Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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expectnation
a conference management web application


XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

OpenVPN's popularity

Since I wrote the other day on the difficulty of configuring Linux with IPSec, I've been deluged with people writing recommending OpenVPN.

I'm very grateful to those who took the time to write, but I already use OpenVPN, which I discovered (again thanks to readers) 18 months ago.

The problem facing me was that the VPN server was a black box which only gave me IPSec or PPTP as options, both of which lack a "just works" solution under Linux. If I had control of both ends, OpenVPN would be the obvious answer.

The useful information this does give me however is on the rise of OpenVPN's popularity. Whereas I had one email on it a year and a half ago, a flood of recommendations for it headed my way this month.

Inkscape

To return the favor, I will celebrate the ongoing excellence of the Inkscape SVG editing program. It's been a while since I've had to do any graphics work, and I was very pleased to find today that it did a good job with no fuss when I needed it.

I was encouraged to revisit Inkscape by the positive comments Jimmac made about it on his blog. In particular it was great to work on a vector drawing but be confident about the pixel size of the export.

Inkscape screenshot

What I'd really like to see now is was a scripting interface like GIMP's, so people could write plugins to do common tasks like add shadows, frames, and so on. Given that the whole thing revolves around an XML DOM, the interface should be pretty simple.

The other thing I'd like to see is control of hinting on the bitmap export. As far as I could see, no hinting was used, which made small web graphics with text on somewhat blurry.

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