DevTodo: a reminder/task program aimed at developers.

August 31st, 2008 edited by Vicho

Article submitted by Raman Pandarinathan.

DevTodo is a simple command-line-based package to keep todo lists. Lists are prioritized and hierarchical. Each task in the list has a priority (very high, low, medium etc.) and a given task can be linked to another todo database, making the list hierarchical. The lists are stored as an XML file (.todo) in the current directory, so if you manage multiple projects, you can have different todo lists and DevTodo will update the information based on your current working directory.

As the Todo list is stored in an XML file, you can use an XSLT template to export it to other formats. In Debian, you can find templates to export to HTML and PDF in /usr/share/devtodo.

Managing your todo lists

DevTodo in action

Basic commands are:

  • todo displays the list of tasks pending in the order of priority.
  • tda adds a task to the list. The optional argument -g links the task to another task (creates a subtask).
  • tdd marks a task as complete (done) with comments.
  • tde edit a task.
  • tdr removes a task completely.

With the use of some small shell scripts, when you cd into a directory with a .todo in it, DevTodo can display the Todo items for that directory. There are scripts for bash and tcsh in /usr/share/doc/devtodo/examples. To enable it under bash, add this to your .bashrc:

if [ -f /usr/share/doc/devtodo/examples/ ]; then
  . /usr/share/doc/devtodo/examples/

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
    • Simple command line interface.
    • Easy storage using XML.
    • Fast and elegant.
    • Oriented towards developers.
  • Cons
    • No GUI.
    • No recent development (last commit was at the end of 2007), upstream seems to be inactive.
    • No calendaring.


DevTodo is available in Debian since Sarge and in Ubuntu (universe) since Dapper.

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu | 8 Comments »

EasyTag: a graphical interface to managing your music files’ tags

August 25th, 2008 edited by Vicho

Article submitted by Dominique Cimafranca.

EasyTag is a graphical utility to edit the descriptive ID3 tags for your music files. One will think primarily of MP3 files, but it also does other formats, such as Ogg, FLAC, MP4/AAC, MusePack, Monkey’s Audio files and WavPack files (APE tag).

EasyTag main windowEasyTag’s screen real estate is divided into three windows. The left window shows you the directories of your file system. The middle window shows you the music files in your currently selected directory. The right window is further subdivided into top and bottom information boxes: the top shows you the technical information about the file (bit rate, frequency, mode, size, and time), and the bottom shows you the actual ID3 fields.

The ID3 fields are pretty complete as they let you fill in all the relevant info you could want to put in, e.g., title, artist, album, year, genre, personal comments. You can also attach a photo to the file.

Once you start up EasyTag, it will search your home directory for any and all music format files. This behavior is either helpful or annoying; if it’s the latter, you can simply stop the search and go to the directory of your choice. It will resume the search from there.

Tagging files

There are three ways to tag music files with EasyTag:

  • Manually.
  • Automatically with the “Fill Tag” scanner.
  • Automatically via CDDB, which is a database for software applications to look up audio CD information over the Internet.

Manual tagging is pretty much self-explanatory (and tedious.)

The mask editor dialogAutomatic Fill Tag relies on the filenames of your music files to automatically fill in the ID3 entries. EasyTag has a couple dozen formats that cover almost every imaginable case.

Automatic CDDB tagging only works if files are sorted per album and if the actual CDDB entry exists. You don’t actually have to have the CD on hand: you can search for the album ID through EasyTag. Once found, it will label the files for you.

All in all, a great way to manage and maintain information on your music files.


EasyTag is available in Debian since at least Sarge and in Ubuntu (universe) since Dapper.

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu | 10 Comments »