Open Source Projects: 15 To Watch: Page 3

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6) Wied
A simple to use, easy to configure wireless card support utility that offers front end help with WPA, WEP encryption, along with the ability to hop from one network to the other with ease. I also like how Wicd supports existing commands given to Linux users such as ifconfig, iwlist, iwconfig, and so on.

Getting things setup is relatively easy – start with a clean profile and simply enter the pertinent information for each network you would like to connect to. I do see some confusion with the complete lack of any real documentation or help from within the forums, but I am sure this will change as Wicd continues to mature.

Reasons to watch this open source project: With a little love and care, Wicd could become the networking tool that we had expected to see with GNOME's network-manager. Considering its ability to work with all of the popular encryption schemes, I believe we will continue to see Linux users migrating over to this as an alternative for those who have been struggling with WPA and network-manager. Designed for Linux only.

7) Gparted Live CD
Manage and clone partitions, plus a whole lot more. The GParted Live Cd provides the end user the ability to have Partition Magic-type control without the cost, or needing to have an OS installed to run it. My favorite feature is having the ability to “clone” an existing partition to a back-up drive with right-click simplicity - it's fantastic!

On the flip side, however, this does require downloading the bootable ISO file, burning a CD and then booting from it. Even though GParted is available to most Linux distributions as a software package, it still remains much easier to use from this Live CD instead for cloning and partition management.

Reasons to watch this open source project: Even though one might consider this more of a bootable Linux distribution, the fact that it is centered around GParted should be enough to get people to keep a close eye on it. When you examine just how easy this makes partition cloning, you would be foolish to allow this to slide underneath your radar. Runs off of a Live Linux disc, yet backs up a multitude of partition types. OS Independent.

8) Second Life client software
Once Linden Labs decided to take their client application and make it open for the world's developers to dive right into, the virtual world truly took on a “life” of its own. Cross platform, and allowing people real opportunities to grow, earn money and even make new friends, Second Life's open source client is on the verge of what Linden Labs is sure will be a virtual explosion.

The virtual world itself could be considered “open source” to some extent, considering how the participants/residents are free to live virtual lives openly, with complete freedom. It encourages you to build, explore and even develop your open source virtual products and software.

Reasons to watch this open source project: It’s ever changing, always growing. Also, considering the open nature of the community surrounding this virtual world and the software used to participate, I believe that the inclusion of open source standards will be coming to other aspects of the Second Life world. But in the meantime, the development of this application has been rather impressive. Designed for OS X, Linux and Windows.

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