O is for Open Source I use (and create)

Today I thought I’d go through some of the Open Source software that I regularly use. The Open Source movement is a interesting one, basically it calls for the source code of software to be released alongside the software. This allows anyone who can (or needs to) to modify the software and pass these changes back to the community thus benefiting all.

Traditionally Open Source products have been less polished then commercial software but these days, many rival or even better their commercial counterparts and Open Source software powers much of the Internet and even the mobile devices that you use everyday.

I have a few Open Source projects knocking around. Probably the most successful of these  is CsvJdbc. This project is over 13 years old (I started it on the 9th January 2001), it has been downloaded tens of thousands of times and it is included in numerous other software packages (including commercial ones). Ohloh estimates that over 7 man years of effort has gone into the project, worth almost $380000 USD. Not bad for free software. Whilst I no longer actively work on the project, others have picked up where I left off and the project still thrives.

But enough about my projects, here are a list (in no particular order) of some of the Open Source software I use:

 Notepad++ is an awesome text editor. I use this multiple times during any given day. It has a huge number of plugins and add-ons to tackle any text editing task.

I have already blogged about Blender. If you are interested in 3D modelling and animation then check it out.

Inkscape is another great piece of software. It is basically a vector image editing software, similar to Adobe Illustrator. Along similar lines, Gimp is like Photoshop. It’s user interface can be a little confusing but it is a powerful application.

VLC is a great media player and FFmpeg is a swiss-army knife for video format conversion (be warned it uses the command line).

Both Firefox and Chrome web browsers are open source too. As is Android the operating system you find on many phones.

This blog is powered by a bunch of open source software including WordPress.

As a software developer I use tens of pieces of Open Source software to do my job. Including:

  • Putty – a SSH client
  • WinSCP – A graphical SCP client
  • Jetty – A web app server
  • Python – A programming language
  • Java – A programming language
  • jQuery – A JavaScript library for creating web applications
  • AngularJS – A JavaScript framework
  • Eclipse – An integrated development environment
  • MySql – A database
  • Apache – A web server
  • PHP – A programming language
  • Ubuntu – An operating system

Etcetera, etcetera… its pretty safe to say that without Open Source I would not be able to do my job and they way we use the Internet and computers would be very very different!

The top 25 open source projects

Just received an update email from sourceforge which contained the list of the top 25 projects hosted with them for January 09. Some really nice bits of software here:

1. ADempiere ERP Business Suite

ADempiere Business Suite ERP/CRM/MFG/SCM/POS done the Bazaar way in an open and unabated fashion. Focus is on the Community that includes Subject Matter Specialists, Implementors and End-Users. We are a community fork of Compiere.

2. MediaInfo

Get technical information and tags of a lot of multimedia files. Supported formats : – Video : AVI/OGM/MKV/MPG/VOB/MP4/3GP/… – Audio :MP3/OGG/MKA/MP4/AAC/…

3. Notepad++

Notepad++ is a generic source code editor (it tries to be anyway) and Notepad replacement written in c++ with win32 API. The aim of Notepad++ is to offer a slim and efficient binary with a totally customizable GUI.

4. Zenoss Core – Enterprise IT Monitoring

Zenoss Core is an enterprise network and systems management application written in Python/Zope. Zenoss provides an integrated product for monitoring availability, performance, events and configuration across

layers and across platforms.

5. Audacity

A fast multi-track audio editor and recorder for Linux, BSD, Mac OS, and Windows.Supports WAV, AIFF, Ogg, and MP3 formats.Features include envelope editing, mixing, built-in effects and plug-ins, all with unlimited undo.

6. MindTouch Deki (wiki): Collaboration

MindTouch Deki is an enterprise collaboration, wiki and mashup platform. Easily connect people, enterprise systems, web services, and Web 2.0 applications for business automation and superlative wiki collaboration.

7. Azureus

Azureus: Vuze is a powerful, full-featured, cross-platform bittorrent client and open content platform.

8. PostBooks ERP, accounting, CRM by xTuple

Free open source ERP, accounting, CRM package for small to midsized businesses. ERP client runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows (built with open source Qt framework). Business logic resides in PostgreSQL database.

International ERP, accounting, and CRM tools.

9. Openbravo ERP

Openbravo ERP is a Web based ERP for SME, built on proven MVC & MDD framework that facilitate its customization. Already in production, Openbravo ERP encompasses a broad range of functionalities such as finance, supply chain, manufacturing & much more

10. phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is a tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Web. Currently it can create and drop databases, create/drop/alter tables, delete/edit/add fields, execute any SQL

statement, manage keys on fields.

11. FreeCol

FreeCol is an open version of Colonization. It is a Civilization-like game in which the player has to conquer the new world.

12. MinGW – Minimalist GNU for Windows

MinGW: A native Windows port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), with freely distributable import libraries and header files for building native Windows applications; includes extensions to the MSVC runtime to support C99 functionality.

13. Mumble

Low-latency, high-quality voice communication for gamers. Includes game linking, so voice from other players comes from the direction of their characters, and has echo cancellation so the sound from your loudspeakers won’t be audible to other players.

14. 7-Zip

7-Zip is a file archiver with the high compression ratio. The program supports 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, LZH, CHM, GZIP, BZIP2, Z, TAR, CPIO, ISO,MSI, WIM, NSIS, RPM and DEB formats.

15. ZK – Simply Ajax and Mobile

ZK is Ajax Java framework without JavaScript. With direct RIA, 200+ Ajax components and markup languages, developing Ajax/RIA as simple as desktop apps and HTML/XUL pages. Support JSF/JSP/JavaEE/Hibernate/.., and Ajax script in Java/Ruby/Groovy/Python/..

16. Ares Galaxy

Filesharing-Bittorrent p2p client connected to TCP supernode/leaf network and UDP DHT network. Ares features a built-in directshow media player, a powerful library manager, shoutcast radio support and can be used to host p2p Chatrooms.

17. webERP web-based ERP Accounting

Integrated accounting ERP system. Multi-language/currency/inventory locations. Full double entry. SO/AR/PO/AP/GL/Bank/Sales Analysis. BOMs/assemblies/kit-sets. Flexible pricing. Emailable pdf reports. Fast PHP created html for any browser.

18. Hyperic HQ Enterprise Monitoring

Enterprise monitoring and management for web apps on Linux, Mac, Unix & Windows. Auto-discovers 70+ technologies incl. hardware, networks, virtualization, and apps. Includes: monitoring, alerts, remote diagnostics, and control actions from web console.

19. ffdshow tryouts

ffdshow is a DirectShow filter and VFW codec for many audio and video formats, such as DivX, Xvid and H.264. Over 70 bugs have been fixed, codecs have been updated, and support for a few new formats has been added in the tryouts. Vista is now supported.

20. KeePass Password Safe

KeePass Password Safe is a free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager for Windows. You can store your passwords in a highly-encrypted database, which is locked with one master password or key file.

21. OrangeHRM – Human Resource Management

OrangeHRM is an Open Source Human Resource Management System that covers Personnel Information Management, Employee Self Service, Leave, Time & Attendance, Benefits, and Recruitment. Tags: HRM, HRMS, HCM, HRIS, EHRMS, Human Capital Management

22. Firebird

Firebird RDBMS offers many ANSI SQL features & runs on Linux, Windows & several Unix platforms. Features excellent concurrency & performance & powerful stored procedure & trigger language.

23. Webmin

A web-based system administration tool for Unix servers and services.

24. PortableApps.com: Portable Software/USB

PortableApps.com allows you to carry your favorite computer programs and all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you on a portable device (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, CD, etc) and use them on any Windows computer.

25. Tcl

Tool Command Language (Tcl) is an interpreted language and very portable interpreter for that language. Tcl is embeddable and extensible, and has been widely used since its creation in 1988 by John Ousterhout. See

http://www.tcl.tk/ for more info.