Tool tests on the fast tracks

Tool Tips

Article from Issue 180/2015
Author(s):

Tools tested: MenuMaker, CLOC, ddrescueview, Hiawatha, pam_honeycreds.so, and XDM.

MenuMaker 0.99.8

Function: Creates menus for window managers

Source: http://menumaker.sourceforge.net

License: BSD

Alternatives: Wmconfig

Anyone who switches often between window managers will be familiar with the problem: each manager creates its own menus. Users who value uniform structure should take a look at MenuMaker. The Python tool generates menus for eight window managers: IceWM, Xfce (from version 4), Deskmenu, PekWM, Blackbox, Fluxbox, Openbox (from version 3), and Window Maker.

Users can define which window manager they need a menu for, such as mmaker xfce or mmaker fluxbox, when calling up the shell. The tool creates the configuration file and saves it in your home directory. MenuMaker does not override existing files automatically; users can enter the parameter -f if they wish to do so.

Enter -c to get the result in standard output; -v provides more details. MenuMaker automatically identifies which software is installed and generates a consistent root menu for all window managers. Users can specifically exclude one or more categories from a menu using the -s option. Anyone who has a favorite terminal emulator for shell applications can enter it with the -t option.

4 Stars   MenuMaker creates uniform menu structures for the major window managers. It is, however, sometimes necessary to customize the resulting configuration file in the text editor afterward.

CLOC 1.64

Function: Counts lines of code

Source: http://cloc.sourceforge.net

License: GPLv2

Alternatives: SLOCCount, LOC

CLOC – which stands for Count Lines of Code – provides software developers with an overview of their projects. The practical helper counts blank lines and comments as well as real lines of code. It writes the statistical analysis to the standard output. CLOC requires Perl 5.6 or later and understands more than 130 different programming languages; users can obtain a full list using cloc --show-lang.

On execution, users specify individual files or entire directories to be counted. CLOC also understands compressed TAR or ZIP archives; the tool can receive optional help when unpacking via --extract-with. The Perl program also tracks changes between two files, directories, or archives. The man page lists various diff parameters with examples.

The CLOC evaluation can be saved in CSV, XML, or YAML format. Entering --sql processes the result in an SQL database; the tool generates the necessary INSERT and DDL statements.

5 Stars   CLOC is a practical helper for programmers. The compare functions and the different output formats for further processing information are particularly useful.

Ddrescueview 0.4 alpha 2

Function: Observes ddrescue logfiles

Source: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ddrescueview

License: GPLv3

Alternatives: none

Many users use ddrescue to save data from a faulty disk. However, the resulting logs are difficult to read. Ddrescueview graphically processes logfiles.

First, the tool determines the size of the disk and displays an overview of all sectors in the main window. The different colors represent how a section is doing and whether the tool is able to save it (green), it is defective (red), not trimmed (yellow), or not yet recognized (gray). Users can receive detailed information about a sector via mouse click. The Block inspector dialog reveals where the faulty section starts, how big it is, and how much data ddrescue could ultimately reconstruct.

Ddrescueview assumes a block size of 512 bytes by default. Users can define other dimensions in the program settings, as well as set up a refresh interval that keeps the display up to date while ddrescue is running.

4 Stars   Ddrescueview allows a close look at the ddrescue data recovery tool's activities. The program provides a good overview and also allows specific analysis of individual sectors.

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