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5. Changes in Fedora for Specific Audiences

5.1. Amateur Radio

5.1.1. aldo

The Morse code tutor, aldo now includes support for additional punctuation, better sound card selection, and uses a new Koch sequence.

5.1.2. fldigi

fldigi 3.20.20 includes a large number of changes, new features and bug fixes. Find more on the complete list of features and in change log.

5.1.3. linpsk

linpsk now includes support for RTTY and MFSK, and uses a new graphics layer to improve performance. Logging may be done through LinLog.

5.1.4. twlog

New to Fedora 14 is twlog. This is a simple day-to-day logger rather than a complex contesting logger. The menus can be customized to make operation quicker. Details on twlog may be found at twlog website.

5.1.5. xwxapt

xwxapt has been upgraded to version 2. The sound card code has been dramatically rewritten and should reduce issues with sound cards.

5.2. Circuit Design

5.2.1. gtkwave

gtkwave has been upgraded to 3.3.10. New features include a VCD recorder, dynamic zlib compression, support for dual view of waveforms, the ability to use the viewer as a plugin for external applications and more. Review CHANGELOG.TXT for full details.

5.2.2. kicad

2010.05.27 of kicad now includes the ability to edit footprint names, enhancements in SVG format output, and VRML export. For details refer to the CHANGELOG.

5.2.3. ngspice

ngspics 21 includes a compatibility mode for working with other simulators, additional devices, a "pipe" mode and tabulated output. Documentation is now available in pdf form. Read all about it at ngspice website.

5.3. Embedded Development

5.3.1. AVR gcc
There are a number of improvements to gcc that affect the AVR processor. See the GCC section of this document for further information.

5.3.2. PIC gpsim
gpsim has been updated to 0.25. In addition to many bugfixes, new features include:
  • src/ and modules/ license change to LGPLv2+
  • ECCP implemented
  • video module resurrected
  • Added back HLL source browser support
  • DS1307 realtime clock extra added
  • extras compiled and loaded as part of gpsim
Support has been added for:
  • PIC16F882
  • PIC16F883
  • PIC16F884
  • PIC16F886
  • PIC16F887

5.3.3. piklab

piklab includes a number of new features including:
  • New processor support
    • 18F14K22
    • 18F13K22
    • 33FJ06GSxxx
    • 33FJ128MC802
  • Improvements to ICD2 including support for additional targets
  • New log and replay features
  • Direct programming support for 16F88x family
For complete details including the list of many bug fixes, refer to the changelog at piklab website.

5.4. Musicians

5.4.1. jack2

Fedora 14 moves from jack to jack2, formerly called jackdmp. jack2 offers many improvements over previous versions available in Fedora. Current jack-capable programs can take advantage of these improvements without modification.
  • jack2 takes advantage of multi-processor and multi-core systems. The result is fewer audio glitches when more than one jack-enabled program is run.
  • You can now modify connections without interrupting the audio stream. This means that you do not need to stop recording or playback in order to change how your programs connect to each other.
  • "Asynchronous" activation prevents audible audio glitches. If a program does not provide a sample in time, jack2 automatically repeats the previous sample. The old jack server would have produced an audible glitch, but with jack2, you may not even hear the missing sample.
  • You can use jack2 and PulseAudio on the same computer. When the jack server starts, it automatically takes control of your audio hardware from PulseAudio. When the jack server stops, it automatically returns control of your audio hardware to PulseAudio. There is no longer a benefit to removing PulseAudio.
The move to jack2 is another example of the behind-the-scenes improvements that are a part of Fedora 14.

5.4.2. Musicians' Guide

Created as a Fedora Summer Coding project, the Fedora Musicians' Guide is released for the first time with Fedora 14. The Musicians' Guide shows you how to use several popular audio and music applications available in Fedora, and it explains some basic concepts you need to know when using audio software on any computer.
Each application has a tutorial, designed to show a typical use of the application by creating an actual musical project. In the Ardour tutorial, for example, you learn how to mix and master a recording of a real song. In the Qtractor tutorial, you learn how to create a MIDI-based accompaniment for a recording of a Beethoven piano sonata.
More advanced users - especially programmers who wish to create music - will appreciate the detailed coverage of SuperCollider, a programming language designed for audio synthesis. The tutorial shows you how to create a piece of music, from inspiration to completion. There is also a section explaining the syntax and usage of many language features, designed to be used as an introduction to SuperCollider, and as a reference while you program. Combined with the extensive documentation available from the developers, the Musicians' Guide chapter help to make SuperCollider on Fedora easier than ever!
All musicians who want to improve their skills will want to use the ear-training application Solfege. Solfege offers a wide variety of exercises, from hearing and singing intervals and chords, to taking dictation of a series of chords, or even detecting a tuning discrepancy between pitches. Whether you want to build your aural skills for the first time or just want help in maintaining them, Solfege can help you.
The Musicians' Guide is available from the Docs Project Website, located at

5.4.3. Qsynth

Qsynth is a graphical front-end for the FluidSynth software-based MIDI synthesizer. Qsynth lets you take advantage of the full capabilities of FluidSynth more easily. You can change all aspects of a FluidSynth setup, and even run multiple instances of the FluidSynth synthesizer, from within one Qsynth window.
Qsynth is explained in Chapter 10, "FluidSynth" of the new Musicians' Guide (

5.4.4. gtick

New to Fedora14, gtick is a metronome application supporting different meters and speeds up to 1000 bpm.
Review here all the details.

5.5. Scientific and Technical

5.5.1. Asymptote

Asymptote is a powerful descriptive vector graphics language for technical drawings, inspired by MetaPost but with an improved C++-like syntax. Asymptote provides for figures the same high-quality level of typesetting that LaTeX does for scientific text. Labels and equations are typeset with LaTeX, for high-quality PostScript output. Fedora-14 includes version-2.04 with many bug fixes. Files generated in in-line tex mode can now be renamed without editing their contents.
For more details,

5.5.2. Extrema

Extrema is a powerful visualization and data analysis tool that enables researchers to quickly distill their large, complex data sets into meaningful information. Its flexibility, sophistication, and power allow you to easily develop your own commands and create highly customized graphs. Version-4.4.4 has been rebuilt for wxGTK-2.8.11 in Fedora 14.
For more details, extrema, on the project website.

5.5.3. gnumeric

Gnumeric has been updated from 1.10.0-1 to 1.10.2-4. The changes include a rebuild for new Goffice and bugfixes.
For more details, gnome: gnumeric.

5.5.4. Gnuplot

Gnuplot is a command-line driven, interactive function plotting program especially suited for scientific data representation. Gnuplot has been updated to the 4.4 series (view release-notes 4.4.0). Relative the 4.2 version, this version features smoother graphics based on the pango, cairo, and wxWidgets libraries, client-side interactive display using the HTML 5 "canvas" element, better internationalization, support for UTF-8 character encoding, support for transparency and alpha-channel image generation and handling, support for extended command line syntax, including iteration and new plot styles. Further PNG images can be read in and manipulated as plot elements. Gnuplot-py is a GUI for this program.
For more details, gnuplot website.

5.5.5. Mathomatic

Mathomatic is a portable, general-purpose computer algebra system (CAS). The software does automatic manipulations and calculations of mixed symbolic/numeric mathematical expressions, allowing quick and easy solving, differentiation and simplification. Version-15.1.3 features a number of improvements including improved overflow handling and support for Mathematica-style input.
For more details, mathomatic website.

5.5.6. Maxima

Maxima is a full featured symbolic and mathematical computation program with its own source level debugger for maxima code. Maxima has been updated from version 5.20.1 to 5.21.1 in Fedora-14. The latest build includes plot3d for plotting multiple surfaces and has built-in spherical transformations. Bessel, Riemann Zeta, signum and hypergeometric functions have all been extended or revised. Many bug fixes have been included in this version.
For more details, maxima website.

5.5.7. mrpt-apps

The Mobile Robot Programming Toolkit (MRPT: mrpt-apps) is an extensive, cross-platform, and open source C++ library aimed to help robotics researchers to design and implement algorithms in the fields of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), computer vision, and motion planning (obstacle avoidance). The latest version 0.9.0-0.5 has been rebuilt against wxGTK-2.8.11-2. The rebuild was necessitated by the new version of Opencv.
For more details, on project website.

5.5.8. Prover9

The Prover9 package provides the Prover9 resolution/paramodulation theorem prover and the Mace4 counter-model generator. Prover9 is an automated theorem prover for first-order and equational logic. It uses the inference techniques of ordered resolution and paramodulation with literal selection. The package has been updated to upstream version 200911a. The following have also been added: prover9-complex, prover9-gen_trc_defs and prover9-test_complex.
For more details, prover9 on website.

5.5.9. R

The R environment is an integrated suite of FOSS facilities for data manipulation, statistical computation, knowledge discovery from databases, data analysis, scientific computing and graphical display. R has been updated to version 2.11.1 in Fedora-14. A large number of new R packages have also been added to the Fedora repository.
For more details, R on project website.

5.5.10. ROOT

New to Fedora 14 is root, an object-oriented open-source platform for data acquisition, simulation and data analysis systems developed by CERN.
Complete details about this package, which includes many plugins for data acquisition, may be found at CERN.

5.5.11. Scientific Python

Scientific Python is a collection of Python modules for scientific computing. The latest version 2.8.11 includes numpy-1.4.0.
For more details, Scientific Python: Overview on project website.

5.5.12. texlive

Texlive is an advanced comprehensive implementation of TeX for GNU/Linux and the Unices. Texlive-2007 is included in Fedora-14. The latest build features minor bugfixes. You can also install TeXlive-2009 from the Texlive-2009 DVD with no hassles.
For more details, texlive on project website.

5.5.13. VYM

VYM (View Your Mind) is a tool to generate and manipulate maps which show reasoning patterns. You can use them for time management, to organize tasks, to get an overview over complex contexts. Release-1.12.7 features a number of visualization improvements.
For more details, VYM (View Your Mind) on project website.

5.5.14. Weka

Weka is a collection of machine learning algorithms for data mining tasks. The algorithms can either be applied directly to a dataset or called from your own Java code. Weka contains tools for data pre-processing, classification, regression, clustering, association rules, and visualization. It is also well-suited for developing new machine learning schemes. Weka has been updated to version 3.2.6-4 with important bug fixes.
For more details, weka on project website.