A quick look at some killer apps
No desktop environment is worthy to be called just that if it doesn't include a set of the most important applications and utilities such as an e-mail client or a word processor. In this section, I will just give you a couple of hints of what Ximian GNOME has to offer.
Evolution: Ximian GNOME's answer to Outlook
Evolution is, just like Microsoft Outlook, a complete communications application with integrated support for e-mail, news, calendar, and contacts. At least these are the goals of the Evolution project -- the software is still under heavy development (yet still very useful).
Figure 13: Evolution -- an integrated e-mail-reader, newsreader, calendar, and Contact Manager.
Gnumeric: A spreadsheet with Excel support
If you ask me, Gnumeric has become very important for the progress and popularity of the whole GNOME desktop environment. With support for the Excel 95 file format, and all features you could ask of a advanced spreadsheet application, Gnumeric was one of the reasons why I could finally delete my last Windows partition. Gnumeric is a must -- get it!
Figure 14: Gnumeric is great spreadsheet application with all features you could need.
AbiWord: Functional text-processor
Well, not even the most fanatic open source enthusiast can say that AbiWord is as feature-rich, standardized, and stable as Microsoft Word, but it does the job for most things, and it's both light and simple to use. It's a really pity it doesn't support saving in Microsoft Word format though (it offers import only). However, give it a try!
Figure 15: AbiWord is a simple word processor with the most common features.
CodeCommander: An Editor For Programmers
CodeCommander is a great editor for programmers with highlighting, and even some IDE (integrated development environment) features like compiling, debugging, and executing from within the editor.
Figure 16: CodeCommander is a great editor for developers. It is useful with most modern programming languages.
After reading this article and the first one, you now have a good understanding of what Ximian GNOME is, how to use it, and what it has to offer. I strongly believe that Ximian GNOME will make your day in front of your Unix/Linux machine both easier and more convenient.
The similarities between Ximian GNOME and Microsoft Windows is quite obvious, so if you're migrating from Windows to Linux/Unix, Ximian GNOME will hopefully make the process easier. I think one of the goals the Ximian GNOME developers have is to kill Linux/Unix's reputation of being a "Hacker's OS".
As you probably understand, it's hard to come up with a cool multimedia ending sequence in a short article like this (even if it's published on the WWW!). So I would like to ask you this favor: Left-click on the bug (the one with the Web shortcuts) at the right upper corner of your desktop and select "About GNOME".
There! You got the ending sequence!
Daniel Solin is a freelance writer and Linux consultant whose specialty is GUI programming. His first book, SAMS Teach Yourself Qt Programming in 24 hours, was published in May, 2000.
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