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Open Source Software

A group to discuss the use and implementation of Open Source Software

Members: 45
Latest Activity: Jul 27, 2018

What is open source software?

Open-source software (OSS) is software that is available in source code form for which the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, and improve the software. More from Wikipedia

Discussion Forum

Open Source - Where do you use it? 4 Replies

At our company we use open source software extensively on the development side including our IDEs (Eclipse), server OS (Linux), source control (SVN) and tech stacks (MySQL, Tomcat, Hibernate, Spring,…Continue

Tags: open source design tools, FOSS, open source

Started by Daniel Leuck. Last reply by Paul Graydon Jun 27, 2010.

SDL/Swing Open Source Cross Platform Desktop Framework

Oracle is featuring our SDL/Swing open source desktop framework on Cool :-) Now... for SDL/iOS...Continue

Tags: desktop framework, open source, Java, SDL/Swing

Started by Daniel Leuck Jun 15, 2010.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jerry Isdale on June 8, 2010 at 7:31am
FOSS is a useful FTLA (four/three letter acronym) but OSS also includes non-free stuff embedded in commercial apps and hardware. Lots of people embed Linux in routers, etc.
Open Source also extends beyond software. The Arduino ( is an open source embedded computing prototyping system. The folks are all about Open Source hardware (some of it builds on arduino).
And then there is the whole literary realm with Creative Commons licenses and freely downloadable books like
Cory Doctrow's good stuff: (Little Brother should be on everyone's read-it list)
Comment by Larry McCarty on June 8, 2010 at 6:24am
Jerry, maybe I should have named this group FOSS instead of Open Source Software. Thanks for sharing your software that you are running.
Comment by Paul on June 7, 2010 at 8:10am
I tried a Macbook Pro for about 5 weeks before I gave it to a grad assistant. I just can't tolerate the "control" centered philosophy of both the company and the OS. I have to dual boot for Photoshop and iTunes (though hope to dispense with the latter as Ubuntu's iPhone read/write improves)
Comment by Jerry Isdale on June 7, 2010 at 7:21am
My top general use FOSS apps are GIMP and Inkscape. GIMP is my replacement for Photoshop, and Inkscape for Illustrator. I'm also using OpenSCAD - a solid modeler, ReplicatorG, SkeinForge and SkeinFox. These are all in support of 3d printing on my Makerbot Cupcake CNC - another open source project (hardware and software - reprap based).
gimp -
inkscape -
OpenSCAD -
skeinForge -
skeinFox -
ReplicatorG -
Makerbot -

All of these are running on my OS X laptop, although I'm starting to pull together a suite for use on a new Windows 7 box. This time around I need to drive a laser cutter, for which there isnt a decent open source driver, and Corel Draw seems to be the main app.
Comment by Larry McCarty on June 7, 2010 at 6:02am
Paul, Ubuntu is great especially the latest version, it keeps getting better and better.

I got sick of Microsoft back aroun 99 and moved to Slackware for my main OS, I also had one machine running Mandrake Linux which worked great for me. Then Apple introduced Max OS X, I didn't use 10.1 even though I setup a test machine on it, it just didn't have the necessary apps that I wanted to have a working machine. Then around 10.2 when Adobe finally released Photoshop for OS X, I jumped on board and now use Mac OS X as my main working machine. Like my linux days , terminal is my old friend and use it daily but still have the gloss of Cocoa...

What's your favorite app other than one of the Office clones?
Comment by Larry McCarty on June 7, 2010 at 5:56am
I have used NeoOffice in the past but now much prefer Go-OO...

Jerry, you're right, on the Linux side it isn't a piece of cake to install these apps. Paul McKimmy sent me a list of all the parts needed for a full install.

Jerry, I also agree with you regarding forking, forking does have the benefit (sometimes) of bringing us a better product but often at the expense of usually not running the latest version more like the previous version. Also as you mentioned the install process can be daunting for lots of users. It isn't for the masses.

Then again, look at what happened when Netscape went open and the Mozilla gang took over... (actually they weren't the Mozilla guys at that point but did become them over time).
Comment by Paul on June 6, 2010 at 9:05am
Ubuntu's my preffered OS, uses Go-OO by default. I like that.
Comment by Jerry Isdale on June 6, 2010 at 8:54am
Ahh the fragmentation of FOSS. That along with the dependency chains have been the bain of my use of these great tools. I've used OO on my mac for about a year. Go-OO looks like a more compatible package with that other Office. Then there is NeoOffice which is Mac OSX tweaked but back at v3.1 base.

I havent tried these alternatives, but I dont do a lot of office stuff these days.

Dependency chains - thats when you go to download a new FOSS tool (X) and find that in order to run X (or rebuild) you need to have Y and Z, so off you go and down load those. Y needs B and Z needs C, off again... somewhere down this chain you find that one tool needs version N.n while the other hasnt been updated yet and requires N.n-3... ARRRgggghhh. I'm a developer and like code reuse and standing on the shoulders of giants... but as a user, I just want the tool to work so I can get on with MY job.

To me this forking and dependencies are a big reason FOSS doesnt get as much market share as the closed alternatives. Those alternatives have can maintain a lot more control of the user experience too - witness the iPhone vs Android, and thus the good and bad of both approaches.
Comment by Larry McCarty on June 6, 2010 at 8:18am
Have you seen the Open Office derivative Go-OO? Sure beats Office. Go-OO

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