Open Source Pros Pick their Favorite Projects

The most noteworthy or useful open source projects, chosen by high profile leaders in the open source community.
Posted December 17, 2007

James Maguire

James Maguire

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There is, to be sure, no lack of “top software” lists in the open source world (or in software in general). The Internet is drowning in such lists.

You’ll see lists like The 7 Most Influential GNU/Linux Distributions, Top 35 Firefox Add-ons for Fun, and 49 Open Source Projects in the Spotlight. The variety of such lists is endless.

But these compendiums, however helpful, are typically created by tech journalists. People who are observers and reporters. What about the top picks of actual community leaders? The people who have worked to build open source from the ground up?

To spotlight these, Datamation polled some movers and shakers across a broad spectrum of the open source community – top professionals in open source. Here are their choices for favorite or most noteworthy open source projects and/or developments:

Jeff Waugh
Director of the GNOME Foundation

Jeff waugh, gnome director

Jeff Waugh, GNOME

Jeff says that his choices are mostly "projects that make GNOME rock!”

WordPress and WordPress MU (multi-user)
"Blogs and planet sites have had a huge impact on communication in the FLOSS [Free/Libre/Open Source Software] world. GNOME and WordPress share many of the same philosophies about usability and development, so it's not surprising that heaps of GNOME contributors use WordPress, and we've recently deployed WordPress MU on blogs.gnome.org. WordPress rocks."

"Perpetually overlooked as one of the most important FLOSS apps, even though it is absolutely crucial to the development of so many others: Mozilla, GNOME, Apache, Eclipse, OpenOffice.org...the list goes on - even NASA uses it! Bugzilla makes GNOME rock harder."

One Laptop per Child
"Using GNOME technologies throughout, the OLPC project has created an amazing user interface for kids, and contributed some great technologies to the FLOSS world along the way -- coming soon to GNOME! The best bit is that OLPC will take Software Freedom to millions, if not billions of kids around the world."

"One of the classic 'behind the scenes' projects that has contributed to so many projects throughout the FLOSS world. It lies deep in the core of GNOME's rendering technologies, not only delivering beautiful graphics, but a totally delicious API for software developers as well."

"Okay, okay, I have to plug at least one GNOME application! Evo might not be the newest or sexiest GNOME app, but it is indispensible as one of our core communications tools, and its features help many users shift to FLOSS platforms - particularly in corporate environments. The next release will even have Google Calendar and Exchange MAPI support -- sweet!"

Lee Congdon
Vice president of Information Technology, Red Hat

Lee Congdon, Red hat

Lee Congdon, Red Hat

“It provides a robust, standards-based email, calendaring and collaboration solution that is intuitive, well-supported, straightforward to deploy, and supports a wide range of clients.”

JBoss Hibernate
“Hibernate provides great balance between general applicability and suitability to task. It is valuable in almost every development effort using a database.”

"This is a bread and butter application for us: we use it throughout our business. And, as open source, it provides great value when compared to proprietary solutions."

Sebastian Kugler
KDE developer, marketing manager, and all around project builder

Sebastian Kugler, KDE

Sebastian Kugler, KDE

“Vast improvements in development process (more open), new features and prospected features. Especially the efforts for freeing the ATI drivers are notable.”

“Creating a new desktop shell from scratch including development community, and all that in just a couple of months.”

Free Software Foundation Europe
“The FSFE is supporting Free Software projects in a unique way, through mindshare and legal help (e.g. licensing issues).

Continued: More open source pros pick their favorites

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