[permaculture] Free open source software for permaculture designers, writers and web developers: Re: Open-Source Permaculture | permaculturethinktank

Lawrence London lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Tue Jun 16 21:57:23 EDT 2015

On Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 5:52 AM, Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>

> Open-Source Permaculture | permaculturethinktank
> https://permaculturethinktank.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/open-source-permaculture/

I will add to the list below the following apps:

Notepad++ is a free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") source
code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages.
Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL
<http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html> License.
[great for text editing and html coding]

Powerful desktop publishing software

Krita is a FREE digital painting and illustration application.
Krita offers CMYK support, HDR painting, perspective grids, dockers,
filters, painting assistants, and many other features you would expect
[this app is a real beauty - LL]

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely
distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition
and image authoring.
It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an
expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system,
a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with
plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting
interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex
image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX <http://www.gimp.org/unix/>
platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows
<http://www.gimp.org/windows/> and Mac OS X <http://www.gimp.org/macintosh/>.

VSDC Free Video Editor
Publisher's Description
>From Flash-Integro:
When it comes to video editing nobody wants to spend hours mastering
nuances of video cutting techniques. All we usually need is to place
several pieces together, add some fade-ins and outs, include subtitles and
do this with as little efforts as possible. At the same time nobody wants
to compromise with the final quality of the video. Indeed, simple not
necessarily should mean primitive. VSDC Free Video Editor is a simple and
easy to use video editor featuring a lot of functions even a pro editor
wouldn't be ashamed of.
With a full support for dozens of video codecs and formats including but
not limiting to AVI, MP4, MKV, MPG, WMV, 3GP, FLV for video; MP3, WAV, WMA,
FLAC, PCM, OGG, AAC, M4A, AMR for audio; and BMP, JPG, PNG, PSD, ICO, TIFF
for images, VSDC Free Video Editor provides one of the easiest ways to
combine multiple source chunks in different formats into a resulting
high-quality video. A bunch of filters can turn even a commonplace video
sequence into a classy pro-quality movie, while thousands of video and
audio effects conveniently grouped into four categories help you making
your video to look and sound more dynamic. Not only does VSDC Free Video
Editor offer powerful video editing capabilities, it is also surprisingly
easy to use. Forget video conversion back and forth between different
formats - the program fluently reads all of them; and the output video is
as easy to write to a DVD disk as to transfer it to any connected media
device, like iPod, iPad, Sony PlayStation, Xbox or a smartphone.

Free Studio
[free video editor]

HTTrack Website Copier
HTTrack is a free <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html> (GPL
<http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt>, libre/free software) and easy-to-use
offline browser utility.
It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a
local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML,
images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges
the original site's relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the
"mirrored" website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link
to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an
existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully
configurable, and has an integrated help system. WinHTTrack is the Windows
2000/XP/Vista/Seven release of HTTrack, and WebHTTrack the Linux/Unix/BSD

Recommendations from permaculturethinktank:

The roster of Open-Source programs and their uses are as follows:

LibreCAD- Scaled Basemapping

Inkscape – Vector Based Editing

GIMP – Pixel Based Editing

Scribus – Desktop Publishing

Krita – Digital Painting

There are other free but not open source programs available to the budding
permaculture designer:

Google Earth Pro (Yeah buddy) – GIS and Geositing

Google Mytracks – GPS Tracking

Xmind – Mindmapping

SketchUp – 3d Modeling

Let me briefly explain which programs I am using so far and for what


LibreCAD – With this program I am trying above all to create a basemap that
is scaled, and on which I can make visually appealing with other software.
This is done by typical low-cost surveying techniques like triangulation
and offset/extension.  I build the basemap with my own personal
measurements combined with any found measurements from existing maps.

Inkscape – Basically the mainframe of the operation.  Even though on the
surface inkscape is basically an open-source version of Adobe Illustrator,
it can support a large array of file types.  The most important file type
it supports is .dxf which is integral to using and then improving upon work
done in LibreCAD.

*Here is a link
<https://permaculturethinktank.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=347> to an
example of the first full basemap I created with the LibreCAD/Inkscape

GIMP – A photo editor.  I use it personally to edit digital photos that
I’ve taken.  Right now I’m working with a Canon A2300 modded with CHDK.
Essentially CDHK makes certain point & shoot Canon cameras able to shoot in
RAW format as opposed to jpeg, as well as other useful features like
altering shutter speed and aperture.

Scribus – Really haven’t been able to sit down and figure out this one
yet.  I have experience with InDesign, so I will have to learn the
different interface.  From what I’ve seen and read it can get most jobs

Krita – A lot can be done with this digital painting program.  This program
is for painting the basemaps that I finish in Inkscape.

Free to use

Google Earth Pro – Now the pro version is available, all one needs to do is
download the pro version and use the code GEPFREE when logging in to it for
the first time.  It is pretty powerful and I sometimes get lost in all that
can be done with it.  It is perfect for getting a bird’s eye view of your
site and the context of where you are doing design work.  There are
topography maps available to put as overlays and there are soil maps that
can be overlaid as well to find out what kind of soil types are existent on
your site as well.  The soil types can be clicked on and then sent you to
more information.

Google Mytracks – This app requires a GPS device via cell phone, so you’ll
need a smart phone in order to use this.  It basically tracks the path that
the phone moves in.  This can be used to find out how long it takes to
travel certain paths, changes in elevation and other data.

Xmind – Just a mindmapping software.  Bubble diagrams and webs are created
through topics and subtopics.  Can be used to organize ideas, plans, and

SketchUp – Used for 3D modeling.  Any kind of architectural work and
concepts can be hashed out on sketchup for the site.  I have used it
briefly to model the garage and see what it would look like with a second
floor.  The garage is right in a central location of the garden, so I
imagined that with a second floor and large windows facing the garden (and
simultaneously facing south as well) a nice space could be created up there
that takes advantage of the solar gain during colder months.

Open-Source is an ethic I really like, and computing is important to
design.  Things just move faster with open-sourcing, when many users can
access the code and change it to improve the programs and offer more
applications.  Companies tend to stop innovating when they become a certain
size and opt instead to buy innovation from smaller groups or individuals.

But with more focus and time spent on the learning curve with the
open-source programs, innovation can be occurring all the time, because
individual coders and small groups can constantly be tweaking the source
code in order to provide a tighter designed program.  This is what I’m
after as a designer, tightest design possible.

So if you have the time, go for open-source, collaborate, and get more
sites implemented.

Lawrence F. London
lfljvenaura at gmail.com

More information about the permaculture mailing list