Fastest Minimal Linux Text Editor: Beaver vs Gedit vs Kate vs KWrite vs Leafpad

Stupidly, I have been using Kate as a text editor for taking down notes and such.

The Arch Wiki list of applications shows some real candidates, which I compared by looks, start-up time and reaction to drag & drop.

Application versions & screenshots

  • Beaver
    beaver 0.4.1-2
  • GEdit
    gedit 3.10.3-1
  • Kate
    kdesdk-kate 4.12.0-1
  • KWrite
    kdebase-kwrite 4.12.0-1
  • Leafpad
    leafpad 0.8.18.1-3

Start-up time

I tested by loading a 62218 Byte text file using `time` and holding down Ctrl + Q down, averaging five times.

  1. 0.283s Beaver
  2. 0.315s Leafpad
  3. 0.534s Gedit
  4. 0.989s Kwrite
  5. 1.076s Kate

My experience with Kate is that when I’m in the middle of jumping between 20 tabs while playing back one or two flash instances, the start-up time will be very noticeable.

Drag & Drop

I need an editor which allows me to drop links into for quick note-taking of web sources. What I’m testing is the default behavior when dragging the URL by the document icon left (leftmost object in Chromium URL bar), or a text link (“Home” on archlinux.org).

Drag & Drop into Text Editor

Gedit failes to open http, Kate/Kwrite will download and open the HTML files while Beaver and Leafpad will insert the URL. I haven’t checked whether the default behavior of any of these can be changed. By selecting the URL bar text and dragging and dropping it, all editors will copy the text only.

By the way: When dragging an image, either link or not, into the editor, Gedit fails to open http, Kate/KWrite will open the binary file, Leafpad will ask you to save/discard/cancel the currently open file but won’t actually open the image while Beaver apparently does not handle images (no drag & drop indicator icon appears).

Result

I’d go with Beaver but pressing the “new file” button makes it segfault, so I’ll give Leafpad a try, as long as it does not crash. If it does, I will have to check whether gedit can be taught to calm down regarding links. Alternative suggestions welcome!

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Benefits of FLAC and OGG Vorbis

Image

FLAC and OGG Vorbis are audio file formats, which have advantages over WAV/AIFF and MP3.

FLAC is smaller than WAV or AIFF and its container format supports metadata by default, which benefits keeping track of authorship and license in large sound collections.

FLAC is lossless, while MP3 always has a loss of quality. Also MP3 does not support rates over 48000. Both is hard to notice but can become very relevant when manipulating the sound file.

OGG Vorbis is of higher quality than MP3 and is a patent-free format, which is important to software/hardware makers. FLAC is also patent-free.

Unfortunately, some software developers and hardware manufacturers still exclude FLAC and/or OGG Vorbis support.

I recommend the free, open source Linux/Mac/Windows Audacity software to solve compatibility problems and convert files.

If you can find the time, please contact the developer of your software/manufacturer of your hardware, informing them of the need for FLAC and/org OGG Vorbis support to be able to quickly work with the format.

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FLAC Sucks!

Image

FLAC audio format sucks. That’s what some comments on my Freesound.org sounds tell me. I’m a fan though.

 

It is too bad that software developers and hardware manufacturers still exclude FLAC support, which has advantages over WAV and MP3.

FLAC is smaller than WAV or AIFF and its container format supports metadata by default, which benefits keeping track of authorship and license in large sound collections.

FLAC is lossless, while MP3 always has a loss of quality. Also MP3 does not support rates over 48000. Both is hard to notice but can become very relevant when manipulating the sound file.

I recommend the free, open source Linux/Mac/Windows Audacity software to solve compatibility problems and convert the file.

If you can find the time, please contact the developer of your software/manufacturer of your hardware, informing them of the need for FLAC support to be able to quickly work with the format.

 

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Friendly Subway Exit

Image

Very old news: Back in 2012 I made the art for a non-violent contribution to the 7DFPS challenge. You get out of a subway by “shooting” friendliness at passengers in your way.

Wand art (CC-BY 3.0) by Buch from OpenGameArt.

You can play the game using Unity Web Player here or using Chrome native player here. Get the blender art files here.

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Game Website Basics: Favicon and Facebook Image Preview (OpenGraph for Social Websites like Reddit, Google Plus…)

Many games’ websites (for example the amazing Heroine Dusk as of May 2nd, 2013) miss two minimal elements that make a game’s website more noticeable and sharing it more rewarding to the sharing party: Favicons and preview images.

Favicons help find your website among 10-100 tabs.

Preview images allow users of the social website see content before clicking the link. This is necessary to process the masses of links in Facebook feeds for example. Text gets skipped.

Favicon

All you have to do is upload a 16×16 image “favicon.ico” and add the following code to the <head> section of all your HTML pages.

<link rel='shortcut icon' href='favicon.ico' />

You don't have to use .ico file format (supported by GIMP). See Wikipedia's How to use Favicons for other formats.

How a tab looks with and without favicon in Chromium's tabs

Favicon of your game site in tabs

Isn't this better? Even if the icon is ugly, at least it helps differentiate from other tabs.

Preview image

All you have to do is upload a screenshot of your game "screenshot.jpg" and add the following code to the <head> section of all your HTML pages. Important: the image path has to be absolute, not relative.

<meta property='og:image' content='http://example.com/screenshot.jpg' />

Sharing a link on Facebook with and without preview image

Social Media Previews thanks to OpenGraph

Now the "share" is noticeable in the Facebook/social whatever website feed.

OpenGraph

OpenGraph has many more metadata features. For example you can also use og:description to change the text that is displayed by social media sites like Facebook. Images are more important though. Sorry to say.

Other Stuff

Still reading? You should add short descriptions of your game to the website title and body. Think about the fact that the <head> <title> element gets displayed as the title in Google search results. Think about how to describe your game to somebody who does not know what your game is or who doesn't know the definition of your game's genre.

What I said above in action

I made a silly game a while ago. The best part about making it was learning about OpenGraph.

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Poem for Free (as in Freedom) Audio File Formats

Propaganda ahead. Proceed with caution.

Audio File Format Heroes And Fools

Audio File Formats can be confusing at first,
I hope to change this, with this tiny verse!

FLAC is lossless, FLAC does compress,
with FLAC support there is no mess!

AIFF and WAV are too heavy to race,
Use FLAC to save lots of server space!

Vorbis is small and its use is free,
AAC and MP3 are tied to a patent tree!

FLAC and Vorbis are the best-sounding kin,
Leave restrictions behind and install a plug-in!

Soundwave of a recording of the poem

I recorded a reading of the poem in FLAC file format.

Poem copyright 2012 Iwan Gabovitch, Licensed under Attribution 3.0

Illustration (GIMP source) copyright 2012 Iwan Gabovitch, Dual-licensed under Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 and GPL 3 or later

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Making horrible/annoying/weird games at game creation jams

It’s super fun!

I did voice acting and retro HTML coding for an “eye-cancerous” abstract point-and-click game

Warning: contains silly.

Warning: contains ads.

Play in pointer-driven web browser: Low Resolution Land: You The Hero!

Code: github.com/qubodup/lrl

I had eight hours to do this during September Berlin Mini Jam.

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First commercial game release (Nikki Story Episodes)

We finished the release trailer, decided to release on Saturday (to match a party at which Nikki Story Episodes would be playable) but got advice that it’s more “professional” to release on Monday or Tuesday, so we did that.

Nikki Story Episodes purchase page screenshot 2012-09-20

The Nikki Story Episodes purchase page is so pretty because Humble Indie Bundle created a great design to inspire all other bundles and pay-what-you-want campaigns. Unfortunately we don’t have a timer widget.

The most important mantra: “Yes, it’s not perfect but at least it *is*!” (alt: “Release and live rather than polish and die!”). This is true for 1. the game 2. the purchase page 3. the trailer…

I’m a bit worried that this won’t make enough money for us to continue working on the game but Frictional Games’ review of their last two years gives hope.

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Sexism Double-Defense 101

XKCD sexism reversed (How it works)

“Guys Suck at Math” based on “How it Works” by XKCD (CC-BY-NC)

  1. If you are not offended, it doesn’t mean what was said wasn’t offensive.
  2. You don’t have to be sexist to say sexist phrases.
  3. Saying that you didn’t intend to offend someone does not erase the fact that you did.

Bullets from Feminism 101: Offensive Language and Dismissal of Responsibility.

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Audio: Use FLAC Instead of AIFF and WAVE! Use Vorbis instead of MP3!

Audio File Format Heroes And Fools

Update: I wrote a poem.

FLAC is superior to AIFF and WAVE.

FLAC is a compressed(+), lossless(+), open(+) format.
AIFF and WAVE are uncompressed(-), lossless(+), open(+) formats.

FLAC is also easy to use.

Vorbis is superior to MP3.

Vorbis is a compressed(+), lossy(-), open(+) format.
MP3 is a compressed(+), lossy(-), proprietary(-) format.

See Wikipedia’s comparison of audio formats for more info.

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