Open Source Software Blog. Top Wordpress widgets & plugins

This is easy widget that displays your analog or digital clock in your sidebar .
Clock widget for wordpress:

  • Display a customizable analog or digital clock.
  • Select your clock title, size, clock type (analog or digital skin),clock body/face flare, clock hour style, clock time property, 4 clock color (body color, face background color, clock face color, second hand color).

Clock screenshot:

Analog clock screenshotDigital Clock 12 hour styled screenshotDigital Clock 24 hour styled screenshot

If you already have widgets installed as part of your Wordpress installation, you can try this widget out yourself.
All you need to do to use it:

1. Download the clock.zip file and extract the contents.
2. Make sure you’re running WordPress version 2.8 or better. It won’t work with older versions.
3. Upload the folder to your plugins directory.
4. Activate the “clock” plugin through the ‘plugins’ page in WP.
5. See “clock” widget options to adjust things like display size, clock style and so on. The widget settings take a minute to load to due rendering all the clock on one page.
If you don’t have widgets installed, head off to Automaticc’s Widgets project page and follow their extremely helpful instructions on how to install widgets and add them to your blog template.
It’s all.

You can find lots of useful widgets via the Wordpress Widgets blog.

Admin page clock screenshot:
clock Admin page screenshot

September 19th, 2008 at 11:18 am | Comments & Trackbacks (9) | Permalink


By now, you’d think that anyone who owns a computer knows about free and open source software (FOSS). However, once you move beyond techie circles, you’ll find that, for many people, the concept is unknown. Even worse, when people have heard of it, they have alarming — and rather discouraging — misconceptions of what it involves.

Here are the twelve most common misconceptions of FOSS, and why they’re distorted, exaggerated, outdated, or just plain wrong:

1. If software costs nothing, it’s no good

Technological culture is so influenced by business logic that most of us believe that “you get what you pay for” is common sense. However, when you only look at proprietary software, that adage isn’t true. If price really reflects quality, then Adobe Creative Suite would be six times better than Xara Xtreme.

By the same logic, you can’t judge FOSS by the fact that the price is usually either gratis or nominal to cover shipping. In fact, since FOSS like Bind or Apache is running much of the Internet, you have to conclude that at least some of it is high-quality indeed. But, really, you can’t judge any software in any meaningful way until you’ve tried it.

2. FOSS is inferior to proprietary software

This idea may have had some truth twenty years ago, when FOSS was just getting started, and needed a lot of development to catch up with existing proprietary programs. And you can still find areas today, like OCR scanning, where FOSS is inferior in functionality or usability to its proprietary equivalents.

However, if you compare the most common programs — for instance, Firefox to Internet Explorer, or OpenOffice.org to MS Office — the idea quickly becomes indefensible. While you can quibble over a feature here or there, in general, the leading FOSS programs are a close match for their proprietary equivalents.

3. FOSS is piracy (or at least encourages it)

Actually, since FOSS licenses permit copying and redistribution, the concept of piracy is irrelevant to it. You can’t pirate what the copyright holder encourages you to give away. Moreover, when the few restrictions to copying in FOSS licensing are violated, such as the preservation of the original creator’s credit, many holders of FOSS copyright are prosecuting the violators as fiercely as proprietary software vendors do pirates. For instances, the Busybox project has brought legal action against several violators of its license in the last year.

True, many FOSS supporters would like to see a world where proprietary software doesn’t exist, so you can easily imagine that some might use that ideal as an excuse to ignore proprietary licenses. But since most FOSS supporters either use proprietary software reluctantly or refuse to use it all, such cases are hardly the norm.

4. FOSS has no support

Selling support and related services is how many FOSS-based companies like Red Hat make a profit. But, even if you don’t want to pay for support, most FOSS has mail forums in which you can receive free help — often as quickly as you can from a commercial company. If anything, the problem is not getting help so much as being deluged by suggestions from helpful volunteers.

5. FOSS is only for developers

FOSS has always been centered on developers, who invented it and continue to sustain it. Especially in the early history of FOSS, this orientation meant that little attention was paid to usability. But, as the popularity of FOSS has spread, artists, technical writers, and usability experts have also been attracted to the community. For the last decade now, usability has been an important aspect of FOSS development, and now the leading programs are as easy to use as the leading proprietary ones.

As FOSS continues to spread, the attention to usability can only increase. Recently, for example, Mark Shuttleworth, the leader of the Ubuntu distribution of GNU/Linux, has challenged project members to exceed OS X in usability in the coming years.

6. FOSS is only good for small projects

FOSS developers have inherited the Unix preference for small programs of limited functionality. And it is true that several large FOSS projects, such as OpenOffice.org and Java, were developed privately and later had the code released.

All the same, FOSS has no shortage of large-scale projects, ranging from the GIMP, a PhotoShop equivalent to Scribus, a desktop publishing program, and Inkscape, a vector graphics program. Desktops like Xfce are even larger projects, while GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu are larger yet, involving thousands of applications. Such examples make clear that FOSS is perfectly capable of scaling as necessary.

7. Having the code freely available makes it less secure than proprietary code

For those new to security, the idea that the best way to keep something safe is to hide it. This idea is known by experts as security through obscurity, and is generally discredited.

Probably the greatest reason that security through obscurity doesn’t work when it comes to code is that, if security is breached, you have no way of knowing what has happened. By contrast, if the code is open to anyone to read, then the odds are that the insecure elements will be detected and corrected. Since what you want to protect is the information, not the technique used to protect it, according to most security experts, FOSS tends to be more secure than proprietary software.

Of course, because bug detection is public, detractors can say that FOSS is buggier than proprietary software. However, because we have no way of knowing how many bugs in proprietary software go unfixed or unnoticed, the number of reported bugs is not a reliable measure of security.

8. FOSS is unable to innovate

When FOSS got strongly under way in the 1990s, proprietary software had almost two decades’ head start. Under these conditions, for a long time, FOSS development focused on catching up with proprietary software. Also, the standards for usability were developed for proprietary software, so FOSS often seemed to be imitating its rivals, especially since one school of thought held that, to attract users, FOSS needed to resemble as closely as possible what users were familiar with.

Yet, even while the goal was equivalent functionality, FOSS never lacked for innovation. Both the GNOME and KDE desktops, for example, allow a degree of customization unheard of on the Windows desktop, to say nothing of standard features such as virtual desktops. And now, with the release of KDE 4.1, some developers maintain that the FOSS desktop has surpassed proprietary ones, and is now setting the pace for innovation.

Similarly, FOSS has caused a revolution in business, showing that companies can be successful by selling services rather the software itself. You might say that the very idea of FOSS is a major innovation — to say nothing of the communal organization in which FOSS development takes place.

9. Since the license places restrictions on the users, FOSS isn’t really free

The truth is, proprietary licenses restrict users far more than any FOSS license. If you read the typical end-user license agreement closely, you find that you don’t even own the software that you buy. What you have purchased is a license to use, and that license severely limits the number of computers you can install it on and your ability to work with the code.

By contrast, FOSS licenses give you a right to the source code and to use it more or less how you want. Such restrictions as they include, such as preserving copyright notices, fall upon distributors more than users. BSD-style licenses are so permissive that you can even incorporate the code into proprietary code.

Copyleft licenses are more restrictive, in that they insist that, if you distribute the software, you do so without changing the license. However, that restriction simply means that you pass along the same rights that you have in the software to anyone who receives a copy from you. Compared to proprietary licenses’ terms, this is a minor restriction, and justified by the theory that the only way to ensure your own freedom is to ensure everybody’s freedom.

10. FOSS is all about price

The fact that FOSS is often free for the downloading is often what attracts people to it. However, if the lack of cost was a primary motivation for using FOSS, then it would probably be no more popular than shareware.

Those who stay with FOSS usually do so for one of two reasons. For free software supporters, the reason is that they wish to control their computers and what they do with them, rather than allowing a company to exercise that control. For open source supporters, the reason is that freely available source code is an extension of the academic free exchange of ideas, which they believe results in better quality software. In both these cases, it is idealism, not price, that makes FOSS attractive.

Conclusion

Anything said often enough takes on a life of its own. And, because FOSS is relatively unknown and is different from the proprietary norm, it is likely to continue to attract rumors and half-truths. For these reasons, while the myths above are easy to debunk, I don’t imagine that doing so will greatly slow their circulation — nor stop other misconceptions in the future.

Perhaps, though, by answering these myths when you encounter them, you can clear the way for the greatest argument of all — sitting the users of proprietary software down with FOSS to try it for themselves.

Reprinted from: itmanagement.earthweb.com

September 16th, 2008 at 7:25 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


 

1. Clock widget for wordpress

- This is easy widget that displays your clock in your sidebar .

Clock widget for wordpress:

  • Display a customizable analog clock.
  • Select your location, select a size and choose a color.

Download from Wordpress.org


2. WP-UserOnline

- Enable you to display how many users are online on your Wordpress blog with detailed statistics.

Download from Wordpress.org


3. Smartlinker

- Smartlinker is a toolbar on the WordPress TinyMCE editor that enables you to hyperlink words and phrases in your blog.

Download from Wordpress.org


4. Weather Widget

- Display your local weather forcast.

Download


5. Incoming Links - Who Link Here

- Shows incoming links on your sidebar. Using for it the Technorati API or Google Blog Search.

Download


6. StatPress

- The real-time plugin dedicated to the management of statistics about blog visits. It collects information about visitors, spiders, search keywords, feeds, browsers etc. StatPress also includes a widget one can possibly add to a sidebar (or easy PHP code if you can’t use widgets!).

Download


7. Get Recent Comments

- This plugin shows excerpts of the latest comments and/or trackbacks in your sidebar. You have comprehensive control about their appearance. This ranges from the number of comments, the length of the excerpts up to the html layout. And it is a widget.

Download


8. Add to Any Share/Save/Bookmark Button

- Helps readers share, save, and bookmark your posts and pages using any service, such as Delicious, Digg, Facebook, MySpace, and all the rest.

Download


9. WordPress Digg Widget

- Displays your latest dugg items.

Download


10. Fresh Comments

- display recently approved comments with configuration panel to control how recent comments are displayed.

Download

September 13th, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


Mozilla’s second alpha of Firefox 3.1 is upping the ante in the next-generation browser battle. So how do the main contenders stack up so far now? One thing’s for sure, the Firefox team has taken note of Google’s recent Chrome release and worked hard to make sure its offering can hold its own.

Mozilla had already claimed its 3.1 version could outperform Chrome when it comes to speed (and most independent tests show it at least tying). Now, the engineers have incorporated Chrome-initiated options such as the ability to drag and drop tabs in and out of browser windows. The second alpha release also adds support for the HTML 5 video tag, which gives Web developers expanded options for embedding video within a page. Don’t forget, too, that Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 — released at the end of August and quickly eclipsed by Chrome’s introduction — is also vying for a piece of the pie.

Here’s a breakdown of the high and lowlights of each offering and where it stands as far as a full release.

Contender #1: Google Chrome

The status: Windows beta released September 2. Mac OS X and Linux versions still under development and said to be coming soon. No indication of targeted full release date.

The good:

  • Reliability. Chrome’s multiprocess architecture makes a bad Web page less likely to take down the whole browser.
  • Speed. Chrome loads fast and keeps your surfing super-fast.
  • Simplicity. Its clean design wastes no screen space.
  • Searching. The Omnibox lets you type search terms or URLs into a single spot and figures out what you want.
  • Privacy. Chrome offers an "Incognito" mode that lets you easily leave no footprints from where you’ve been.

The bad:

  • Privacy. Chrome’s taken a lot of heat for its monitoring and collection of user data, some of which happens before you even hit enter.
  • Security. It didn’t take long for users to discover vulnerabilities in the beta browser. Several of these have already been patched.
  • Reliability. Some sites and online services still don’t work with Chrome.
  • Consistency. Because Chrome is build on the WebKit system, it differs from the dominant platforms that most designers focus on.
  • Support. Chrome doesn’t yet have any add-ons or customization options available. It’s yet to be seen how these, once developed, will compare to the rich options available for Firefox.

Contender #2: Firefox 3.1

The status: Second alpha build released September 5. Beta expected in the next month. Full release targeted for end of 2008.

The good:

  • Strong foundation. Mozilla’s already built a loyal following with Firefox, and it doesn’t intend on letting that go. With Firefox 3.1, you know you’ll have a powerful library of add-ons and support already at your fingertips, not to mention the slew of other assets unveiled in Firefox 3.0.
  • Speed. Mozilla says its still-under-development TraceMonkey JavaScript platform will leave Google’s V8 in the dust. The second alpha build revs things up, too, with added support for "Web workers" — a system that lets multiple scripts run as background processes.
  • Competitive edge. Mozilla’s developers have good reason to watch what Chrome is doing — and work to match it, if not one-up it.

The bad:

  • Security questions. Some studies — albeit, Microsoft-funded ones — have suggested Firefox, with its frequent new versions, is more susceptible to threats than the other options.
  • Crash potential. Unlike Chrome, Firefox does not have separate environments for each tab — so one rogue page can still take the whole program down.
  • Support. Firefox has worked hard to snag a small portion of the browser market share, and most early predictions show Chrome taking away more of its userbase than IE’s.
  • Google’s focus on Chrome will also take away some of its previous focus on Mozilla’s development efforts. Will Firefox be able to remain a key player in the browser war?

Contender #3: Internet Explorer 8

The status:: Second beta released August 27. Full release expected before the end of 2008.

The good:

  • Support. Love it or hate it, Internet Explorer is hanging on to about three-quarters of the browsing market with its default status in all Windows machines. You know developers and designers are going to cater to it.
  • Security. With Microsoft at its helm, IE hangs on to a reputation of safe and reliable browsing.
  • Privacy. IE 8 was the first to offer a no-record browsing mode, branded here as InPrivate Browsing.
  • Searching. IE 8’s Smart Address Bar offers similar functionality to Chrome’s Omnibox, letting you type in URLs or search terms and taking you to the right place.
  • Added add-ons. IE 8 finally catches up to Firefox with a new "Gallery" full of third-party add-on options..

    The bad:

  • Speed. Independent tests have found IE 8 to be significantly slower than the alternative choices. Resources. IE 8 uses a lot of memory compared to its competitors — a factor that could considerably slow down the rest of your system.
  • Crash potential. While IE 8 does use separate processes for tabs, similar to Chrome’s approach, it does not do so to the same degree
  • – still leaving room for a total meltdown.
  • Competition questions. Can IE’s add-ons reach the level of Firefox’s? Already, some users are complaining of problems even getting them to work.

That’s the lowdown on the battle’s current status. Remember, all three of these programs are still early in their development, so many of the pluses and minuses could change as things move forward. One thing’s for sure, though: This battle is on, it’s growing fierce, and each of its contenders will do anything it can to win.

Reprinted from: Browser Battle: Firefox 3.1 vs. Chrome vs. IE 8

September 11th, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink