[CentOS-docs] Visualization and desktop page

Phil Schaffner

Philip.R.Schaffner at NASA.gov
Thu Dec 11 14:38:55 UTC 2008

Max Hetrick wrote:
> John wrote:
>> My opinion I don't find it really an off topic consideration to think
>> about. I even use it on my laptop. I have clients that use it strictly
>> for desktop use only and not as a server because they can not afford to
>> buy Win XP or Vista. Introduce them to K3B, Mplayer or XMMS and there
>> happy.
> I agree. I use CentOS as both my desktop and server system at home, 
> work, and on my laptop. I think it makes a great desktop, but I still 
> thought it needed discussed before creating pages. Ultimately, the 
> CentOS wiki team are who get the final say. :)

A CentOS desktop/workstation category would certainly seem to be of 
interest, particularly with all the disgruntled Vista users wandering 
around looking for viable alternatives that will work on slightly older 
hardware these days.  Including getting desktop applications working 
properly (openoffice, evolution, PIM functions, syncing with PDAs, 
multimedia, TV/PVRs/MythTV, 
http://wiki.centos.org/TipsAndTricks/MultimediaOnCentOS, etc.) would 
IMHO fall under this category.  The Laptops pages are also relevant.

Could list compatibility options for M$ apps including Crossover Office, 
VMware, etc.  It would not be necessary to include all the information 
found elsewhere (could easily get out of hand and OT), but a set of 
pointers to useful information organized under a Desktop/Workstation 
banner would be helpful.  The long-awaited "year of the Linux desktop" 
will arrive sooner or later.  More and better useful information for 
desktop users could help make it sooner, and CentOS is definitely a 
viable candidate for a stable desktop platform.

If the category is defined as broad enough to include 
scientific/engineering workstations and applications, then the word 
"Visualization" in the title of this thread is certainly appropriate as 
a specialized sub-topic, if not in the title of the category.  On my 
system (with some 3rd party repos) "yum search visualization" returns 
the following:

3ddesktop.i386 : OpenGL program for switching virtual desktops in 3D
bcfg2.noarch : Configuration management system
ds9.i386 : Astronomical Data Visualization Application
dx.i386 : Open source version of IBM's Visualization Data Explorer
fityk.i386 : Tool for fitting and analyzing data
grace.i386 : Numerical Data Processing and Visualization Tool
grads.i386 : Tool for easy acces, manipulation, and visualization of data
graphviz.i386 : Graph Visualization Tools
k3dsurf.i386 : Visualize and manipulate multidimensional surfaces
libsnack.i386 : Snack Sound Toolkit
ncarg-devel.i386 : A Fortran and C based software package for scientific 
ncarg.i386 : A Fortran and C based software package for scientific 
perl-GraphViz-Data-Structure.noarch : Visualise data structures
php-pear-Image-GraphViz.noarch : Interface to AT&T's GraphViz tools
pymol.i386 : PyMOL Molecular Graphics System

Some of those fall more into the eye-candy category, but that's OK and 
within the originally-proposed scope.  Google Earth, mentioned earlier 
in the thread, is visualization in this sense and could fit somewhere in 
the hierarchy too but doesn't show up on the list as AFAIK there is no 
CentOS RPM available for it.  I'm using the Google-provided version that 
lives in the user home directory.

[ Then one could get into other specialized open-source applications 
including Octave, R, mathomatic, Maxima, etc. that work well on CentOS 
but may not be available out-of-the-box - but I'm probably off in the 
weeds of my own interests a bit too far here.  :-)  Could also provide a 
link to our friends in Scientific Linux. ]

Bottom line: +1 for a home for Desktop/Workstation category in the Wiki. 
  Perhaps this could be considered in organizing "WebSite Ver 2".


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