Sparkling gems and new releases from the world of Free and Open Source Software


If KDE Plasma's System Monitor is the most beautiful monitoring tool we've looked at, then Guider is a good candidate for the most comprehensive. It doesn't even consider itself a monitoring tool, preferring the term "integrated performance analyzer," which is a fair description. Its list of features includes monitoring, profiling, tracing, visualization, control, logging, networking, and testing, all of which can be conjured from the command line. Guider is written in Python and is easily installed with pip. At its simplest, you can run guider top -a to launch the tool as a simple top process viewer, although simple isn't really the right word. Every monitoring mode contains a huge amount of data, and it can easily overwhelm your terminal. The top implementation, for example, is wide, listing statistics for every core alongside a process table and general system overview.

Other modes can be used to analyze processes, measure the running time and resource usage of specific functions, introspect the call stack, and perform signal tracing. You can even reconfigure the scheduler for a process to give it more or less CPU time, or limit its CPU usage, all from the same command, although this does sometimes depend on your kernel configuration. There's often a lot of output, which can optionally be piped into a separate JSON-formatted file or even viewed from a web browser. Threads can also be traced, recorded, and their history played back and even turned into histograms and charts directly from within Guider itself, although you'll want to view them from your favorite browser or image viewer. There's a lot to learn, but the tool is also straightforward and easy to use for simple monitoring, making it ideal for someone who needs something that will grow with them as their knowledge increases.

Project Website

Guider is a monitoring tool that goes from simple process monitoring to thread tracing and profiling.

Share URLs


When Tim Berners-Lee invented the URL back in 1994, he could never have anticipated that the humble uniform resource locator would become so easily subverted. Back then, a URL was nothing more than a static web address for an actual HTML page that either existed or didn't. There were assumptions, such as the root of a location being served by an index.html file, but most pages were static, written by hand, and didn't change location. They certainly weren't dynamic or served via a content delivery network. All of this has changed in the decades since. Most people laugh at hand-written HTML now, and even if you wrote it, you probably couldn't persuade your browser to load it without carefully wrapping it within HTTPS. Most web pages are now generated programmatically from content management systems using a variety of programming languages and frameworks, and their URLs are generated the same way, even when the endpoint where users access them remains the same.

The same is also true of how those URLs are shared and discovered. Search recommendations, embedded email links, social media posts, and message chatting services are all now guilty of augmenting URLs with their own added metadata – to both better track you and to inform the onward server who to be thankful to for the new reader. These bits of added metadata are known as UTM tracking links because they're usually separated from the remainder of the URL by utm_, followed by an arbitrary parameter name. UTM links obviously have huge implications for privacy, which is why many of us try to always manually edit them out. But with this brilliant little tool, you don't even need to do that. utm_no is a small utility that sits in your panel and transparently waits for a URL to appear on the clipboard. When it does, it equally transparently strips that URL of the UTM tracking metadata so that when you come to paste it, only the URL elements required are included. It's simple but brilliant.

Project Website

Not only is utm_no a useful tool in itself, the code is easy to understand, especially if you want to see how to implement tests in your own code.

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