, 3 September 2010

Shotwell replaces F-Spot in Ubuntu

Shotwell, the GNOME application developed in Vala and SQLite, is the default photo manager application in Ubuntu 10.10(Maverick) replacing F-Spot. It is also the default photo manager in Fedora 13 (Goddard). F-spot is the second Mono based application after Tomboy(replaced by Gnote) which is removed from the "default application" status in popular distributions. Shotwell is licensed under GNU GPL v2.1

Shotwell is still in early stages of the development, but it has proved to be a stable application to import, manage and edit(with limited capabilities) on GNU/Linux desktop. The current version of Shotwell is 0.7 and Fedora 13 ships with version 0.5. Here are some of the key features of Shotwell-0.7:

  • Import photos from digital cameras supported by gPhoto or from a disk or from F-spot
  • Supports JPEG, PNG and Raw formats.
  • Automatically organise photos based on events and collections.
  • Organise photos using tags and titles. A photo can have multiple tags. The tags will be included in the metadata when you export the photo.
  • Publish photos to Facebook, Flickr and Google Picasa
  • Rate the photos
  • Photo editing - crop, rotate, auto-enhance, red-eye correction, colour adjustments, etc..
  • Edit the photos which are not imported to shotwell.
  • Allows the user to set the photo as the desktop background and slideshows
  • Automatically detect missing photos
  • The original photos are stored in ~/Pictures
Shotwell seems to be fit for all the basic photo management tasks. However, there are some minor disadvantages which I noticed in version 0.5. The tags are case-sensitive and each time the user have to remember the exact case and spelling of the tags used earlier. An autocomplete feature which will solve this issue partially is already in the trunk. A feature request for case insensitivity is also reported in the bug tracking system.

The Shotwell team has published a short, but comprehensive user guide for end-users, which can be accessed here. Shotwell packages are available for Fedora, Ubuntu and OpenSuse. It has also a Microsoft Windows version with limited features.

Note on editing features:
Shotwell doesn't write the edits(crop, rotate, auto-enhance) to the image file. Instead it records the changes in a database and apply them on the fly when the image is viewed. This will make sure that the original image file is not tampered even if you do something wrong while editing. You can always get a modified version of the photo by exporting it. The RAW editing features are also limited in Shotwell. This may improve in the course of development.

  1. Ubuntu Release Notes:
  2. Fedora release notes:
  3. Shotwell Wiki:

Monday, 28 June 2010

64-bit Firefox and 64-bit Flash plugin

Adobe has temporarily closed the Labs program of Flash Player 10 for 64-bit Linux to revamp it's architecture and release it with more native support. They have also removed the downloads link for older release of 64 bit packages. However, if you wish to have flash-plugin without installing 32 bit libraries, follow these simple steps:
  1. Download 64 bit  plugin from this direct link (I'm not sure how long this URL will be available).
  2. Uncompress the downloaded file and copy(as root user) the shared object( to /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins/.

Restart Mozilla Firefox and visit about:plugins to verify the plugin. The above steps have been tested in Firefox-3.6.4 running on Fedora 13.


Caveat: Adobe flash-plugin is not FOSS.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Pino and Gwibber

Following the suggestion by one of the readers(Jeugo) of my earlier post, I did a quick comparison between Pino and Gwibber.

Gwibber supports a wide variety of social networking services, but Pino currently supports only and twitter. But this doesn't sound appealing to me as I need only a twitter client.

The UI of Gwibber seems to be cluttered when compared with that of Pino. The huge font size was also annoying which reduced the number of messages shown at a time.

Pino has a tray icon through which I can easily access the application. When using Gwibber, I have to keep the window open or minimised to view the updates.

P.S: May be I will switch to Gwibber, when I start using a service which is not supported by Pino. But for now Pino is the better option.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Pino - GNOME client for Twitter

I was in search for a decent desktop application(in GNOME) for twitter and finally the search ends at I haven't tried too much apps for twitter, but was not really happy with the firefox extensions available.

Pino is a  simple, fast and easy to use twitter/ client with a nice user interface. It fits into the panel as a tray icon and notifies via the notification system whenever a new tweet pops up. Setting up an account is easy and you can also use the URL shortening(, service from Pino. 

The source package is available for download from the above link and also available as RPM package for Fedora. If you are using Fedora 12, then just run the command "yum install pino". Pino is available as a default application in the upcoming Fedora 13 release. Check the announcement here :

Visit the project website for more details and screenshots.  Feel free to use and contribute to pino.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

കേരളത്തില്‍ ചൂടു കുറയുന്നു

കേരളത്തിലെ താപനില കഴിഞ്ഞ ചില ആഴ്ചകളായി 35 ഡിഗ്രി സെല്‍ഷ്യസിനു താഴെ വരുന്നതായി കാണുന്നു. താപനില 35നു മുകളില്‍ നിര്‍ത്താന്‍ ഇതാ ചില കുറുക്കുവഴികള്‍ :
  1. പറമ്പിലോ വഴിയോരത്തോ നില്‍ക്കുന്ന മരങ്ങള്‍ ഇനി ഒരിക്കലും വളരാന്‍ കഴിയാത്തവിധം വെട്ടിക്കളയുക. മരമുത്തശ്ശിയായാലും മുത്തശ്ശനായാലും അതുമല്ല ശിശുവായാലും ശരി, അതിനെ വെട്ടി, തായ് വേരു് തോണ്ടി അപ്പുറത്തെ പറമ്പിലോ അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ റോഡിലോ കൊണ്ടിടുക. വികസനത്തിന്റെ എറ്റവും വലിയ ശത്രു മരമാണു, അതുകൊണ്ടു അതിനെ വച്ചു പൊറുപ്പിക്കരുതു്.
  2. മണ്ണുകൊണ്ടുള്ള മുറ്റമോ നടപ്പാതയോ ഉണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ അതിന്റെ നാലു വശവും കരിങ്കല്ലു കൊണ്ടു കെട്ടി മിനിമം 6 ഇഞ്ച് കനത്തില്‍ കോണ്‍ക്രീറ്റ് ചെയ്യുക (ഇനിയെങ്ങാനും മഴ പെയ്താല്‍ കാലില്‍ ചെളി പറ്റാതെ നടക്കാല്ലോ). 
  3. എത്രയും ഉയരത്തില്‍ കെട്ടിടങ്ങള്‍ കെട്ടാമോ, അത്രയും ഉയരത്തില്‍ കെട്ടി, അതിന്റെ നാലുവശവും അലൂമിനിയം ക്ലാഡിങും ചില്ലും പിടിപ്പിക്കണം.
  4. കുന്നുകളും ഉയര്‍ന്ന പ്രദേശങ്ങളും ഇടിച്ചു നിരപ്പാക്കി തരിശാക്കണം. ഇടിക്കുന്നതിനു മുമ്പ് തന്നെ ചെറിയ കുളമോ തോടോ കണ്ടുപിടിച്ചാല്‍ മണ്ണു വെയ്സ്റ്റാക്കാതെ ഉപയോഗിക്കാം (ഒരു വെടിക്കു ഡബിള്‍ ചൂട്).
    വേറെ വഴികള്‍ വല്ലതും ഉണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ അറിയിക്കുമല്ലോ. ഇതെല്ലാം കൂട്ടി കേന്ദ്ര-സംസ്ഥാന സര്‍ക്കാരുകള്‍ക്ക് ഒരു proposal കൊടുക്കാം.