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Open Source Pros Pick their Favorite Projects

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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 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 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, list goes on - even NASA uses it! Bugzilla makes GNOME rock harder."

One Laptop per Child

Lee Congdon: Vice president of Information Services, Red Hat

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Red Hat and Fedora

Android Leftovers

Zorin OS 12 Beta - Flat white, no sugar

I did not do any other testing, no extensive tweaking, no customization. I felt no need or desire to do so. Now, do remember Zorin OS 12 is still in beta, so we can excuse some of the problems we see here. But others are purely Ubuntu, and have been ported over from the parent distro without any discrimination or any improvements and fixes introduced in the last six months. The big offenders include: multimedia and smartphone support, poor software management, and then the somewhat heavy utilization and slow performance. Zorin is quite pretty but weary on the eyes, it tries perhaps too hard to be more than it is, and overall, the value it brings is negatively offset by the myriad papercuts of its design and the implementation of its unique style, plus the failings of the Ubuntu family. It's an okay choice, if you will, but there's nothing too special about it anymore. It's not as fun as it used to be. Gone is the character, gone is the glamor. This aligns well with the overall despair in the Linux desktop world. Maybe the official release will be better, but I doubt it. Why would suddenly one distro excel where 50 others of the same crop had failed with the exact same problems? Final grade, 5/10. Test if you like the looks, other than that, there's no incentive in really using Zorin. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Read more

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