Open Source You Can Use, August '08 Edition - InformationWeek

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8/22/2008
01:47 PM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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Open Source You Can Use, August '08 Edition

It's high time for another roundup of open source software you can use, the close-of-August-2008 version. This time around: chatting, publishing, and content management.

It's high time for another roundup of open source software you can use, the close-of-August-2008 version. This time around: chatting, publishing, and content management.

Just out this week is a new version (2.5) of the multimessenger chat client Pidgin -- not a major release, but it fixes some stability issues on Windows. I've been using the PortableApps edition for the sake of convenience, since I can synchronize it effortlessly between my home machine and my notebook.

When it came time for me to assemble a cover for a recent book project, I turned to Scribus, an open source desktop publishing application. With it, I was able to turn out a press-ready four-color .PDF without spending a dime. For the sake of transportability and ease, I went with a portable version that's a port of the 1.3.3.12 edition. I should point out that Scribus is right now best suited to projects like cover designs and leaflets rather than full publications, but it's been improving rapidly with each release.

I'd be stupidly remiss in not mentioning Movable Type version 4.2, which is radically revised enough from earlier versions that it really deserves to be a 5.0 release. Our own Peter Hagopian talked about it before, but I need to make my own shout-out for it here. It runs my personal site and the sites of several friends of mine, boasts a robust catalog of third-party add-ons, and constantly surprises me (in a good way) with just how flexible and powerful it can be. I know many folks out there still prefer WordPress, and while MT does have a bit more of a learning curve (at least if you want to configure it), I'd argue that it's the far more powerful of the two programs in the long run.

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