Website of the week Feb 12 2013

Sourceforge.net – the open source software library

Click the image to go to sourceforge.net
Click the image to go to sourceforge.net

I have been thinking really hard about websites of the week as I am running out of easy choices and I have to dig into the sites that I have found useful over the decades I have been into technology and one that rates very highly is Sourceforge.net.

Open source software is not the same software you can get off the shelves at your local retailer or download from a popular publisher like Microsoft. It is as its name suggest an open project to develop software that can be shared (often at no cost to the consumer). Many people get the access to the source code (kind of like application DNA) that is usually hidden away and encrypted by the big companies that charge for their software. Having many different eyes and curious fingers on the code means that often the code is well rounded and often patched pretty quickly as long as the project is an active one. Some notable successes from Sourceforge.net includes Audacity (sound editor), GIMP (Photoshop replacement), OpenOffice.Org (Office suite), VLC (video player), Mumble (Realtime Voice chat), Handbrake (DVD Ripping/Video Conversion program), Keepass (Password vault) and Bitcoin (Crypto-Currency) to name a few.

You may be asking “How do these programmers make money?”
They often make back money for the time spent developing their software by selling “premium support” for the packages they otherwise offer for free which is ideal for business use.