Open Source Mac – Free Mac software, all open-source, all …

Free and open-source software is good for you and good for the world. This is the best free Mac software that we know of.

Open Source Mac is a simple list of the best free and open source software for Mac OS X. We aren’t trying to be a comprehensive listing of every open-source mac app, instead we want to showcase the best, most important, and easiest to use. This page should be a handy reference and a useful tool for getting more people to start using free and open-source software. If you think we’re missing any great apps, please let us know. Open Source Mac is of course hosted on Linux.

Note to software creators: first of all, thanks so much for making free, open-source software– we love you.

Second, if we linked to macupdate or versiontracker as the download page, it’s because we think your download page is too confusing for new users. It’s usually very easy to improve– just add a big ‘Download Now’ link towards the top of the page, without too much clutter around it (use or or for inspiration).

Here’s some more unsolicited advice for getting more people to download your software:

a. if you have a nice icon, show it off prominently.

b. put a download link and a screenshot on your front page.

c. if you use mirrors, use a script to pick a random mirror and just give people one link that says ‘download now’

d. if there’s any way you can avoid sending people to the sourceforge download mirror page, you should (we know it’s not your fault, but it baffles lots of folks).

e. if you really want to make things easy for people, and you have a cross-platform app, detect what OS they are on and give them the correct link.

f. test your page on a novice! See if they can understand what the software does and how to get it.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Email us:

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Open Source Mac – Free Mac software, all open-source, all …

Open Source Software Audit | Black Duck Software

When M&A (mergers and acquisitions) transactions or internal reviews are in motion, you need a fast, trusted, and comprehensive software audit. An open source software audithelps your business, legal, and engineering teams quickly find open source software and third-party code, along with associated licenses and obligations.

Each year, Black Duck performs hundreds ofaudits for some of the largest organizations and most active acquirers, as well as smaller companies. With Black Duck’sOn-Demand tools, using a range of code scanning techniques, our experts provide the most comprehensive analysis available.

By shining a light on unknown open source code and third-party components and licenses, Black Duck can alert your organization to potential legal, operational, and security issues. And, importantly, we provide the responsiveness, speed, and discretion required to reduce your risk, stay on-schedule, and keep the deals moving.

In addition to open source software auditing, Black Duck On-Demand offers anOpen Source Risk Assessmentto help your organization:

Contact ustodayto discuss Black Duck’s On-Demand Audit services.

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Open Source Software Audit | Black Duck Software

Comparing Open Source vs Closed Source Software

Youre no technical guru and have been charged with finding a web content management system (CMS) for your business. Simple right?

So are you after anOpen or Closed source CMS?Um…Im looking to update my content multiple times a week to benefit our SEO and engage our audience beyond traditional marketing methods?Yes, ok. But are you looking for an Open Source CMS or a Closed Source CMS?Um. Im not really the technical guy…

Theres no need tobe intimidated by this technical jargon. The differences between Open and Closed source software are fairly straightforward and there are fairly clear pros and cons for each. There is no right or wrong answer to the question either. Your best option will largelydepend on your business and itsgoals. In the end, the main objective is to have access to aCMSthat iseasy for you and your team to manage on a day to day basis.

But lets start with a few basics to help you get in the conversation.

Open source software (OSS) is distributed under a licensing agreement which allows computer code to be shared, viewed and modified by other users and organizations.

Or in slightly more user-friendly language, open sourcesoftwareis available for the general public to use andmodify from its original design free of charge. What it means is that a piece of software can evolve and be iterated upon by otherdevelopers anywhere in the world. Ideally, this means that the software is improved over time, but it can often take plenty of interesting twists and turns with all of that evolution and canchange form and shape entirely.

Open Source feels inherently cool and well…open. In theory, it feels like what the Internet was supposed to be all about. But it should also comewith a warning label.Theres a fantastic fortnightly podcast about technology that I never misscalled Reply All. They ran an episode recently called Disappearedthats really worth a listen.

It delvesinto the idea of the open web and theprinciples of self-governance that drivethe ethos of open source software. Whilst an openand peer to peer oriented web is to be applauded philosophically, it can leave usvulnerable to rogue developers who choose to break things for their own benefit. Hence the need for a warning label.

Closed source software can be defined as proprietary software distributed under a licensing agreement to authorized users with private modification, copying, and republishing restrictions.

Or in layman terms, thesourcecode is not shared with the public for anyone to look at or change.Closed sourceis the opposite of opensource. Thanks Wikipedia 😉

Closed source is actually the sort of arrangement that you would expect from most businesses, protective of their product and keen to maintain control over their brand and the user experience offered to their customers. Think Apple rather than Android.

So, when considering open source or closed source (proprietary) software, what are some of the key differences to take into account before making a decision? We’re goingto take a look at service/support, innovation, usability and security in both open source and closed source software and outline the pros and cons of both software systems.

Generally, the key differentiators between open and closed come down to a few factors:

There are pros and cons of each and the direction you head in, will largely depend on your priorities for each of these 5 factors. Those priorities will help dictate when its appropriate to use open source and when to use a closedsource CMS.

One of the main advantages of open source software is the cost; however, when applied to OSS, the term “free” has less to do with overall cost and more to do with freedom from restrictions.

If you have the in-house capabilities and technical expertise to maintain the software, and resources to implement, train and provide support to staff, then open source may be most cost-effective for your organization. You should consider, however, the long-term costs of implementation, innovation, providing support, and investing in infrastructure as your company evolves, technology changes, and your needs grow.

** Update we recently took a detailed look at the costs of platforms with our postDo You Know The True Cost of Managing a Website?It will help you understand what are the true costs.

Open software providers are also increasingly charging for extras like add-ons, integration, and additional services, which can negate any cost-saving advantages in some cases. In the end, rather than being free, you are still paying for a service with open source software.

For a Closed Source CMS, depending on the complexity of the system, thecost can vary between a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars, which includes a base fee for software, integration and services and annual licensing/support fees. While the hard cost can be higher, what you get in return is a more customized product from a trusted brand, higher levels of security and functionality, continuous innovation, greater scalability, ongoing training and support and a lower requirement for technical skills.

Open source software relies on a loyal and engaged online user community to deliver support via forums and blogs, but this support often fails to deliver the high level of response that many consumers expect (and can receive with proprietary software).

These communities must also be found on the web and some would argue there is no incentive for the community to address a user’s problem.

Service and support are probably the greatest advantages of using proprietary software (closed). Ongoing support is a key selling point for users with little technical skills and one of the main reasons people choose closed source over open source software.

Support includes user manuals and pointsof contact for immediate assistance from viable companies with experts who are intimately familiar with the products and services

Open source software provides a large amount of flexibility and freedom to change the software without restriction. This innovation, however, may not be passed on to all users and it is debated whether customized changes to the original source code can limit the future support and growth of the software. Once more, open source software providers often struggle to attract large-scale research and development.

Some see the inability to view or change the source code in closed source software as a drawback when compared to the unrestricted flexibility of open source; however, this restriction ensures the security and reliability of proprietary software that is fully tested and offered to all users.

Once more, customized software is available for specific users. Unlike open source, proprietary software also attracts larger amounts of R&D in order to regularly offer new products and upgrades.

Like open source software, closed sourcesoftware also has dedicated online communities that share ideas and strategies through forums and surveys, fostering innovation and allowing the product to adapt with changing needs.

Usability is often a major area of criticism for open source software because the technology is generally not reviewed by usability experts and caters to developers rather than the vast majority of layperson users. User guides are not required by law and are therefore often ignored. When manuals are written, they are often filled with jargon that is difficult to follow.

For closed or proprietary software, usability is a high selling point (think Apple again) due to expert usability testing for a more targeted audience. User manuals are also provided for immediate reference and quick training, while support services help to maximize use of the software. Third party systems and developers are also able to use a variety of mechanisms to enhance “closed” source software.

Security of open source is often a concern for large companies because software is not always developed in a controlled environment.

With individual users all around the world developing the software, there is a lack of continuity and common direction that prevents effective communication. Once more, the software is not always peer-reviewed or validated, meaning that a programmer can embed a backdoor Trojan into the software while the user is none the wiser.

One way to reduce this potential risk is to adopt a reputable brand with a concentrated development team supported by a strong online community.

Proprietary or closed software is generally seen as more secure because it is developed in a controlled environment by a concentrated team with a common direction. This team is the only group that can view or edit the source code, it is heavily audited and the risk of backdoor Trojans or bugs are reduced (though no security can be flawless).

The keypros and cons of open vs closed source softwarelargely depend on your technical expertise and resources available to maintain and update the software. Consider the five points outlined in this article to get a better idea of the right software for your company’s needs now and in the future.

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Comparing Open Source vs Closed Source Software

Best Open Source Software for Windows 10 – Datamation

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge Windows fan. That said, I work with many folks who are. Which gets me thinking about open source applications that would be a best fit for their Windows 10 installations. In this article, I’ll share my top picks for Windows 10 open source software.

Hey, just because someone is using Windows doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy the benefits of great open source software! Right?

When it comes to backing up your DVD collection, in case of fire/kids/life, it’s tough to beat the awesome feeling that comes from a completed Handbrake session. Despite its highly customizable nature, Handbrake also provides you with some helpful presets to make the disc to file conversion as painless and simple as possible. I personally appreciate the preview mode myself.

Whether you’re still using traditional FTP to upload your files to a server or keeping it secure with SSH keys using sFTP FileZilla has you covered. I’ve long believed that FileZilla is among the best in class FTP management applications on any desktop operating system. You can drag drop, change permissions, even master through thousands of batch transfers without breaking a sweat!

Despite statements to the contrary, podcasts are not dead. Many of the most popular are booming right now and you can use Juice to capture all of your favorites, automatically. Thanks to the magic of RSS enclosures, your favorite podcasts can simply appear on your PC as they’re released. Not sure what to listen to? No biggie, they have a huge directory of podcasts to choose from. How’s that for convenience?

When I watch video on a PC, I run VLC. To me, it doesn’t matter if that PC runs Windows or Linux, my expectations on what I want from my video player are the same. As a general rule, VLC will play just about anything. VLC works like a champ for anything audio- or video-based, ranging from FLAC audio to DVD playback.

It often amazes me how frequently I find myself relying on GIMP these days. From image combining to extraction, GIMP is simply one of the best tools in my toolbox. Admittedly, I’ve used it for so long that using anything else is out of the question. I have a workflow that works for me and GIMP is at the forefront of any serious creative project I have to accomplish.

I’ve found that many people who honestly don’t know anything about running Open Source software are, in fact, running a fairly current version of LibreOffice. Usually these individuals read about it somewhere, found it for free or had it installed by someone they knew. The one common thread all of these folks seem to share is the fact that it’s being used often and dependably. Whether I’m running calculations with Calc or word processing with Write, these are my goto apps within the LibreOffice suite. Impress for presentations is also fantastic and worth your consideration.

The very first time I switched to an open source jukebox media player for my music, I ended up with amaroK on Linux. Years later, I’ve found myself using a fork of this media player called Clementine. It offers the best features anyone could want in a music player. I’ve been known to plugin to my Spotify account and export my playlists. This way if I ever switch to something different, say Google Play Music, my playlists will remain intact. That is the power of Clementine, folks.

Very few applications have shook my view of using Windows harder than Notepad++. Suddenly I find myself using a sane, usable text editor that doesn’t leave me frustrated! In my humble opinion, its the most amazing text editor ever conceived of for Windows users. Notepad++ features a tabbed interface with macro support, customizable GUI, Perl Compatible Regular Expression Search/Replace, and zoom functionality. Bundle all this with its syntax handling and you’ll never want to close this editor!

Most people don’t think much about the licensing of the VM software they use. But if you’re using VirtualBox OSE, you could be using the Open Source Edition to boot another OS within your host Windows installation. Side note, I like to think that using VirtualBox is a great way to get to know Linux…without any lengthy commitment!

Trying to track down large files that are stealing precious hard drive space can be a pain. But Windows users rejoice, there’s an app that can help you with this challenge WinDirStat. Designed to be a visual application, WinDirStat will literally show you which files and directories are taking up the bulk of your hard drive space. To make things easier, you’ll also find that WinDirStat provides pretty solid tree-map support as well.

Not to be confused with Woz, the co-founder of Apple, Wox is a keyboard launcher designed to make you more productive at your Windows computer. For me, I can’t even fathom using a computer without a good keyboard launcher. So if you were to drop me in front of a Windows box today, I’d be using Wox without a second thought. Using Wox, I can search the Web, locate files to open, and even startup programs!

Automating Macros and repetitive tasks can be a real pain. Lucky for you, there’s an open source application called AutoKey to take the sting out of the experience. Even with documentation, there is a learning curve involved, yet once you get the hang of it you’ll never look back. At it’s simplest, you can think of AutoKey as software designed to automate keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can even use it to help with typing. For example, abbreviations can become full sentences or paragraphs. It’s actually pretty amazing what can be done with this application.

Gone are the days of taking screen shots only to drop them into some paint like program! With Greenshot, you can take a screenshot and then add annotations, or even export a screenshot straight to a printer. Need to highlight or obfuscate parts a screenshot? Not a problem! Only wish to take a screenshot of a region of the screen? Again, this is doable without any issues. Greenshot is a must have application for Windows.

So which open source applications are you using? Perhaps you’re using them on other platforms like Linux or OS X? No matter, hit the Comments and sound off with your favorites! I’d love to compare notes and see if there are any new software titles I haven’t heard of.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Best Open Source Software for Windows 10 – Datamation

Open Source Software List: 2017 Ultimate List: Page 3 …

253. SilverStripe

Created by developers in New Zealand, SilverStripe is both an open source CMS and a development firm that provides a variety of related services. SwipeStripe adds ecommerce capabilities to SilverStripe sites. Operating System: OS Independent

254. TikiWiki

255. TWiki

As a structured wiki, TWiki combines the benefits of a wiki with the benefits of a database. It can be used for project management, document management, as a knowledge base, or to collaborate on virtually any type of content for intranets or the Internet. Operating System: OS Independent.

256. TYPO3

Installed more than 500,000 times, TYPO3 is a widely used enterprise CMS with multisite functionality, excellent scalability, granular permissions, multi-channel content publishing and more. Paid support is available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix

257. WebGUI

Used by thousands of organizations, WebGUI offers capabilities like wikis, online surveys, news feeds, event management, message boards, shopping carts, blogs and more. Several third-party partners offer related services. Operating System: Windows, Linux/Unix, OS X

258. Wolf CMS

This newer CMS prides itself on being lightweight, fast and easy to use. However, note that it is easiest to use if you have some PHP coding skills. Operating System: Windows, Linux

259. XOOPS

Another very popular content management system, XOOPS has won several awards. It boasts a modular architecture, SEO features, excellent security, dynamic editing, email notifications and more. Operating System: OS Independent

260. XWiki

Most wiki software falls a little short when it comes to meeting marketing needs, but XWiki is a very full-featured platform with more advanced capabilities than most other open source projects of its kind. It supports blogging, reporting and the creation of simple Web applications, all of which can be useful to marketing teams. It comes in both a free and a paid enterprise version. Operating System: OS Independent.

261. Yellow

Yellow’s claim to fame is its simplicity: “Just files and folders…Not much to learn.” It’s best for simple blogs and wiki-style websites. Operating System: OS Independent.

262. CiviCRM

Similar to Orange Leap, CiviCRM was particularly designed for advocacy groups, NGOs and non-profit organizations with similar needs. It includes modules for case management, fundraising, event management, membership management, e-mail communications and marketing, and it integrates with both Drupal and Joomla. Operating System: OS Independent

263. ConcourseSuite

In addition to its features for sales and customer service teams, this Web-based CRM solution includes multiple features for marketers, including lead tracking, targeted email campaigns and survey capabilities. In addition to the open source version, a paid, supported version is also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

264. openCRX

This full-featured CRM solution combines groupware functionality (email, calendar and contacts) with sales force automation, marketing automation, customer service and analytics features. Paid support and custom development are available through partners. Operating System: OS Independent

265. SplendidCRM

SplendidCRM calls itself “the clear and obvious choice for companies that prefer Microsoft IIS to Apache and SQL Server to MySQL.” It’s a Windows-based CRM solution that comes in multiple cloud and on-premise versions. Operating System: Windows.

266. SugarCRM

Used by more than 1.5 million people in 120 countries, SugarCRM is an extremely popular, award-winning open source CRM solution. The website link above is primarily devoted to selling cloud-based subscriptions, but you can find the open source version at Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

267. vTiger

Downloaded more than four million times, vTiger comes in both cloud and open source versions. Key features include contact management, opportunity management, email marketing, forecasting, collaboration, workflow automation, reporting and mobile apps. Operating System: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android.

268. X2Contacts

This CRM tool gives marketers the ability to capture Web leads, track Website visits, draft and track emails, and automate and manage campaigns. It comes in a cloud-based version that runs on AWS or in an open source version. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

269. Blazegraph

Formerly known as “Bigdata,” Blazegraph is a highly scalable, high-performance database. It is available under an open source or a commercial license. Operating System: OS Independent.

270. BlinkDB

Still an alpha release, BlinkDB is a “massively parallel, approximate query engine for running interactive SQL queries on large volumes of data.” In some tests it performed up to 200 times faster than Hive. Operating System: Windows, Linux

271. Cassandra

Created by Facebook, this NoSQL database counts Apple, CERN, Comcast, eBay, GitHub, GoDaddy, Hulu, Instagram, Intuit, Netflix, Reddit and other tech companies among its users. It supports extremely large data sets and boasts very fast performance and excellent durability and elasticity. Support is available through third parties. Operating System: OS Independent

272. CockroachDB

The team behind this project is working to create a database that is just as hard to kill as a cockroach isin other words, it’s extremely resilient. It also spreads like cockroachesin other words, it’s highly scalable. Operating System: Docker

273. CouchDB

Built for the Web, CouchDB is a NoSQL database that stores data in JSON documents which can be queried via HTTP and manipulated with JavaScript. Cloudant, which is now owned by IBM, offers a professionally supported version of the software, which is used by Samsung, Akamai, Expedia, Microsoft Game Studios and other companies. Operating system: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android

274. Drill

Apache Drill allows users to use SQL queries for non-relational data storage systems. It supports a range of NoSQL and cloud-based data storage systems, including HBase, MongoDB, MapR-DB, HDFS, MapR-FS, Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, Google Cloud Storage and Swift. It also allows users to search through multiple datasets stored with different technologies using a single query. In addition, it supports many popular BI tools. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

275. Firebird

This mature database has been around since 1981. According to its website, it offers “excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers.” Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X, Solaris

276. FlockDB

Developed by Twitter, FlockDB is a very fast, very scalable graph database that is good at storing social networking data. While it is still available for download, the open source version of this project has not been updated in quite a while. Operating System: OS Independent.

277. GridGain

Powered by Apache Ignite, GridGrain offers in-memory data fabric for fast processing of big data and a Hadoop Accelerator based on the same technology. It comes in a paid enterprise version and a free community edition, which includes free basic support. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

278. HBase

Designed for very large tables with billions of rows and millions of columns, HBase is a distributed database that provides random real-time read/write access to big data. It is somewhat similar to Google’s Bigtable, but built on top of Hadoop and HDFS. Operating System: OS Independent.

279. Hibari

This Erlang-based project describes itself as “a distributed, ordered key-value store with strong consistency guarantee.” It was first developed by Gemini Mobile Technologies and is used by several telecommunications carriers in Europe and Asia. Operating System: OS Independent.

280. Hive

Apache Hive is the data warehouse for the Hadoop ecosystem. It allows users to query and manage big data using HiveQL, a language that is similar to SQL. Operating System: OS Independent.

281. Hustle

Hustle describes itself as “A column-oriented, embarrassingly distributed relational event database.” Based on Disco, it’s designed to offer extremely fast queries for very large data sets. Operating System: Linux.

282. Hypertable

Used by eBay, Baidu, Groupon, Yelp and many other Internet companies, Hypertable is a Hadoop-compatible big data database that promises fast performance. Commercial support is available. Operating System: Linux, OS X.

283. Impala

Cloudera claims that its SQL-based Impala database is “the leading open source analytic database for Apache Hadoop.” It can be downloaded as a standalone product and is also part of Cloudera’s commercial big data products. Operating System: Linux, OS X.

284. Infinispan

A Red Hat JBoss project, Java-based Infinispan is a distributed in-memory data grid. It can be used as a cache, as a high-performance NoSQL database, or to add clustering capabilities to frameworks. Operating System: OS Independent.

285. InfluxDB

InfluxDB is a “distributed time series database with no external dependencies.” That makes it ideal for collecting data from IoT sensors; in fact, it can track data from tens of thousands of sensors sampling more than once per second. Operating System: Linux, OS X

286. Kexi

Part of the Calligra office productivity suite, Kexi is a visual database application creator similar to Access and Filemaker Pro. Note that it offers better support for Linux than for Windows or OS X. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

287. LucidDB

The LucidDB website claims that this database is “the first and only open-source RDBMS purpose-built entirely for data warehousing and business intelligence.” It is written partially in Java and partially in C++ in order to combine high performance with ease of development. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

288. MongoDB

Used by Foursquare, Forbes, Pebble, Adobe, LinkedIn, eHarmony and others, MongoDB is a NoSQL database that claims to be “optimized for mission-critical deployments.” Paid professional and enterprise versions are available. Operating system: Windows, Linux, OS X, Solaris

289. MySQL

Beloved by Web companies like YouTube, PayPal, Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, LinkedIn, Uber and Amazon, MySQL calls itself “the world’s most popular open source database.” It comes in multiple paid version as well as the free community version, and the latest update claims to be three times faster than its predecessor. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X

290. Neo4j

The self-proclaimed “world’s leading graph database,” Neo4J is used for fraud detection, recommendation engines, social networking, master data management and more. It users include eBay, Walmart, Cisco, HP, Accenture, CrunchBase, eHarmony, and many other organizations. Operating System: Windows, Linux

291. OrientDB

This multi-model database combines some of the capabilities of a graph database with some of the capabilities of a document database. Paid support, training and consulting are available. Operating system: OS Independent.

292. PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL calls itself “the world’s most advanced open source database” and boasts more than 15 years of development. It has won multiple awards and offers excellent reliability and stability, even in high-volume environments. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

293. Riak

“Full of great stuff,” Riak comes in two versions: KV is the distributed NoSQL database, and S2 provides object storage for the cloud. It’s available in open source or commercial editions, with add-ons for Spark, Redis and Solr. Operating System: Linux, OS X.

294. Realm

With an impressive roster of users that includes Google, Amazon, Starbucks, eBay, Budweiser, SAP, BC, Intel, Intuit, McDonalds, Walmart and IBM, Realm boasts that hundreds of millions of people rely on its mobile database. iOS, Android and Java versions are available for freel; enterprise versions are available for a fee. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android

295. Redis

Now sponsored by Pivotal, Redis is a key-value cache and store. Paid support is available. Note that while the project doesn’t officially support Windows, Microsoft has a Windows fork on GitHub. Operating System: Linux.

296. WebScaleSQL

Based on MySQL, WebScaleSQL is a collaboration among Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter. Their goal is to create a SQL database that can offer the performance, reliability and scalability that these large Web companies need. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

297. BleachBit

BleachBit can securely delete files from a standalone system. In addition, it can clean up systems and improve performance by erasing cached files, temporary files, logs and other unnecessary data. Operating System: Windows, Linux

298. Darik’s Boot And Nuke

Also known as DBAN, Darik’s Boot And Nuke can completely eliminate all data from a hard drive. The open source version is designed for personal use, and a commercial version that can erase RAID arrays is available through Blancco, the project owner. Operating System: OS Independent

299. Eraser

For Windows only, Eraser deletes data from hard drives and overwrites it multiple times so that it cannot be recovered. It can destroy data on an entire drive or wipe out specified files and folders, and it includes a customizable scheduler. Operating System: Windows

300. FileKiller

Another secure deletion tool, FileKiller gives users the option of specifying how many times deleted data is overwritten. It promises fast performance. Operating System: Windows

301. Apatar

Apatar aims to make it easy to move data between on-premise and cloud-based applications, and it includes connectors for, SugarCRM, and Goldmine CRM. It also comes in an on-demand version that integrates data from and QuickBooks. Operating System: OS Independent.

302. Clover ETL

The Community Version of this extract, transform, load (ETL) tool can handle “modest” data transformation and ETL jobs. It also comes in paid Designer, Server Standard, Server Corporate and Server Cluster versions. Operating System: OS Independent.

303. DataCleaner

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Open Source Software List: 2017 Ultimate List: Page 3 …

Open Source Software | American Libraries Magazine

Open source software is a key option libraries should consider when implementing strategic technologies. Even though a greater number of libraries are adopting proprietary systems, open source products provide a viable alternative and exert competitive pressures, both in cost and innovation.

Integrated library systems (ILS), as well as the new genre of library services platforms, are offered to libraries primarily as proprietary products controlled by a single vendor. Libraries that use these products remain dependent on that vendor for ongoing software development, solutions to systemic problems, and service enhancements. While proprietary software remains the dominant approach, a growing percentage of libraries are adopting open source products. In fact, libraries with open source integrated systems report the same levels of satisfaction as those using proprietary products, according to the Perceptions 2016 survey on library automation.

Open source systems have been part of the overall automation landscape for more than 15 years and have become a well-established and mature option. Open source software principles are well understood, as are the relative advantages and disadvantages of its development models and support arrangements. The August/September 2017 issue of Library Technology Reports discusses some of the processes of software development, implementation, and support. Open source ILS products, such as Koha and Evergreen, have cultivated vibrant and well-coordinated communities that work diligently toward the continued enhancement and support of these products.

Open source initiatives encourage for-profit companies as well as nonprofits to become involved.

Open source projects generally involve collaborative development processes, where companies and individuals work together out of mutual interest to create and improve a product. This joint effort requires a robust communications process and effective tools. Most open source software development projects make use of several types of collaborative tools:

Open source initiatives often encourage for-profit companies as well as nonprofit organizations to become involved. While open source projects do not involve license fees, they provide many other opportunities for companies to provide services for which they can charge fees. For example, many companies have become involved with Koha, the most widely implemented open source ILS in the world. Technology revenues are increasingly derived from services than from direct sales of software licenses. Service fee categories include:

Self-support for open source ILS products is relatively uncommon in the US, where libraries mostly engage with commercial support firms. Implementation in partnership with a commercial support provider requires no more in-house technical expertise than a proprietary product.

Open source today falls well within the mainstream of technology options. Evergreen and Koha have matured and offer functionality comparable with many proprietary products. The FOLIO project promises to create a new library services platform based on a modular design and the microservices architecture.

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Open Source Software | American Libraries Magazine

What is Open Source Software? Webopedia

Main Did You Know Computer_Science Updated April 10, 2014 / Posted September 26, 2008

By Vangie Beal

We discuss open source software, the basics behind the Open Source Initiative (OSI), and Free Software Licensing.

Open source refers to a program or software in which the source code (the form of the program when a programmer writes a program in a particular programming language) is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community.

The rationale for this movement is that a larger group of programmers not concerned with proprietary ownership or financial gain will produce a more useful and bug-free product for everyone to use. The concept relies on peer review to find and eliminate bugs in the program code, a process that commercially developed and packaged programs do not employ.

The basics behind the Open Source Initiative is that when programmers can read, redistribute and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.

Proprietary software is privately owned and controlled. In the computer industry, proprietary is considered the opposite of open. A proprietary design or technique is one that is owned by a company. It also implies that the company has not divulged specifications that would allow other companies to duplicate the product.

Open Source is a certification standard issued by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) that indicates that the source code of a computer program is made available free of charge to the general public. OSI dictates that in order to be considered “OSI Certified” a product must meet the following criteria:

Open source software is normally distributed with the source code under an open source license. The Open Source Initiative sets the following distribution terms that open-source software must comply with;

Open source doesn’t just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:

The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed

The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.

The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of “patch files” with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.

The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program’s being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program’s license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.

The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.

No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.

[Source: Open Source Initiative, “The Open Source Definition”]

All open source software is not distributed under the same licensing agreement. Some may use a free software license, a copyleft, or GPL compatible. The GNU GPL license is a free software license and a copyleft license, while a “GNU Lesser General Public License” is a free software license, but not a strong copyleft license. There are many different types of licenses for free software . some GNU GPL compatible, some not.

The Open Source Initiative approves open source licenses after they have successfully gone through the approval process and comply with the Open Source Definition (above). There is currently well over fifty licenses that have been approved by the OSI.

For example, the GNU General Public License (GPL) is one license that accompanies some open source software that details how the software and its accompany source code can be freely copied, distributed and modified. The most widespread use of GPL is in reference to the GNU GPL, which is commonly abbreviated simply as GPL when it is understood that the term refers to the GNU GPL.

One of the basic tenets of the GPL is that anyone who acquires the material must make it available to anyone else under the same licensing agreement. The GPL does not cover activities other than the copying, distributing and modifying of the source code.

Other open source licenses include the following:

[Source: You can read the details and newly added approved licenses on the OSI Open Source Licenses Web page]

A software programmer really has his or her own reasons for contributing to open source projects. Some may just be looking for fun or a challenge, while others are looking to improve skill and build on their programming abilities, or they may want to belong to a group project. In many instances there is the opportunity to make money as open source projects can be funded by government or corporate sponsors. Unlike commercial projects, open source projects allow the programmer’s name to be known, which benefits a programmer’s name and portfolio which can lead to future jobs with other funded open source or commercial projects.

The hype and benefits of open source has not gone unnoticed in the commercial world where some corporations have jumped on the open source bandwagon. Since commercial software is sold for profit, one may wonder why a company would be interested in open source projects. In many cases companies are able to profit through selling add-on tools or modules, or paid consulting services and technical support for the program.

Sendmail is an open source mail transfer agent (MTA) used for routing and delivery e-mail. The original version of Sendmail was written by Eric Allman in the early 1980s. It is estimated that Sendmail is installed on 60 to 80 percent of the Internet’s mail-server computers.

Often referred to as simply Apache, a public-domain open source Web server developed by a loosely knit group of programmers. The first version of Apache, based on the NCSA httpd Web server, was developed in 1995. Core development of the Apache Web server is performed by a group of about 20 volunteer programmers, called the Apache Group. However, because the source code is freely available, anyone can adapt the server for specific needs, and there is a large public library of Apache add-ons.

(Pronounced lee-nucks or lih-nucks). A freely distributable open source operating system that runs on a number of hardware platforms. The Linux kernel was developed mainly by Linus Torvalds. Because it’s free, and because it runs on many platforms, including PCs and Macintoshes, Linux has become an extremely popular alternative to proprietary operating systems.

Acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment. (Pronounced guh-nome) GNOME is part of the GNU project and part of the free software, or open source, movement. GNOME is a Windows-like desktop system that works on UNIX and UNIX-like systems and is not dependent on any one window manager. The current version runs on Linux, FreeBSD, IRIX and Solaris. The main objective of GNOME is to provide a user-friendly suite of applications and an easy-to-use desktop.

open sourceGenerically, open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge, i.e., open.

GPLShort for General Public License, the license that accompanies some open source software

GNUSelf-referentially, short for GNU’s not UNIX, a UNIX-compatible software system developed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

LinuxPronounced lee-nucks or lih-nucks. A freely-distributable open source operating system that runs on a number of hardware platforms.

GNOME Acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment. (Pronounced guh-nome.) GNOME is part of the GNU project and part of the free software, or open source, movement.

Did You Know… The Open Source Definition was written by Bruce Perens as “The Debian Free Software Guidelines”, and refined it using the comments of the Debian developers in a month-long e-mail conference in June, 1997. He removed the Debian-specific references from the document to create the “Open Source Definition.”

Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.

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What is Open Source Software? Webopedia

Open Source Software List: 2017 Ultimate List – Datamation

It’s become a annual tradition at Datamation to publish an complete roundup of all the open source projects we’ve featured throughout the year. This year’s update includes a vast trove of open source software: 1,343 different projects, from 138 different categories, including two brand new categories.

This year’s open source list has quite a few new additions related to cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). It also has quite a few new projects related to marketing software.

Please note that this is not a ranking. The projects are organized into categories and then listed alphabetically within the categories.

As always, if you know of additional open source software that you’d like to see us cover in future lists, feel free to note them in the Comments section below.

Table of Contents

Sure, youre a Windows user in fact youre using an up to date Windows OS. But in todays world, its still entirely likely youre looking for the best open source software for your PC. This list gathers some familiar names with lesser known apps, all with an eye toward boosting your Windows 10 machine. Which app do you think is the best open source software for Win10

There are countless websites that offer extensive lists of open source software to download. But finding the best open source website is easier said than done. To help, weve compiled a list of the very best open source websites let the downloading begin.

In this aggregation of open source BI tools, youll certainly see some famous names: MySQL, Pentaho, along with some names that get less buzz as well. Of course in the rapidly changing business intelligence market, todays big names could easily be surpassed over time by a little known tool feature sets change quickly. Which open source BI tool on this list will be most popular in the years ahead?

Theres no debate about it: Windows XP is an aging operating system. For those looking to replace it and yes, its time with an open source operating system, this is the list for you. This survey of open source operating systems includes superstars like Ubuntu along with solid players like Knoppix. Come on, replace that old Windows OS!

It makes perfect sense: youre using financial software to track your expenses, so naturally youre interested in open source financial software. Open source much of which is a free download is made for penny pinchers. The open source financial software in this list may save you, in some cases, hundreds of dollars. A penny saved is a penny earned.

Its clear that, as value propositions go, this ones a no-brainer: replace your expensive apps with low-cost or free open source applications. Certainly theres debate about feature sets: some commercial software partisans argue that the feature sets for open source applications do not match their commercial counterparts. Undoubtedly the other side disagrees strongly. You can be the judge download a few open source applications and check them out. Do they compare?

Open source business software is, in many cases, the ideal solution for small businesses. If youre as cash-strapped as many SMBs, youll certainly want to look at this list of open source business software. Bottom line: free or low cost is better than high priced, even if that requires giving up some familiar software choices to explore options that are lesser known. If money is tight, open source business software can often be a useful option.

1. The Accessibility Project

Launched in 2013, this site aims to provide information on making other websites accessible to people with a variety of impairments, particularly those who are blind. You can read the content at the link above; if you’d like to contribute, visit the project’s GitHub page. Operating System: OS Independent

2. Edoceo Imperium

This web-based accounting package was created with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in mind. It includes CRM, work order and invoice capabilities as well as standard accounting features. Check out the online demo to see it in action. Operating System: OS Independent

3. FrontAccounting

Another web-based accounting option for SMBs, FrontAccounting boasts inventory tracking and manufacturing management abilities. It’s been downloaded more than 200,000 times. Operating System: OS Independent

4. GnuCash

GnuCash combines personal finance software with small business accounting software, which some small business owners find helpful. It can track investments, create graphs, import financial data, set up scheduled transactions and perform standard double-entry accounting. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

5. LedgerSMB

LedgerSMB combines ERP and accounting capabilities in a single package, and it also includes a flexible development framework for extending its features. It has been downloaded more than 86,000 times since 2006. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

6. TurboCASH

Used by more than 80,000 businesses, TurboCASH is a flexible accounting package that compares favorably with QuickBooks and Sage. It was created in the UK but also has a chart of accounts and currency features designed for U.S. businesses. Operating System: Windows

7. OpenDisc

The OpenDisc project collects many of the most popular open source applications for Windows into one download. You can also get the project on a CD for a donation of $10. Operating System: Windows


ASSP claims to be “the absolute best SPAM fighting weapon that the world has ever known!” It offers easy, browser-based setup and works with most mail servers. Operating System: OS Independent.

9. MailScanner

Downloaded more than 1.3 million times, MailScanner is based on SpamAssassin and works with anti-virus software like ClamAV to protect mail servers at companies or ISPs. Support is available through third-party companies. Operating System: OS Independent.

10. Scrollout F1

This full-featured mail security solution incorporates anti-spam, anti-virus and other capabilities with an interface that the project creators say is as easy to use as a car radio. Paid support is available. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

11. SpamAssassin

This Apache project claims to be the “#1 Enterprise Open-Source Spam Filter.” It uses a wide variety of methods to identify and block spam, and it works with nearly all mail servers. Operating System: primarily Linux and OS X, although Windows versions are available.

12. SpamBayes

SpamBayes uses statistical algorithms to calculate the probability that an incoming message is spam, and it adapts over time as spammers change their methods. It’s available as a plug-in for many popular email services and clients, including Outlook, Thunderbird and others. Operating System: OS Independent.

13. ClamAV

One of the most popular open source security applications, ClamAV has been incorporated into many different products and has been called “the de facto standard for mail gateway scanning.” The core program works on UNIX-based systems, but the website also offers information on Immunet, a ClamAV-based Windows solution that is available in both free and paid versions. Operating System: Linux, but front-ends and additional versions are available for other OSes.

14. ClamTk

This variation on ClamAV adds an easy-to-use GUI to the popular anti-virus engine. Now ten years old, this is a mature project that is included in many Linux distributions. Operating System: Linux.

15. ClamWin Free Antivirus

This Windows-based version of ClamAV boasts more than 600,000 users. It offers a scanning scheduler, integration with Windows Explorer and Outlook, automatic downloads of the updated malware database and support for Windows 7 and 8. Operating System: Windows.

16. Caffe

The brainchild of a UC Berkeley PhD candidate, Caffe is a deep learning framework based on expressive architecture and extensible code. It’s claim to fame is its speed, which makes it popular with both researchers and enterprise users. According to its website, it can process more than 60 million images in a single day using just one NVIDIA K40 GPU. It is managed by the Berkeley Vision and Learning Center (BVLC), and companies like NVIDIA and Amazon have made grants to support its development.

17. CNTK

Short for Computational Network Toolkit, CNTK is one of Microsoft’s open source artificial intelligence tools. It boasts outstanding performance whether it is running on a system with only CPUs, a single GPU, multiple GPUs or multiple machines with multiple GPUs. Microsoft has primarily utilized it for research into speech recognition, but it is also useful for applications like machine translation, image recognition, image captioning, text processing, language understanding and language modeling.

18. Deeplearning4j

Deeplearning4j is an open source deep learning library for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It runs in distributed environments and integrates with both Hadoop and Apache Spark. It makes it possible to configure deep neural networks, and it’s compatible with Java, Scala and other JVM languages.

The project is managed by a commercial company called Skymind, which offers paid support, training and an enterprise distribution of Deeplearning4j.

19. Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit

Like CNTK, the Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit (DMTK) is one of Microsoft’s open source artificial intelligence tools. Designed for use in big data applications, it aims to make it faster to train AI systems. It consists of three key components: the DMTK framework, the LightLDA topic model algorithm, and the Distributed (Multisense) Word Embedding algorithm. As proof of DMTK’s speed, Microsoft says that on an eight-cluster machine, it can “train a topic model with 1 million topics and a 10-million-word vocabulary (for a total of 10 trillion parameters), on a document collection with over 100-billion tokens,” a feat that is unparalleled by other tools.

20. H2O

Focused more on enterprise uses for AI than on research, H2O has large companies like Capital One, Cisco, Nielsen Catalina, PayPal and Transamerica among its users. It claims to make is possible for anyone to use the power of machine learning and predictive analytics to solve business problems. It can be used for predictive modeling, risk and fraud analysis, insurance analytics, advertising technology, healthcare and customer intelligence.

It comes in two open source versions: standard H2O and Sparkling Water, which is integrated with Apache Spark. Paid enterprise support is also available.

21. NuPIC

Managed by a company called Numenta, NuPIC is an open source artificial intelligence project based on a theory called Hierarchical Temporal Memory, or HTM. Essentially, HTM is an attempt to create a computer system modeled after the human neocortex. The goal is to create machines that “approach or exceed human level performance for many cognitive tasks.”

In addition to the open source license, Numenta also offers NuPic under a commercial license, and it also offers licenses on the patents that underlie the technology.

22. OpenCyc

Developed by a company called Cycorp, OpenCyc provides access to the Cyc knowledge base and commonsense reasoning engine. It includes more than 239,000 terms, about 2,093,000 triples, and about 69,000 owl:sameAs links to external semantic data namespaces. It is useful for rich domain modeling, semantic data integration, text understanding, domain-specific expert systems and game AIs. The company also offers two other versions of Cyc: one for researchers that is free but not open source and one for enterprise use that requires a fee.

23. OpenNN

Designed for researchers and developers with advanced understanding of artificial intelligence, OpenNN is a C++ programming library for implementing neural networks. Its key features include deep architectures and fast performance. Extensive documentation is available on the website, including an introductory tutorial that explains the basics of neural networks. Paid support for OpenNNis available through Artelnics, a Spain-based firm that specializes in predictive analytics.

24. SystemML

First developed by IBM, SystemML is now an Apache big data project. It offers a highly-scalable platform that can implement high-level math and algorithms written in R or a Python-like syntax. Enterprises are already using it to track customer service on auto repairs, to direct airport traffic and to link social media data with banking customers. It can run on top of Spark or Hadoop.

25. TensorFlow

TensorFlow is one of Google’s open source artificial intelligence tools. It offers a library for numerical computation using data flow graphs. It can run on a wide variety of different systems with single- or multi-CPUs and GPUs and even runs on mobile devices. It boasts deep flexibility, true portability, automatic differential capabilities and support for Python and C++. The website includes a very extensive list of tutorials and how-tos for developers or researchers interested in using or extending its capabilities.

26. Torch

Torch describes itself as “a scientific computing framework with wide support for machine learning algorithms that puts GPUs first.” The emphasis here is on flexibility and speed. In addition, it’s fairly easy to use with packages for machine learning, computer vision, signal processing, parallel processing, image, video, audio and networking. It relies on a scripting language called LuaJIT that is based on Lua.

27. Celestia

Travel virtually to anywhere in the known universe at any time with Celestia. It displays hundreds of thousands of celestial bodies as they would appear in the night skies. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

28. KStars

Similar to Stellarium, KStars lets users view “up to 100 million stars, 13,000 deep-sky objects, all 8 planets, the sun and moon, and thousands of comets and asteroids.” It also includes a number of tools helpful for amateur astronomers, such as an observation list, an FOV editor, a sky calendar, supernova alerts and a glossary of technical terms. (Note that in order to use KStars on Windows, you’ll have to download KDE for Windows.) Operating System: Windows, Linux

29. Stellarium

Another option for budding astronomers, this one confines the point of view to planet earth rather than allowing users to zoom throughout the universe, but it is so accurate that it is used by many planetariums. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

30. Amarok

Amarok invites users to rediscover their music. It integrates with a variety of Web services and includes features like dynamic playlists, collection management, bookmarking, file tracking and import from other music databases, including iTunes. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS.

31. Ardour

Designed for use by professional audio engineers, musicians, soundtrack editors and composers, Ardour is a complete audio recording, mixing and editing suite. Key features include support for most hardware, flexible recording, unlimited multichannel tracks, unlimited undo/redo and much more. Operating System: Linux, OS X

32. aTunes

This Java-based music player and manager displays complete informationincluding lyricsfor the song currently playing. It’s a good option for users with particularly large music collections. Operating System: OS Independent

33. Audacious

Unlike some audio players, Audacious doesn’t use a lot of system resources, so it doesn’t degrade system performance when you’re using your PC for other tasks as well as listening to music. The latest update offers improved playlist shuffling, easier recording of Internet streams and a better equalizer interface. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

34. Audacity

A perennial favorite among Linux desktop users, Audacity gets hundreds of thousands of downloads per month. It was updated in July with new scrubbing and seeking features, preset effects and improved plug-in installation. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

35. CDex

Downloaded more than 60 million times, CDex is a simple, handy tool for converting CDs to data files. It supports multiple file formats, including WAV, MP3, FLAC, AAC, WMA and OGG. Operating System: Windows.

36. Cdrtools

This suite of command-line tools includes the cdrecord CD/DVD/Blu-ray recording software, as well as tools for reading optical media, extracting audio, and more. It’s a mature project that has been around for quite a few years. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

37. cdrtfe

Cdrtfe serves as a front-end for cdrtools and some other command-line recording applications. It can burn audio CDs, data discs, bootable discs, DVD-Video discs, ISO images and other types of optical media. The latest version supports Windows 10. Operating System: Windows.

38. Clementine

Based on an older version of Amarok, Clementine focuses on providing “a fast and easy-to-use interface for searching and playing your music.” It supports Internet radio streams, cloud computing services like Dropbox and Google Drive, CUE sheets, tabbed playlists, audio CD playback and much more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android.

39. DeaDBeeF

This self-proclaimed “ultimate music player” supports a very long list of file formats. Key features include cue sheet support, tabbed playlists, cover art display, 18-band graphic equalizer, tag editor, gapless playback and more. Operating System: Linux, Unix, Android.

40. EasyTAG

EasyTAG allows users to view and edit the tag fields on MP3, MP2, MP4/AAC, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, MusePack, Monkey’s Audio, and WavPack files. It includes a tree-based browser and CDDB support for manual and automatic searches. Operating System: Windows, Linux

41. Exaile

Another option for Linux users, Exaile offers both playback and a powerful music manager. Key features include smart playlists, advanced track tagging, multiple plug-ins, automatic album art, lyrics and much more. Operating System: Linux.

42. FlacSquisher

This tool was made for audiophiles who like to keep their original music in the lossless FLAC file format. FlacSquisher converts those files to MP3s so that users can take them with them on mobile devices without taking up too much space. Operating System: Windows.

43. Fre:ac

Original post:
Open Source Software List: 2017 Ultimate List – Datamation

Open-Source Software Won’t Ensure Election Security – Lawfare (blog)

The technology behind elections is hard to get right. Elections require security. They also require transparency: anyone should be able to observe enough of the election process, from distribution of ballots, to the counting and canvassing of votes, to verify that the reported winners really won. But if people vote on computers or votes are tallied by computers, key steps of the election are not transparent and additional measures are needed to confirm the results.

In a New York Times op-ed a couple weeks ago, James Woolsey and Brian Fox proposed using “open-source systems that can guard our votes against manipulation.” Their hypothesis is that “open-source software is less vulnerable to hacking” than proprietary voting software because “anyone can see how open-source systems operate. Bugs can be spotted and remedied, deterring those who would attempt attacks. This makes them much more secure than closed-source models.” This sounds reasonable, but in fact, open-source systems are only one step towards guarding our votes against manipulationand the hypothesis that using open source software willby itselfimprove security is questionable at best.

First, with the systems in use today, there is no guarantee that the software running on any machine is in fact the software it is supposed to be running, open source or not. And even if we could know with certainty that the installed software matches the software source, the quality of the software is critical. Poorly written software, whether open source or not, creates vulnerabilities, and is thus vulnerable to hacking. Open source software allows anyone to detect vulnerabilities. We do not believe in “security through obscurity”that is, relying on secrecy as a primary security strategybut making source code available to everyone for inspection makes it available to the attackers for inspection. And the attackers are often highly motivated to find vulnerabilities.

Complicating this is the relative ease of identifying one vulnerability and the difficulty of finding them all. Attackers need to find just a single flaw in order to exploit a system. On the other hand, it is very easy for reviewers to miss somethingthe Heartbleed bug that affected millions of websites and devices in 2014 occurred in open source softwareor to make assumptions about the environment in which the source code is executed that turn out to be wrong. Software authors, maintainers, election officials, and other defenders must find every flaw, fix them all, and then distribute the fixed system (or patches) to everyone using the system.

Patch distribution creates its own set of potential problems, as it informs attackers that there was a vulnerability (and where in the code it is), leaving anyone who does not immediately install the patch especially vulnerable. For example, many years ago, a response group announced a patch to a well-known, widely used piece of software. Within thirty minutes, that vulnerability was being exploited around the world. Many sites did not have the time or resources to install the fix. The patch was announced at 5 p.m. East Coast time on a Friday, making things worse.

Open source software is a good thing. Published source, a lower bar, is a useful if less optimal alternative. But visibility of the source is not enough. Security analysts need access to everything that is used to create the system, including operating system source, driver source, compiler source, hardware, and hardware fabrication information, and then directions on how to create the systems used in the voting (such as the voting system, the tally system, and any systems and software used to display the results). Even that isn’t enough, as (for example) the fabrication facilities may not follow the directions the analysts are given. The supply chain matters, toomanufacturers or their employees may even be malicious! So the analysts need to monitor the actual system construction to verify everything. Even then, they must be aware that what is done today may not be what is done tomorrow, or what was done yesterday.

Finally, even perfect software does not guarantee trustworthy elections. Trustworthiness is also a product of the way the system, and software, are used. For example, consider a system that uses a difficult-to-guess password, but that password can be found on a website. No amount of scrutiny of the system will reveal this flaw.

So assuming that open source systems are more secure than other systems is a dangerous fallacy, just as assuming closed source systems are more secure than other systems. Properly evaluating security requires more than simply considering the openness of the source.

The question we should be asking is “how can we ensure that election results are accurate when we cannot trust the computers used to run elections?” rather than “how do we make electronic voting secure?” Nothing is ever absolutely secure. But we can often make computers, systems, and processes “secure enough” for their tasks, provided we have an independent way to check the results. One technique is to produce a voter-verified paper trail, ensure that the paper trail is trustworthy, and manually audit the electronically tabulated results against the paper audit trail. Another technique called “end-to-end verifiability” allows individual voters to verify that their vote was recorded and counted correctly. Simply enabling everyone to examine the source is not sufficient, and could even give voters and election officials a belief that the system is secure when it is not.

We believe there are excellent reasons to move to open-source voting systems. For instance, there are good arguments that the public should own the voting system. Open-source systems allow vendor claims about software to be verified. Open-source systems running on commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware could be far cheaper to acquire and maintain than proprietary voting systems. Adopting open-source systems could promote a competitive market for technical support for local election officials, also decreasing costs. Open-source systems could be designed to facilitate auditing against the paper trail more efficiently than commercial systems permit. And using open-source systems would make it possible for jurisdictions to customize the software to their needs.

All this needs to be considered as we work to improve the security and transparency of our election systems. But adopting open-source systems would not by itself provide any assurance that computers used in voting are doing what they are supposed to do. Nor would it obviate the need to audit the results.

This piece reflects the contributions of the following individuals:

Matt Bishop, University of California, Davis Philip Stark, University of California, Berkeley Josh Benaloh, Microsoft Research Joseph Kiniry, Free and Fair Ron Rivest, MIT Sean Peisert, University of California, Davis Joseph Hall, Center for Democracy and Technology Vanessa Teague, University of Melbourne (Australia)

Read more:
Open-Source Software Won’t Ensure Election Security – Lawfare (blog)

Demand for Open Source Skills Continues to Grow – Windows IT Pro

On a scale of one to five, how are your open source skills? If you picked a number below four, you might want to do something about it. According to the Linux Foundation’s annual Open Source Jobs Report released on Wednesday, employment prospects for open source workers continues to rise.

Consider this: 86 percent of open source professionals believe that just knowing open source has advanced their careers, with 52 percent saying it would be easy to find another job. If that doesn’t wet your whistle — only 27 percent report not receiving a recruiting call in the past six months.

Open source skills have been in high demand for a number of years, as open source continues to displace proprietary software in both data centers and in development houses. Salaries for those with open source skills tend to be higher as well. Career website Dice’s annual salary survey — a separate survey from this — indicates that Linux professionals command an annual salary of over $100,000 while other tech professionals take in an average of $92,000.

For the jobs report, the Linux Foundation and Dice partnered and in July surveyed more than 280 hiring managers from corporations, SMBs, government organizations and staffing agencies, the vast majority representing companies headquartered in North America. In addition, more than 1,800 open source professionals were surveyed, 77 percent of whom indicated three or more years spent working in open source.

According to the report, the positions employers are most seeking to fill are developer (73 percent), DevOps engineer (60 percent), and systems administrator (53 percent). The most in-demand skills are open source cloud (47 percent), application development (44 percent), big data (43 percent), DevOps (42 percent) and security (42 percent). Sixty percent of the companies surveyed said they’re looking to take people on full time — up from 53 percent last year — and 67 percent of managers say the hiring of open source professionals will increase more than other areas of the business in the next six months.

Three major factors are pushing most companies’ IT hiring plans, with company growth heading the list at 60 percent. After that, it’s more open source specific, with 42 percent citing an increasing use of open source, followed by 30 percent who said that open source is becoming core to their IT needs. Interestingly, only 43 percent of hiring managers say the economy is encouraging them to take on more help, down from 57 percent in 2016. The report opines the later is potentially being caused by “rising global uncertainty.”

The migration to the cloud, along with the rise of cloud-based architectures such as containers and microservices — all areas dominated by open source — are also a big part of the current tech job market. “Most enterprises are still in transition, making pros with skills in hybrid environments all the more valuable,” the report’s authors note. “Meanwhile, container technology is growing exponentially, indicating likely future shortages.”

Cloud migration is also behind cloud technologies like OpenStack and Cloud Foundry being ranked as the “most sought-after area of expertise” according to 70 percent of the employers surveyed — a number that’s up from 66 percent last year. In second place is web technologies, with 67 percent of hiring managers expressing a need for those skills — up from 62 percent last year. Demand for Linux skills is also high but has dropped a bit since last year — from 71 percent down to 65 percent.

The report notes that among hiring managers the technologies most influencing hiring decisions are cloud (62 percent), application platforms (56 percent), and big data (53 percent); and the most in-demand open source skills are cloud/virtualization (60 percent), application development (59 percent), and DevOps (57 percent).

Employers are also increasingly seeking employees with open source certifications. Fifty percent of hiring managers said finding people with certifications is a priority, and an equal number indicated that a certified candidate has a better chance of getting a job than someone without certification — a number that’s up from 44 percent in 2016.

“And theres been a big jump in companies willing to pay for employees to become certified,” the report states. “Nearly half say theyre willing to pay, up from one-third a year ago. Only 21 percent say they definitely would not pay for certifications, down from 30 percent last year.”

With data centers increasing their use of open source technologies, it’s not surprising that a 77 percent majority of the tech professionals surveyed said the ability to architect solutions based on open source software topped the list of valuable skills. Also important: experience with open source development tools such as GitHub, and knowledge of new tools. The pros also predict that next year, employment opportunities will grow for those with skills in cloud technologies, big data and analytics, containers, and security.

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Demand for Open Source Skills Continues to Grow – Windows IT Pro