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Top Ten Open Source Projects 234

arclightfire writes "We recently wrote an article for The Independent listing the top ten open source projects. It was hard getting the list down to ten, but we did; here's the top ten - Wikipedia, Firefox, Open Office, Bittorrent, MediaWiki, Xvid, pbb, Outfoxed, dyne:bolic, GIMP, Apache and SourceForge." What would you call your favorite projects? Obviously, this list isn't strictly software projects, so be creative.
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Top Ten Open Source Projects

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  • Erm (Score:3, Funny)

    by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:31AM (#14426352)

    Slashdot of course :o)

    • Isn't it a contradiction to have a redundant first post? Slashcode is actually a pretty nice forum system and slashdot itself has brought hours of fun to tech fans, zealots, karma whores and trolls alike for many years now. If I wasn't so afraid of being labeled as a brownnose, I'd say that slashdot was one of the key parts of an open source system that holds the rest together.
      • I've often said that I think slashcode is a vastly underused and underrated method of developing online community. I like it enough that I learned about Linux enough to install slashcode on my laptop. Fun but I'd also have to learn perl well enough to implement the changes I'd like to see in slashcode. Lets just say that is a long term project.

        I have often wondered why there are no generic hosting sites for slashcode. Something like blogger where you just make an account and viola, you have access to
    • Re:Erm (Score:4, Funny)

      by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:12AM (#14426590) Homepage
      On a side note:
      It was hard getting the list down to ten, but we did; here's the top ten: *enumerating 12 items*

      It was indeed pretty hard, so hard that the editor couldn't resist the temptation to slip 12 in there!

      George Herriman's Krazy Kat []

      • Not to mention a "sly declaration of new classic status slipped into a bunch of safe ones- very pussy."

        Seriously, dyne:bolic and Outfoxed are two of the top 10 Open Source projects?

        Not PHP, not Ubuntu... a multimedia studio live CD and a documentary about how much people hate fox news? Vury Schneaky!

  • Ummmmmmm.....? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by diamondmagic ( 877411 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:32AM (#14426354) Homepage
    • Re:Ummmmmmm.....? (Score:5, Informative)

      by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:36AM (#14426379) Homepage
      It would be one of the top open source projects, but it seems that the blurb posted on slashdot, and the actual article don't match. The article states:
      Ana Kronschnabl and Tomas Rawlings pick the best open source websites where users can change the content
      Which of course ... would be open content, not open source. (unless the users can change the code used to drive the websites, perhaps).
      • The actual list (Score:3, Informative)

        The actual list is a mixture of free software projects, and user editable web sites. At least reading the description, it often seems to refer to the software, not the web-site. Despite what the blurp in the article claims.

        Both Wikipedia and MediaWiki is on the list.
      • Open-source has NO meaning. It's just another buzzword. OS. I call BS.
        • I read the article, I have no idea what they were attempting to do. Are they trying to enumerate the best projects developed under open-source style licensing or user modifiable websites? The title & abstract have almost nothing to do with the content of the article at all:

          Open source websites: All change on the internet

          Ana Kronschnabl and Tomas Rawlings pick the best open source websites where users can change the content

          What is that supposed to mean in light of their picks for winners? It ma

      • Re:Ummmmmmm.....? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @12:13PM (#14427848)
        If that was the case, why would xVid, Firefox, openoffice, GIMP, and dyne:bolic be listed? They're hardly websites now are they. Really seems they've missed some bloody damn obvious ones (like Linux, d'uh, or Eclipse) or they've just knocked up some spacefiller article for a newspaper that doesn't know or care about the subject.
        • I think you've hit the nail on the head... The two descriptions don't match, and the list doesn't fit either one of the descriptions.

          (I'd mod you up, but I've already posted)
        • ...they've missed some bloody damn obvious ones (like Linux, d'uh, or Eclipse)
          What is this d'uh software of which you speak? With a moronic name like that it has to be good!
    • They included "Dyne:bolic", perhaps the only Linux-on-CD I've never heard of before.
      • Re:Dyne:bolic (Score:3, Informative)

        by joeljkp ( 254783 )
        dyne:bolic is interesting because it's one of the few completely Free OSs, without a bit of proprietary code in sight. Its default desktop is WindowMaker, too.

        • dyne:bolic is interesting because it's one of the few completely Free OSs, without a bit of proprietary code in sight. Its default desktop is WindowMaker, too.

          Too bad I've never gotten it to work properly on any of the HW I have tried it on. It boasts of being a sort of minimalists media distro capable of running on almost anything but it doesn't. I haven't been able to utilize it to any meaningful extent on hardware old or new. Really too bad. I would love it if it had lived up to it's claims...

  • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:35AM (#14426370) Homepage
    How about the Bible, Quran and Torah?

    How about All classical music? (not just western)

    How about the SI metric standards?

    Or the Human genome? ...lets stick to software projects.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:57AM (#14426485) Homepage
      How about the Bible, Quran and Torah?

      Hm yes, let's change some of the texts in those books. I'm sure it'll go down well with the readers.
      • That's exactly what Martin Luther did...
      • Hm yes, let's change some of the texts in those books. I'm sure it'll go down well with the readers.

        Well, weren't they all the same project originally? St Paul forked the Torah, and then Mohammed did the same a few centuries later? They're still open-source, then.

        Personally, I'd want someone to go in and fix some of the more dangerous exploits in the code. The bit about 'while I'm not around, kids, please obey my official representative, MR BLACK! I'll be coming along real soon now, but for now here's M

        • Oh, and a there are a good few bugs related to conflicting definitions early on in the codebase. The scope of 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' and the scope of 'Kill all the unbelievers in the land I have given to you' really need to be more clearly defined.

          Dude, that's easy.. "Kill" is subjective, of course, just like the "fair use" clause in copyright law. And the subjectiveness is to be resolved by a "reasonable body". And of course, by reason, what we mean is "what could a judge get away with if he ruled one way
  • Best projects (Score:4, Informative)

    by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:35AM (#14426372)

    Some that aren't in the list but I use regularly.

    I suppose the kernel has got to feature in the list because without it a lot of other projects are fairly pointless. I like NetBeans (although it's giving me grief today). Amarok is pretty good (but is let down by the poor state of sound on Linux). KMail is very nice especially as part of Kontact. Synaptic is a very nice project that seems to be coming along well.

  • dyne:bolic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by md81544 ( 619625 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:36AM (#14426380) Homepage

    "Dyne:bolic is a multimedia studio on a CD that you simply pop into any computer and start it up, instantly turning it into a Linux/GNU [sic] system"

    Why not Knoppix??? Granted, this is more specialised towards creative people, but it never figures on my top ten, whereas Knoppix would do.
    • Re: dyne:bolic? (Score:2, Informative)

      by torpor ( 458 )
      i would say because dyne:bolic is more 'multimedia-oriented' than knoppix, which is still fairly generic/general purpose.

      with dyne:bolic, any PC becomes a multimedia production studio in a heartbeat (well, bootup, anyway), and you really can get to creating with it fast and easily .. this is important in this day of "iWhatever" style apps being churned out by the big-nerds, so i'd wager thats why dyne:bolic is being pitched, in lieu of knoppix.

      which isn't to say knoppix isn't cool .. but its certainly not t
    • Re: dyne:bolic? (Score:3, Informative)

      by m50d ( 797211 )
      Because knoppix sucks in comparison to more modern efforts. It's just going on the name these days. dyne:bolic has better state saving, and actually focuses on and does something better than windows (multimedia), rather than giving you basically a worse equivalent to the OS you're already running.
    • I just tried Dyne:bolic 1.4.1 and was quite well impressed with it. It's a distro with a soul! I gave it a decent review in my blog. That being said, even I wouldn't rank it above Knoppix. But I can see where it deserves recognition: the project aims to aid in those areas of multimedia freedom that we're all wringing our hands over this past year, so maybe it got hedged in for being topically current.
  • Eclipse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thammoud ( 193905 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:38AM (#14426392)
    I would have to say that Eclipse is one of the most important open source projects out there. Thousands of developers use the Eclipse IDE for day to day developement of enterprise Java applications.
  • top twelve? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by irtza ( 893217 )
    here's the top ten - 1) Wikipedia 2) Firefox 3) Open Office 4) Bittorrent 5) MediaWiki 6) Xvid 7) pbb 8) Outfoxed 9) dyne:bolic 10) GIMP 11) Apache 12) SourceForge Front page posts never have errors, so I know I messed something up... what gives? and one more thing, what is pbb?
  • pbb? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    here's the top ten - Wikipedia, Firefox, Open Office, Bittorrent, MediaWiki, Xvid, pbb, Outfoxed, dyne:bolic, GIMP, Apache and SourceForge.

    In case, like me, you're wondering what on earth "pbb" is, let me spare you the searching:

    "pbb" at Wikipedia [] redirects to "Polybrominated biphenyls", with no disambiguation link.

    "pbb" on Google [] returns nothing remotely related to open source.

    "pbb open source" on Google [] returns phpBB [] at the top.

    So why the zark does the summary say "pbb"?
  • by xcomm ( 638448 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:47AM (#14426434)
    I think without the GNU foundation framework (compiler, libraries, shell etc.) and the Linux Kernel there would be nothing with FOSS. Without all the foundation under the the GPL there would be nothing to build on for the other prograsms.

    BTW: Where the hell is LAMP in the top 10? Apache would be nothing without Perl, PHP, Phyton, MySQL or PostGresSQL.
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @11:32AM (#14427495) Homepage Journal
      No not really. Open Souce would still exist without Linux. Firefox and OpenOffice all runs just fine under Windows. The you have the BSD family. If BSD had not been tied up in legal knots Linux might not have gotten as far as it has.
      As to Apache being nothing without Perl, PHP, Python,... Apache was a good webserver long before LAMP took off. CGI doesn't have to be done in Perl or Python. Ruby, c, and even lisp have been used.
      I think that list is pretty much worthless but to bash one project or an other is pretty pointless.
      My list would inlcude.


      gcc because so many open source programs use it.
      Bind, sendmail. apache, perl Linux, and MySql because they really where the foundation of most of the Internet.
      If you wanted a server back in the good old days and couldn't spend the money for a Sun or a VAX your choices where pretty much Linux or one of the BSDs. Did you know Yahoo used BSD for all it's servers. I don't know if they have moved to Linux or not. Microsoft used BSD code for the TCP/IP stack in Windows.
      OpenOffice and Firefox because they are bringing open source to the masses.
      There are many great OSS projects I did not put on my list. I use PostgresSQL everyday and I like it better than MySQL but it isn't as popular. Python, Ruby, and PHP are also great projects. GIMP and it GTK foundation are very important. Any of these could be somebody's top ten list. Bit Torrent is going to cause more grief for media companies than just about anything we can imagine. It isn't about the piracy. It is the lack of control. Somebody going to combine a good writer, good actors, BitTorrent, and a good business person and create a direct to internet runaway show. TiVO, Replay, or Apple will add it to it's listings and it will take off. No network or media company required. BitTorrent levels the playing field. Distribution becomes more or less free.
      Outfoxed? Never heard of it before now but then documentaries about what I am actually doing are of little interest to me. I would rather live it than watch it.
      What to know what I think may be the next huge open source project? GAIM. More people may end up using GAIM than OpenOffice.

      • , perl Linux, and MySql because they really where the foundation of most of the Internet

        Um, Linux? I don't think so. It's big NOW, which is a far cry from "foundation". We might have to get in to when the internet really formed, but I think that's a false statement on its face.
        • It is debatable as are a lot of things on any list. BSD I feel has a stronger claim than Linux but I was talking about the Internet after 1990. It seemed like in the early days at least half of the ISPs and web hosting start-ups used Linux since "Unix" tended to be expensive and Windows was pretty useless. That left a flavor of BSD or Linux. As I said just my list but I may be willing to give that one to you.
          • BSD, yes, that sounds about right to me.

            By the time I was a full time PHP developer (PHP/FI 2.0 had just moved to PHP3) I was tinkering with RedHat 4.2 in June of 1997 (which had a barely useable GUI)...RedHat 1.0 had come out in 1994. To put it in better perspective, Yahoo was a well known brand by 1995 (to those who had a web browser, not AOL users). For all of the problems with Linux at the time, BSD was always touted as the "solid" Free OS along with Solaris the "solid" corporate OS. That's just my pers
            • There was Linux before Readhat. SLS, Slackware, and Debian all started around 1993. I would love to learn BSD but I havn't had the time and frankly Linux works well enough for what I need it for. Someday I will have to try out OpenBSD.
    • Apache would be nothing without Perl, PHP, Phyton, MySQL or PostGresSQL.

      Are you kidding.

      Websites with fully-static content existed for years, and still do. Please tell me you're not suggesting that EVERY web site has to have a scripting language and a SQL database running on the backend to be worth anything.
  • Linux huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by juergen ( 313397 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @08:49AM (#14426441)
    By many Linux (the kernel) is seen as *the* prototypical OS project, yet it is missing here.

    Oth, I didn't even recognize dyne:bolic without reading the description. And including Outfoxed, while they even admit it is not an OS project per se, shows they were just scrambling to find any 10 points to fill the list and space on their site. Clueless.
  • How could they leave hotbabe [] out?

  • Currently on my Mac: Bash, Camino, Cog, Handbrake, ImageMagick, InfoZip, Lame, PostgreSQL, Rsync, Vim, XinePlayer.
  • GCC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:02AM (#14426508)
    GCC should be on this list. After all, without GCC, the vast majority of the others would not be possible.
  • Strictly software... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:02AM (#14426511) Homepage Journal
    Watch out, since this is heavily sysadmin biased...
    1. Slackware Linux. [] Still the best after all this time.
    2. OpenBSD. [] Just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out there trying to get you.
    3. OpenSSH. [] Because you just can't use plain text telnet anymore.
    4. Rsync. [] Just because.
    5. GNU Screen. [] Triple your terminal productivity. Now with minty-fresh taste!
    6. GNU Wget. [] Because you have better thing to do than watch over a download.
    7. Vim. []Because Emacs is for losers.
    8. Nmap []. Look at 'OpenBSD' above.
    9. IPTables []. Lock that machine down, admin boy.
    10. pf []. I said, lock that machine down , admin boy!

    Of course, number 11 is Google [], Google [], and Google []. But that's neither software nor open-source.
    • I'm glad to learn I'm not the only one that thinks wget is fantastic.

      One util that I'll add that you might like is []">GNU wdiff - a diff that's word-based instead of line-based. Great.

      Oh, and don't worry about insulting Emacs. It'll still be there when you grow out of vim ;-p

      • wdiff? Ah! Real men do it The Way God Intended Diff To Be Done: with vim, of course.
        [g]vim -d file1 file2
        Vim is good. Vim is great. Fear the Vim. Try it sometimes, it's probably good enough to make you switch from Emacs... ;-)

        [Gosh, I love the smell of napalm... Early in the morning... in the Slashdot discussions...] :-)
    • Why don't you make your list go to 10 and make that the highest?
    • I think you should take OpenSSH off of your list until it supports X.509 certificates, like the rest of the Internet (including other SSH packages) already does. It's 2006--about time for OpenSSH to catch up with 1993.
  • Never heard about these: pbb, Outfoxed, dyne:bolic. Also - I think it is not fair to include websites to the list: yes, I can add/change content on both Wikipedia and to a lesser degree other sites, but I wouldn't call content "source". As for the source - it is as easy for me to change Wikipedia's engine as any other site (i.e. - not very likely). More - Mediawiki has a separate entry.
  • I'd have to include Apache Tomcat - the open source Java application server that is the reference standard for JSP and Servlet implementations, but is of such high quality that it can be used for high-performance websites, and commercial app servers often bundle it as part of their product.
  • It is the single best open source project around.
  • Not necessarily in order, these are some top picks based on how they've changed or are changing our entire technology culture:

    Linux. Duh. How much of everything else is built on this fantastic platform for the back end? I'm not personally in support of rolling out desktops to users, but as a server platform its amazing and flexible. More important, it empowers developers to build EVERYTHING.

    Asterisk. If you use an IP phone service, you already have a small hint at how this changes things. If you've developed software that uses SIP or IAX2 to connect things and move streaming traffic you're starting to get the hint. IMO, this is a paradigm shifting technology just at the start of a giant curve up in its attention by the industry.

    Sourceforce. For obvious reasons, this has empowered so many projects.

    Apache, and the things its led to -- like Tomcat, etc.

    Eclipse -- Wow, an open sourced (even if originally sponsored, driven, and to some extent built by IBM) rich user context framework and complete IDE for development that's absolutely a rival to Visual Studio.

    I know I'm forgetting a ton -- but these in particular are real industry driving tools that changed or are about to change (in the case of Asterisk) large segments of the tech world.

  • Asterisk (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lophophore ( 4087 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @09:46AM (#14426773) Homepage
    Asterisk. It's the next big thing. Maddog thinks so []. And I think he's right.
  • What about Linux and the GNU command line tools? Sine qua non. Maybe these were considered too obvious but I dont see why that should disqualify them.
  • BSD:
    ALL operating systems use core components of this one.
    Windows, Linux, OS X and the rest that's worth mentioning.
    That is - of course - due to it's quality combined with the BSD licence.
    Everybody feeds of BSD, nobody admits it.

    Not the ultimate PL. I know that. But I think it's safe to say that no other PL is in such wide use across the demografic of people who know the internet. It's the web generations basic. It's the Citizen Band way of doing things with networked computers nowadays. It started as a
  • Eh, the GNU project and the Linux project?
  • Hands down my favorite Open Source project!
  • Obviously my favorite is my own creation! Multiplayer, online scrabble [], written in Python.
  • Its developer community is absolutely thriving right now! Everyone's so syked about 4.0!
  • Filezilla (Score:2, Interesting)

    Filezilla [] is one of the best applications I've used because it's a great, free FTP client.
  • Ogg framework? This is far more significant than XviD. Linux? The one program that started the FLOSS revolution didn't even make it on the list. (No, GNU didn't start it.) GCC? Hell, any part of GNU? BSD? Specifically, OpenSSH? Or the contributions to TCP/IP stack... XWS? The P programming languages?
  • KDE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by m50d ( 797211 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @11:04AM (#14427311) Homepage Journal
    It looks great, it's ridiculously customizable, and it's relatively easy to get involved in development. I think it really shows off the advantages of OSS.
  • Wordpress 2.0, Spam Karma [], Bad Behavior [], PhpBB [] all completely rock.

  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @11:18AM (#14427398) Homepage Journal
    Click here [].
  • Political agenda (Score:2, Informative)

    by jag7720 ( 685739 )
    Nice... I would expect this from both sides of the political movements...but from the technology movement... OutFoxed should not be included in this line up. Sure it is an opensource project but would a similar project about CNN have gotten in the top 10... doubtful...

    This choice seems to not really be about "opensource" but rather a way to get the Outfoxed onto

    In the future, leave your petty political agendas out of a "TECHNOLOGY" top ten list.
  • I can understand most of the choices, but I have to ask: why is Xvid listed? It seems so completely arbitrary. It's not the only MPEG-4 codec, it's not only open source MPEG-4 codec, and many people agree that it's not even the best of the open source MPEG-4 codecs...

    If you want to list a video codec, why not [] ? Not only do they have a great (and fast!) MPEG-4 encoder, they also have hundreds of other codecs, many reverse engineered, and incredibly optimized.

    If you're doing anything
  • can't count? (Score:2, Insightful)

    "It was hard getting the list down to ten, but we did; here's the top ten - (1)Wikipedia, (2)Firefox, (3)Open Office, (4)Bittorrent, (5)MediaWiki, (6)Xvid, (7)pbb, (8)Outfoxed, (9)dyne:bolic, (10)GIMP, (11)Apache and (12)SourceForge." Must be new math...6+6=10 now
  • In the graphics department, Blender3D is pretty impressive.
  • Synchronet BBS Software [] Old-School man, that's what it's all about...
  • gcc (Score:2, Insightful)

    by medoc ( 90780 )
    There would be no open-source projects without gcc.
  • by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @12:37PM (#14428077) Homepage
    I've put my money where my mouth is and have donated to my favorite open source projects []. I encourage everyone else to do something similar (as incentive for many in the U.S. at this time of the year: some projects are run non-profit, so your donations may be tax deductible.
  • DotNetNuke [] Growing very quickly, high quality, well managed and well documented.
  • Isn't it funny that is the most popular repository and project tracker for OSS projects, yet it's run on closed-source software?

    Of course, there's always [] if you want something similar, that's actually Open Source.
  • In no particular order, here are my top 10 open source projects:
    1.The Apache web server (STILL the most popular web server in the world today and consistantly more secure than Microsoft IIS)
    2.The Mozilla/Firefox web browser and the Gecko rendering engine (The growing popularity of Gecko based browsers has forced even microsoft to take notice)
    3.The OpenOffice office suite (IMO the biggest threat to the total dominance of Microsoft Office since WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3)
    4.The Linux kernel (Without this, we

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal