101 Open Source Tools for Developers

Open source tools for programming languages, team management, frameworks, IDEs, text editors and more.


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These days, nearly every developer is familiar with the benefits of open source code and coding tools. Open source repositories like GitHub and SourceForge provide invaluable resources for those searching for assistance in creating their own applications.

In addition, many of the most popular development tools are available under open source licenses. The last few years have seen an explosion of new tools, particularly in categories like mobile development and JavaScript frameworks. This month we're updating our previous list of open source development tools and highlighting 101 of the very best open source bugtrackers, programming languages, version control systems, frameworks, IDEs, text editors and other tools.

There is such a large and diverse group of open source development tools that we can't possibly include everyone's favorites on our list. If you'd like to call attention to some that didn't get included, feel free to add them to the Comments section below.

API Creation

1. Apigility

Apigility claims to be "the world's easiest way to create high-quality APIs." It allows users to get started creating their first API in just seconds, and it works with all PHP frameworks and libraries. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

2. Falcon

Designed to be light, fast and flexible, Falcon is a Python framework for building cloud APIs and web app back-ends. Fairly new, its website proclaims that it has been "Unburdening cloud apps for over 2.16 x 10-2 centuries" (that's a little over two years). Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

3. LoopBack

LoopBack describes itself as a "powerful Node.js framework for creating APIs and easily connecting to backend data sources." Noteworthy users include GoDaddy, Bank of America, the U.S. Department of Energy and Symantec. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS


4. Bugzilla

This defect-tracking software is very popular with open source projects and is used by organizations like Mozilla, Eclipse, Apache, Red Hat and the Linux kernel project. It tracks bugs and code changes, allows developers to submit and review patches, enables team communication and helps manage quality assurance. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


GNATS is the Gnu project's bug tracking system. Gnatsweb provides a web interface for the command line tool, and several third-party interfaces are also available. Operating System: OS Independent

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

6. Anjuta DevStudio

This IDE supports multiple programming languages, including C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python and Vala. It includes an interactive debugger, source code editor, version control system, GUI designer, and project management features. Operating System: Linux

7. Cloud9 IDE

Cloud9 gives developers access to a cloud-based code editor and Ubuntu workspace. The link above connects users to the hosted service with free and paid plans available; users can also set up their own Web server hosting the IDE using the code from GitHub. Operating System: OS Independent

8. Code::Blocks

This extensible IDE supports C, C++ and Fortran. Features include support for multiple compilers, multi-target projects, syntax highlighting, code completion, smart indent, an integrated debugger and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

9. Dev-C++

Dev-C++ supports C and C++, and it includes an integrated debugger, project management, customizable syntax highlighting, code completion, class browser and more. The link above takes you to the original project, but there is also a fork that has been updated more recently on the Dev-C++ Blog. Operating System: Windows

10. Dirigible

Sponsored by SAP, Dirigible describes itself as an Integrated Development Environment as a Service (IDEaaS). This link connects to the hosted service (which is currently available for free), and the code is available through GitHub. Operating System: OS Independent

11. Eclipse

One of the most well-known and popular groups of development tools, Eclipse offers IDEs for Java, Java EE, C/C++ and PHP. The Eclipse Foundation also sponsors a whole host of related projects available through the site. Operating System: OS Independent

12. IntelliJ IDEA

Calling itself the "most intelligent Java IDE, IntelliJ IDEA supports enterprise, mobile and Web development. It comes in a free community edition or a paid ultimate edition. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

13. KDevelop

KDE's development environment boasts full-featured support for C/C++ and some other languages. Although it was developed for the KDE Linux desktop, it also runs on GNOME and other desktops, as well as Windows and Unix. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

14. Mono

Mono describes itself as "an open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET Framework based on the ECMA standards for C# and the Common Language Runtime." It enables rapid development of cross-platform applications. Previously sponsored by Novell, it's now owned by Xamarin. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android

15. NetBeans

Useful for creating desktop, mobile or Web apps, NetBeans supports Java, HTML5, PHP, C/C++ and several other programming languages. It has won several awards and boasts a large library of plug-ins. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

16. SharpDevelop

SharpDevelop (also written #develop) is a free IDE for the .NET platform. It supports Microsoft languages like C#, VB.NET, Boo, IronPython, IronRuby and F#. Operating System: Windows

17. Ultimate++

Designed for C++ development, Utlimate++, or U++, boasts that it can makes rebuilds four times faster than its competitors. It includes a wealth of tools that speed programming include documentation generators, visual designers and a code analyzer. Operating System: Windows, Linux

JavaScript Frameworks and Libraries

18. AngularJS

Sponsored by Google, this "superheroic" JavaScript framework aims to make it easier to add dynamic content to HTML Web pages. It's embeddable and extensible and works with a wide range of other development tools. Operating System: OS Independent

19. Backbone.js

Backbone promises to add structure to your Web applications. It's useful for developing rich client-side applications and promises more freedom than some other JavaScript frameworks. Operating System: OS Independent

20. Chaplin.js

Chaplin.js is an architecture for Backbone.js applications. It was designed to address some of the limitations of Backbone.js and help developers quickly create single-page Web apps. Operating System: Windows, Linux

21. Crypton

This JavaScript framework is all about protecting users' privacy. It allows developers to build applications that encrypt all data stored on the server, without requiring developers to become experts in cryptography. Operating System: OS Independent

22. Ember.js

Used by organizations like Groupon, LivingSocial, Yahoo, Zendesk and Square, Ember.js describes itself as "a framework for creating ambitious Web applications." It features auto-updating handlebars templates that allow developers to write less code when creating new apps. Operating System: OS Independent

23. Flight

Twitter created this lightweight, event-drivien JavaScript framework for use on its own Web apps and has open sourced the code for everyone. It maps behavior to DOM nodes. Operating System: OS Independent

24. Grunt

This JavaScript task runner automates tasks like minification, compilation, unit testing and linting. Its users include Twitter, jQuery, Adobe, Mozilla, WordPress, Walmart and others. Operating System: OS Independent

25. Hammer.js

Hammer.js is a JavaScript library for recognizing touch and mouse gestures. It recognizes pan, pinch, press, rotate, swipe and tap gestures by default, and it is very useful for building mobile-friendly Web apps. Operating System: OS Independent

26. jQuery

This popular JavaScript library simplifies HTML document manipulation, event handling, animation and Ajax and claims to have "changed the way that millions of people write JavaScript." Its sponsors include WordPress, Famo.us, and IBM. Operating System: OS Independent

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Tags: open source, developers, development tools, Open Source App

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