Dump Scratch — Use Blockly or Snap! instead

The people who make Scratch have migrated it to Flash. This is the most bonkers, hare-brained, backward idea they could have had. Migrating to a proprietary, platform-dependent, insecure, soon-to-be-extinct framework dooms Scratch to oblivion. Not to worry: we know of several excellent alternatives.


Build Interactive Stories with Ren’Py

Storytelling is the cultural cornerstone of human civilization. If I were even more pedantic than I already am, I would tell you about cave paintings, the epics of Gilgamesh, or the minstrels that travelled through medieval Europe. Instead let me tell you about teenage angst and manga comics.

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Tailor-made Distros with SUSE Studio

One of the things about Linux is it’s super-customisable. If you would like to go deeper than picking your desktop and the colour scheme of your icons, consider SUSE Studio, the online service that allows you to build a whole distro from the ground up, tailored to your specific needs.

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Mining for Education

How would you feel if all the food in your child’s school canteen were provided by one manufacturer of packaged snacks and soft drinks? How would you feel if your child’s diet were limited to crisps, cheese-flavoured tortilla chips, and sugary, carbonated beverages, with no chance of a healthier alternative?


Opinion: Game Nearly Over

So here’s the news: Microsoft is forcing game developers and game developing companies through the hoop of their app store, encroaching on their revenue and putting itself in the way of dealing directly with the customers. Why am I not in the least bit surprised?


Bruce Byfield Interview: Designing With LibreOffice

Our colleague Bruce has a book coming out! It’s called Designing with LibreOffice. It tackles the subject of how to make documents look good and professional, while taking advantage of all the design features LibreOffice has to offer. So I got together with Bruce and we talked about his book, LibreOffice, design, and the eternal…


Inkscape’s Hidden Little Feature: Mesh Gradients

Inkscape has a secret, something that is literally hidden away. There is no icon for it in the toolbar and no option in the menus. You have to dig it out from the list of keyboard shortcuts. But, yes, Inkscape does have a meshed gradient tool… And it’s awesome.