Timely FOSS Training and Tutorial Resources for Year's End
It's that time of year, when many bloggers and authors round up their favorite open source tutotials and educational resources. Opensource.com has a nice roundup of tutorials that showed up this year, including a tutorial in which Jiri Folta explains how to use an instance of ownCloud to integrate Dropbox or Google Drive with the GNOME desktop.
One of the best ongoing projects for producing free open source-related documentation is FLOSS Manuals. It's an ongoing and ambitious effort to build online guides for open source software. It has some notable new tutorials out, and in this post you'll also find some of our best liked tutorials overall.
Melange is a very interesting software platform that is used to manage Google Summer of Code. FLOSS Manuals has a complete tutorial for it here, and what is notable about it is that it can be adjusted to manage projects, competitions and more.
Meanwhile, you can find a fabulous tutorial for live blogging in real time here. Live Blog was created primarily for journalists but can be used by anyone as an open source web tool to report live breaking news from anywhere, working only in a web browser.
For the video-focused crowed, FLOSS Manuals also has an interesting guide to independent video hosting. The guide can give guidance to those who want to reduce their reliance on services like YouTube and Vimeo.
As Opensouce.com notes:
"One of the hottest technologies right now is OpenStack, a set of software tools for building and managing cloud computing platforms. OpenStack is very flexible, as Opensource.com's Jason Baker explains. In this tutorial, Baker takes you through getting WordPress 4.0 up and running on an instance of OpenStack."
"A technology that's closely tied to OpenStack is Docker. Chances are you've heard more than a little about Docker. You might even be eager to get working with it. To ease yourself into it, you'll want to dive in with this tutorial on getting started with Docker by Vincent Batts."
Here are some more tutorials that are worth your time:
Plumi. Plumi is a free Content Management System (CMS) designed for video-sharing, based on Plone and produced by EngageMedia. Plumi enables you to create your own video sharing site; by installing Plumi on your web server your can use a wide array of functionality to facilitate video distribution and community creation. Features include video podcasting, server-side flash/ogg transcoding and embedded playback, open content licensing, a sophisticated publishing workflow and large file uploading via FTP. You can find a compete manual on FLOSS Manuals, here.
Freedom Fone. Freedom Fone is a communications tool with origins in Zimbabwe. “While the Internet in Zimbabwe has become more accessible, it is still available only to a minority, urban-based audience,” say Freedom Fone community members. “Mobile phone usage on the other hand has grown exponentially with over 50% of the population - including many who live out in remote rural areas - currently subscribed to mobile networks.” Freedom Fone allows anyone with a phone to access or contribute information on a specific issue 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A manual makes clear how it can be of use to small- and medium-sized businesses.
GIMP for Graphics. If you work with graphics, or if you want to start doing so, you may already use GIMP, one of the very best open source graphics applications, or you have it on your radar. GIMP is so powerful that it can be daunting for new users, and FLOSS Manuals has an excellent getting started guide available for it, here. Once you've mastered your GIMP basics, you can find even more guidance in the free online guide in Grokking the GIMP.
Firefox in a Nutshell. Floss Manuals' Firefox in a Nutshell guide is available now, and is a comprehensive guide to the one of the most popular open browsers. It covers installation, of course, but delves into intelligent use of tabs and dedicates solid coverage to installing extensions--one of the big advantages Firefox offers.
For example, the guide has a straightforward discussion of how to use FireFTP, an extension for Firefox that makes it easy to send and receive very large files. If you use another browser and have wanted to dablle in Firefox, this guide is worth getting and totally free.
Etherpad. Etherpad is a real-time collaborative editor for Linux that can be used for taking minutes during online or offline meetings, recording real-time or asynchronous text-based planning of projects, and more. It's popular as a quick-in, quick-out way to record thoughts. You can get FLOSS Manuals' free guide to it now. Etherpad is basically a rewrite of a different but similar application called "EtherPad," with the newer version being more compact. The FLOSS Manuals guide covers how to create pads, how to chat about pads with other users, and delves into other collaboration features. Especially if you work with others on brainstorming, this little application is worth checking out.
Want more free guides to cool applications from FLOSS Manuals? Here are some others worth looking into:
Jubler. Do you create and work with video files, perhaps using tools such as VLC Media Player? If so, you may be interested in Jubler, a FOSS tool for creating and translating subtitles that you can use with Linux, Windows or Mac OS X. (It uses MPlayer for playback.) FLOSS Manuals has a visual guide to getting started with Jubler, available here.
BlueGriffon. OStatic has covered tools for web developers and editors a number of times. Powered by Gecko, the rendering engine Mozilla used in Firefox for years, BlueGriffon is an open source, cross-platform web editor with outstanding WYSIWYG interface options. You can use it on Linux, Windows or Mac OS X. Because it's based on Gecko, BlueGriffon is especially good for building pages that will look great in Firefox. Check out FLOSS Manuals' visual tour of BlueGriffon, here.
Chromium. You may very well use Chromium as your browser, and if you do you're in luck. One of the newest guides on FLOSS Manuals is a complete guide to Chromium--the open source core of Google's Chrome browser. The guide walks through the differences between Chromium and Chrome, provides installation guidelines for all major operating systems, and much more.