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Decoding SourceForge's Open Source "World Changing" FinalistsBy Matt Hartley
July 27, 2008
As the SourceForge Community Choice awards comes to an end, theres one category of finalists that immediately caught my attention - Most Likely to Change the World. In this article, Ill look at these projects, providing my perspective as to why these open source applications were selected as most likely to change the world.
Drupal I suspect that many people were surprised to see a CMS (content management system) in a list of open source applications set to change the world. While a CMS such as Drupal does provide distinctive features for those looking to host various kinds of blogs and Web sites, I doubt most people realize just how influential Drupal actually is to the world at large.
Drupal is a collaborative tool that provides its users with the ability to work together as a single whole. Drupal is vastly more dynamic overall that other similar projects, as it can be used as a simple blog or, if desired, as a full-fledged online community powered Web site. The modules provided for the community provides users with the exact level of functionality that anyone could ever expect.
How Drupal is most likely to change the world
Drupal is altering the scene by providing a tool and service that would otherwise be totally out of reach to those needing it, if they had to pay the licensing costs of closed source. So cost, along with its expandable functionality through its extensions, make Drupal a logical top contender.
EyeOS There have been a number of people over the last couple of years who have greatly misunderstood both the value and the reasoning behind the Web-based operating system. Truth be known, EyeOS provides more value as a collaborative platform than what we might think of as an operating system.
How EyeOS is most likely to change the world
EyeOS, if developed to the point where users can quite literally take their desktops with them anywhere, could prove to be invaluable. There are instances where bringing along a notebook, assuming it is in sync with the files on your desktop, can prove to be more of a hassle than a benefit. Imagine if you lost a notebook computer? Those files could be gone, not to mention the fact that now someone else has easy access to them.
By relying more on a browser-based operating system such as EyeOS instead of a localized PC, the user is protected by not being a target in the first place. If no one knows how you are computing, there is really nothing to directly target for theft.
Firefox Despite my own love/hate relationship with the various releases of this Web browser, Firefox has been consistent in one key area providing a user friendly alternative to the default Web browser provided by your operating system.
Firefox outshines other browsers by enabling you to extend its basic functions through the use of extensions or "add-ons." Some of these add-ons provide so much functionality so that you dont need to install extra software sometimes, a Firefox extension does the same task with less resources.
How Firefox is most likely to change the world
As an instrument of change, Firefox is an application that allows users to get more with less. And theres no question that when applied in areas like Web development, added computer functionality and other related tasks, Firefox provides users with much more than a mere Web browser. By allowing the end user to do more with less, Firefox is changing the way users perceive software in general.
Launchy When we use the computer, we generally expect to launch programs from our desktops, icons, or docks. Unfortunately this means a lot of unnecessary mouse clicking and often proves to be more work than needed.
Launchy provides the ability to navigate from program to program while also doing so using the keyboard. Using Launchy also enables the ability to open up files without a lot of unneeded browsing with file managers as well.