column is dedicated to the use, creation, distribution, and discussion of
computer graphics tools for Linux systems. My first column, in
the November issue of Linux Gazette, left something to be desired in
both content and graphics. As one reader pointed out, I didn't even
follow my own guideline for making background images. Well, it looked good
on my system at home. The problem was one of poor time
management on my part. I finished up the chapters of a web server book I'm
co-authoring at the end of September, so I had more time to work on
this month's column. Hopefully the format is cleaner and the content more
And, in the future, I'll try to follow my own guidelines.
|Disclaimer: Before I get too far into this I should note that any of the news items I post in this section are just that - news. Either I happened to run across them via some mailing list I was on, via some Usenet newsgroup, or via email from someone. I'm not necessarily endorsing these products (some of which may be commercial), I'm just letting you know I'd heard about them in the past month.
New version of Pro MovieStudio driver available on Sunsite archivesWolfgang Koehler has released the 3.0 version of his PMS-grabber package to the sunsite archives. This package provides a driver and X application for grabbing frames from the Pro MovieStudio (aka PMS) adapter by Mediavision. Depending on when it is migrated to its final resting place, the package can be obtained either from ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/incoming or ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/apps/video.
ImageMagick Library updatedA New revision of the ImageMagick Library, version 3.7.7, was released this past month.
Netscape Tcl Plugin releasedThe Tcl Plugin 1.0 was also released this past month. This is a Netscape plugin that allows web page authors to write Tcl based applets for your web pages.
Digigami looking for testers for MovieScreamer toolThere is now a conversion tool for creating Quicktime videos. Digigami is looking for Unix Webmasters to be Beta testers for its MovieScreamer multi-platform, 'Fast-Start' publishing and conversion tool for QuickTime(tm) movies. 'Fast-Start' QuickTime movies are standard 'flattened' movie files that have been 're-organized' for playback over the Internet (or corporate Intranets).
Did you know?There is a font archive, complete with sample renderings of the fonts, available at http://www.ora.com/homepages/comp.fonts/ifa/os2cdrom/index.htm? The ftp site for the fonts is at ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/os2/fonts/.
A large list of general graphics information is available at ftp://x2ftp.oulu.fi/pub/msdos/programming/. Look under /theory, /math, /faq and a host of other subdirectories. There is a lot to wade through, but just about all of it has some value, including information on shading and object sorting.
The Bare Bones Guide to HTML is a useful resource for people who need to find the correct HTML syntax for HTML 3.0 or Netscape based web pages.
O'Reilly releases The Linux Multimedia Guide.recently picked up my copy of The Linux Multimedia Guide by Jeff Tranter. This text covers a wide range of material related to the creation and use of multimedia files with respect to the Linux operating system. The text is approximately 350 pages, including source code listings for a number of sample multimedia applications which are discussed in one chapter of the book. As usual, O'Reilly provides copies of the source from their ftp site.
When I first found out about this book I thought "Rats, Jeff beat me too it." Much of what Jeff covers is listed in my own Linux Graphics mini-Howto. However, there are quite a number of items not covered by the LGH (as I call it), such as audio, a bit more detail about video formats and tools, and programming considerations for various hardware (CD-ROMs, joysticks, and sound devices), which make the Linux Multimedia Guide a good addition to the O'Reilly family of Unix books.
The text is divided into 5 sections:
Section two opens with a discussion on hardware requirements for doing multimedia on Linux systems. Most of this section centers on either the CD-ROM driver or the Linux Sound Driver (now known as OSS). There is also a short chapter on the joystick driver.
Chapter fourteen opens the fourth section, the Multimedia Programmer's Guide. This section is the longest in the book and covers all the devices discussed earlier. Other chapters in this section cover some of the available toolkits available to multimedia developers. There is one chapter which contains three sample applications.
In general I find the Linux Multimedia Guide a good reference text with a moderate degree of developer tutorials. Unlike many of the books available for Linux this text provides detailed explanation on the various programming interfaces, a useful tool beyond the simple "what is this and where do I get it" that many of the Howto's provide. The only drawback that I can see is that, like most of other Linux texts, this text does not provide a users perspective on any of the tools listed. If Linux is to ever go beyond a developer's-only platform there will need to be detailed users guides for the various well known applications.
Linux Graphics mini-Howto
Unix Graphics Utilities
Linux Multimedia Page
Graphics Muse #1, November 1996