freeware

XMLmind's XML Editor

DocBook is a great tool for any documentation writer, but it can be a real pain to get adjusted to. I had decided to use it for the fwbackups 1.43.2 user guide the end result was great (less a few spelling mistakes), but coding it by hand took a long time and isn't something I would want to do again

I have been using XMLmind's XML Editor to rewrite the documentation for fwbackups 1.43.3 in DocBook 5 and it's been great. It has a WYSIWYG interface and although the program has a small learning curve, once I got used to the hotkeys my productivity went way up. Version 4.6.0 (released about two weeks ago) also includes a new Link tool can be enabled in the Preferences (under General > Features) that is excellent for creating cross-section links in your documents. After giving a section an xml:id name in the Attributes section, highlight a piece of text and select Edit > Add or Change Link... from the menu. All of the document's xml:ids for will be listed and selecting one will create the link automatically.

The license for the personal edition license allows XMLmind's XML editor to be used to write documents for any open source software (as defined by the OSI) - if you need a quick way to write great looking documentation, consider paying XMLmind's website a visit.

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Favourite Freeware Apps for Windows

Well, as usual, it's been a while... I'll start by saying happy new year! Better late than never I guess ;)

Anyways, ever since I started developing fwbackups for Windows I've had to use it a lot more often than I used to. Here's a list of some (free) Windows apps I've found to be very useful:

  • iTunes: As much trouble as I've had in the past with Apple products, I've yet to see a better media player that's as easy to use, configure and has equivalent features. The only thing I wish is that I could import with lame directly from iTunes.
    • iTunes Lyrics Importer searches lyricswiki.org for song lyrics and automatically updates your iTunes library
    • iTunes Library Updater (iTLU) makes it a breeze to manage your library when it comes to updating track info, adding new songs or removing the dead links in your library.
  • Notepad++: One of the best text editors I've seen when it comes to programming or just general-purpose text. Of course, nothing beats good old GEdit though ;)
  • MediaCoder is a free audio and video transcoder. It supports almost any format you can imagine, has a nice interface, huge amount of features, and even some presets for various devices like the PSP or iPod.
  • WinSCP for all your secure file copying needs.
  • PuTTY for all your SSH needs.
  • 7-zip: Finally, open bz2 archives and a whole lot more without any annoying "trial" and "upgrade now" messages!

All these programs are free to download & use, and most are open source. Enjoy!

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