Decoding SourceForge's Open Source "World Changing" Finalists

A look at this year’s open source entries “most likely to change the world” reveals a lot about the state of open source development.
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As the SourceForge Community Choice awards comes to an end, there’s one category of finalists that immediately caught my attention - Most Likely to Change the World. In this article, I’ll 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 don’t 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 there’s 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.

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Tags: open source, browsers, software, Mozilla, SourceForge

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