Open Source Projects: 12 On the Way Up: Page 2

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4. InfraRecorder

Here in the wide world of Linux, we have open source CD/DVD burning applications coming out of our ears. But what about for the Linux user? Recently, an application known as InfraRecorder has been picking up steam with the Windows crowd and is showing no sign of cooling off.

Designed to feel like Explorer on the XP desktop, InfraRecorder allows the casual user to feel right at home. Browse, add, and burn. It's no wonder, why Nero among others are looking less and less attractive for casual data writing to CDs.

Compatibility: Windows

5. GimpShop

In the past, I have had people give me grief over my fascination with GimpShop and how it has succeeded in making GIMP feel a little bit more familiar to the avid Photoshop user. Functional to the core, GimpShop's popularity has grown tremendously in recent years thanks to the power of word of mouth from the application's fan base. That said, it is a little more cumbersome to install than its Photoshop counterpart for Windows users.

Regardless, GimpShop keeps on gaining steam and will continue making users happy with this Photoshop alternative for many years still to come.

Compatibility: Linux/Windows/Mac

6. Beryl/Compbiz

To be absolutely accurate, one might be quick to point out that Beryl is more of a desktop environment rather than an application of sorts. Nevertheless, like a smash hit application, Beryl has become something of a celebrity in both Linux and Windows circles alike.

With amazing 3D effects that far out do anything seen on Vista (OS X, even), Beryl has single-handedly attracted new users to the Linux platform who were simply so taken in by this beta desktop environment.

Still very much under heavy development, now with the merger of Compiz under its belt, Beryl is going to be gaining new followers even quicker now, despite a likely name change at some point.

Compatibility: Linux

7. Banshee

Even though I remain a Rhythmbox kind of guy, the pace at which Banshee appears to be progressing is nothing short of fantastic. It does share a lot with Rhythmbox, including plugins for extra functionality and iPod support, but in many respects, it just feels more intuitive than Rhythmbox. I believe much of its popularity stems from its amaroK-like first-run music detection wizard, which makes music importing a snap. Yes, that has to be its best feature. It’s impressive that it can stand up side by side with fantastic applications like amaroK and accomplish many of the same feats, such as smart playlists and easy CD burning.

Despite its import bugs, Banshee is on the right track and its growing development and user base are pretty clear indications of its overall success.

Compatibility: Linux

8. Jabbin

Realizing fully that I’ve touted Jabbin in the past, I would point out that its sweet spot is not so much the fact that it’s a solid communication tool, but rather its entrance into making Gtalk calls a reality. Finally, we can free ourselves from Skype's grasp while still using a protocol for voice communication that others on other platforms are likely to be able to receive.

Strong development, even a stronger following of users adopting this communication tool, Jabbin is a welcome sight for many users who simply would rather not settle for Google's take on the Jabber protocol.

Compatibility: Linux/Windows

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