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The 10 Coolest Open Source Products of 2008

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-the-transom-of-the-novel-white-jazz dept.

Software 198

An anonymous reader writes "Open Source Software is about more than just the Linux operating system, and 2008 brought advances in the form of OpenOffice.org, IBM Lotus Symphony, Firefox and Android. But Linux is still the heart of the FOSS movement, and this year brought key developments in the operating system as well. Here's a look at the coolest open source products to come across the transom in 2008." Along roughly similar lines, davidmwilliams points out the year in review of the iTWire's "Linux Distillery" column.

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Projects on the horizon:* (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284275)

CCExtractor [sourceforge.net]

*Sorry, couldn't resist.

Re:Projects on the horizon:* (2, Informative)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284585)

Even though the source code is ugly as sin (sorry comskip author, but it is, it's one big C file that's nearly impossible to dissect) -- a nice addition to CCExtractor is comskip.

http://www.kaashoek.com/comskip/ [kaashoek.com]

Re:Projects on the horizon:* (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285087)

Let's expand that to more cool projects to watch in 2009 (or beyond)

I nominate:

BTRFS
HAMMR

Also, 2008 seemed to be the year of the GIT, with projects dumping svn, fanboys flooding slashdot, and github being the cool new place to host repositories.

Re:Projects on the horizon:* (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285887)

Epidermis project [slashdot.org] is definitely on the road to Linux on the desktop.

I don't get it... (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284297)

TFA says this about Open Office 3.0: "With an acquisition cost of between $150 and $200 less than Microsoft Office 2007" Uh. Am I missing something? Isn't the acquisition cost a big $0?

Re:I don't get it... (2, Insightful)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284389)

They're saying that MS Office costs $150-200, and OOo, being free is therefore $150-200 less than that.

I think.

Re:I don't get it... (5, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284563)

Actually as far as a medium to large organization is concerned, OpenOffice wouldn't be free in accounting terms. There would be training and admin costs on top of that -- which would initially be high. Training is expensive, and there would be a re-productivity curve for employees too, and thus a resultant increased cost again. It's probably a show stopper for many companies. While they do have to pay licences etc for MS Office, they don't really need to provide training in most corporations as Office knowledge is an expected skill to have, and most IT depts are familiar with it too.

Which brings me to the fact that the real key to having the oft-heralded Year Of Linux, is to have a Year of the Office Replacement first. (I'm not sure that Open Office is currently anywhere near that happening). MS Office / Exchange are the whole key to Microsoft's dominance, not the OS. Find a viable solution for that, and Linux will follow.

Re:I don't get it... (5, Interesting)

Kt.foss.zealot (1442361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284737)

I don't think it's just me,.. but I was pretty much crippled when forced to use Microsoft Office Suite 2007 at work for the first week or so. The whole ribbon bullshit interface just seems completely counter-intuitive to me. Not to mention the unexpected way Microsoft Word 2007 handles simple things, It seems like I spend 20 minutes writing a document, and hours trying to make an unwanted line-gap go away, or trying to figure out some stupid header or footer issue. Somehow even LaTeX seems easier to use. Anyway, OpenOffice seems pretty intuitive to me for most uses, such as simple text editing, which is what most people sans-OCD do pretty easily anyway on pretty much any text editor. While the total cost of migrating to OpenOffice in most offices is most definately not 0, it's probably not higher than Microsoft Licenseing fees, and even if they were I think in the long run it could still save the company money, as most users have to re-learn MS Office every few years anyway.

Re:I don't get it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26285153)

Sad how slashdot standards have sunk. It used to be that technically minded people used to be in the majority, now we have people that get totally confused with the some measly ms office interface changes. Something which low level office assistants, secretaries got used to in my office within a couple of hours.

It used to be that to fix a problem someone would just tell you to change a piece of code and recompile it. I wonder how this new generation can handle that. Feels like something of value has been lost. :(

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285421)

The differences from a user perspective between msoffice 2003 and 2007 are actually bigger than between msoffice 2003 and openoffice 2/3... If it only takes a few hours for the average office assistant to get used to some changes, then the cost of migration to openoffice would be pretty small.

Re:I don't get it... (1, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285655)

The interface of a mature product shouldn't be subject
to extreme gratuitous changes. This is one key area where
something like vi or emacs soundly beats the likes of
msoffice. People should stop putting up with this crap.
"Stop the madness" and demand a good reason why the UI
of msoffice isn't the same as it was 10 years ago.

Nevermind the differences between this years and last
year's version of msoffice.

Change for it's own sake is just assinine. Putting up
with it out of some sort of "geek machismo" is similarly
assinine.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26285709)

Summary: "Get off my lawn"

Re:I don't get it... (1)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285893)

The fact that you can talk about how "crippling" the ribbon interface was for you (which was very well-received at the university I work at, by staff and students alike) while also touting the ease-of-use of LaTeX says a lot more about you than anything else... You are probably right about retraining fees next to licensing fees, though.

Re:I don't get it... (3, Informative)

1mck (861167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284887)

I really don't accept your statement that "OpenOffice wouldn't be free in accounting terms as there would be training and admin costs on top of that." Just about every office suite is basically the same, and it doesn't matter what software package that you give your people because there will "always" be training involved. The only difference here is that OpenOffice is free. I can't begin to tell you the amount of time that I had to spend training people on Microsoft Office on just the basic functions, so it wouldn't have mattered if it was OpenOffice, or Microsoft Office because most of people out there don't have a clue. Most of them don't even use any advanced features, so in reality they could just use Google Docs...but, I'd have to train them on that too;-)

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285239)

My point exactly. 90% of all users don't need (or understand) MS Word. They can get by with Notepad.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26285317)

I see this as a great culling exercise. Switch to OpenOffice. The people who need training are summarily fired. Done and done.

Re:I don't get it... (2, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285439)

Training is expensive, and there would be a re-productivity curve for employees too, and thus a resultant increased cost again.

Actually, our organization recently upgraded MS Office and had to go through the retraining costs because of those stupid "ribbon" interfaces. The newer release is rather radically different from older releases, so the issue of retraining costs is moot.

In addition to that, Open Office actually maintains a better user interface compatability with older releases of MS Office than Office itself does.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285755)

Office 2007 means the training cost is just as high for office now though.

Re:I don't get it... (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285895)

Training? You must work in some different office to everyone else. No-one gets training in the latest weird shit MS Office pulls. I'd like evidence that such training is widespread, or even happens.

Equivalency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26285075)

That is only if the products in fact are equivalent. I would not say OpenOffice is on par with Office 2007 in any terms. Perhaps Office 2000's lightest edition, you get those for 10EUR from internet auctions.

Re:I don't get it... (2, Informative)

MonkeyOnATypewriter (1361269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284393)

I think that says that 200 - 0 = 200 (so the OO.org costs less than Microsoft Office... with about $200)

Re:I don't get it... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284725)

Total cost rather than just the cost of the software. This may include training, support, etc.

Re:I don't get it... (2, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285135)

We pay $400 per license for MS Office here at work.

Re:I don't get it... (3, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285801)

Is it worth it for what you do with it?

Zzzzzz (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284303)

Of the 10, 9 are merely updates of existing products - nothing new here.

Android *is* new - but is hardly newsworthy by now.

Re:Zzzzzz (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284407)

>merely updates of existing products - nothing new here.

Put this into up-to-the-minute context. With ZUNEs going to comas around the world [msn.com] , OSPs of any ilk shine, baby, shine - now, isn't that newsworthy!!!

Re:Zzzzzz (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284427)

1 is Open Office, 1 is an open office derivative. 1 is a website. 1 is firefox 3. 1 is Android. The rest are linux distros.

Re:Zzzzzz (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284487)

Yeah, I could write an article right now about what would be coolest in 2009
1. Ubuntu 9.10
2. Ubuntu 9.4
3. Fedora 10
4. Firefox 4
5. JeOS 2
6. Open Suse 11
...

And I wonder, why did they forget the service packs, IIRC Open Suse 10 SP2 was released this year.

TFA is a non-story.

Re:Zzzzzz (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285269)

Yeah, I could write an article right now about what would be coolest in 2009

Dude, don't forget Thunderbird 3! At least, I *hope* it'll be out in 2009. *sigh*

Re:Zzzzzz (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284495)

Thanks for that. I tried to RTFA and found it was one of those "one paragraph and ten thoudsand ads per screen" sites so I didn't go any farther.

How can you trust any tech site with a gawdoffal layout like that? Pathetic!

Re:Zzzzzz (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284631)

Plus Ubuntu's on the list twice. So here's the article reproduced verbatim, sans ads, just as a giant middle finger extended in the direction of CRN and all the other assbags using this format these days.

OpenOffice.org 3.0

The popular -- and free -- open source productivity suite hit its milestone 3.0 version in 2008, making it more clear than ever that its functionality and compatibility with Microsoft Office (including OpenOffice Impress, which is PowerPoint compatible) make it a force to be reckoned with. With an acquisition cost of between $150 and $200 less than Microsoft Office 2007, it could have a big year in a down economy in 2009.

IBM Lotus Symphony

IBM has taken great pains to position itself as more of a middleware company than a desktop productivity software company, but diverged from that path a bit in 2008. By launching and upgrading its IBM Lotus Symphony suite of productivity apps based on OpenOffice.org, IBM is once again using the Lotus brand to take aim against Microsoft on the desktop.

Firefox 3.0

Die-hard Firefox users showed thanks for the Mozilla community's efforts to eliminate memory leaks and other annoyances in the most recent iterations of the open-source browser. Features like its "awesome bar" are also helping it continue to gain market share against Microsoft Internet Explorer, even as it's fending off new challenges from Google's new Chrome browser.

Laconica

If microblogging site Twitter became the social networking smash of 2008, 2009 could be a great year for the open-source microblogging platform called Laconica. The best-known site using that code, Identi.ca, allows communication through browsers, e-mail and SMS messaging -- giving a powerful, free alternative to those seeking to build their own social networking or microblogging platforms.

Fedora 9

Test Center highlighted three intriguing aspects for Fedora 9: the new desktop schemes, the new package management system and back-end improvements to memory usage and performance. On the desktop front, Fedora 9 Beta offers GNOME 2.22 and KDE 4.0.2 as the defaults. GNOME 2.22 in Fedora 9 has better file system performance, security improvements and the ability to manage power right at the login screen (quite handy on a laptop). There's also better Bluetooth integration, especially for Palm devices.

Ubuntu 8.10

Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop Edition, nicknamed "Intrepid Ibex," provides so much functionality and ease of use, at zero cost of acquisition, that it is really impossible to ignore. For anyone or any business not tied to Microsoft legacy desktop applications, Ubuntu 8.10 may realistically be considered a smarter choice in many scenarios.

OpenSuSE 11

Novell didn't launch a new version of its SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop in 2008, but it did shepherd the OpenSuSE community that delivered OpenSuSE 11. OpenSUSE is powerful, and improvements in usability, performance and stability should attract and win back users from other Linux distributions. There is some business advantage to consider OpenSUSE instead of Ubuntu or Fedora because of Novell's relationship with Microsoft, such as the tweaks to OpenOffice.org that make document conversion and migration easier, as well as the hypervisor adapter support. OpenSUSE is probably best for power users, those who can take advantage of the virtualization support and those with more experience using Linux.

Novell JeOS

SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS (pronounced "juice"), the beta "Just enough" operating system from Novell is a lightweight and barebones version of the company's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The code base is SLES 10 Service Pack 2. The stripped-down operating system is intended specifically for virtual appliances. Applications certified to run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server will carry that certification onto the JeOS platform as well.

Ubuntu 8.04

A big difference between Windows and Ubuntu (besides that Ubuntu is free) is that Canonical, which oversees Ubuntu's development, provides new releases every six months. With Ubuntu 8.04, also known as "Hardy Heron," Canonical will provide support and updates through 2011 -- making it its "LTS" (long-term support release.)

It's also the first Ubuntu OS that provided rich support for Wubi -- a Windows-based installer that writes the entire Ubuntu OS as a file on a Windows machine. With Wubi, there is no partitioning of the disk drive, so Ubuntu can be installed onto an existing Windows machine without losing any data. Just as Boot Camp brought the Mac to Windows users, users interested in Linux but uncomfortable about losing legacy Windows apps now have a painless option at their fingertips.

Android

Android, the Google-driven open source platform for mobile devices, jumped into the market in 2008 with the clear aim of taking on Apple's iPhone platform. For developers, Android opens up many doors and possibilities for creating mobile apps, and gives them control over items like remapping buttons and using hardware such as the GPS chip and Wi-Fi. Android changed the way technology makers approach the mobile and handset space, and real traction could be coming in 2009.

Re:Zzzzzz (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284807)

Thanks for that. I see that half of their coolest ten are all Linux. Not run on Linux, but ARE Linux!

I wish slashdot would quit posting interesting summaries of mediocre websites and stories.

Lotus Symphony (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285187)

The list fails. Lotus Symphony isn't OSS, though it is based off OpenOffice 1. They based it off OpenOffice 1 as opposed to the trunk for 3 at the time, because IBM didn't want to have Symphony a GPL product.

Re:Lotus Symphony (4, Informative)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285533)

The list fails. Lotus Symphony isn't OSS, though it is based off OpenOffice 1.

Indeed. Seeing Lotus Symphony on the second slide was enough to make me realise that these folks haven't done more than a minute of research, and that it's time to stop reading /., go outside, and make the most of the sunshine ...

Re:Zzzzzz (2, Insightful)

Justin Hopewell (1260242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284759)

Thanks for pointing that out. Took way longer to get through that list than it needed to. Especially with the lag between page loads.

Re:Zzzzzz (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284833)

Article has wrong title, should be: "1 Cheesy Way To Drive Up Your Ad Revenue"

Re:Zzzzzz (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285197)

Using adblock, it was merely "one paragraph per screen" -- I didn't even know that the site was ad-laden.

Re:Zzzzzz (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284513)

Even if they were new, five are Linux distributions. And that's not counting Android.

Yeah, Linux is cool, distributions are cool, but you'd think they would show some variety. Coolest one I've seen all year -- that is new -- is Archaeopteryx [blogspot.com] . Perhaps not a big deal, but weren't they doing the 10 coolest projects, not the 10 most important projects?

Re:Zzzzzz (1)

rk (6314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285423)

If you like stuff like this, you night want to give ChucK [princeton.edu] a test drive if you haven't seen it. It's a programming language written from the ground up to do audio work.

Android is cool but... (3, Informative)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284605)

Android is cool but does anyone know why they took out some of the beta functionality (like being able to get driving directions which are now expressly forbidden by the terms of service for the Android google maps API key)?

It seems like it would be fairly trivial to write a turn-by-turn voice app for Android if they still had the API to request driving directions. By knowing the location of the phone the program could easily find what segment of a route it's on (if any at all), see how far it is until the next instruction and then read the instruction using the text2speech library someone has already made.

As it stands, the only way I see of implementing such an app would be to have a webserver somewhere that would forward direction requests from the phone to google using the standard google maps javascript API and then return the directions back to the app. Very much a PITA if you ask me and might violate the terms of use of developing software on Android for all I know.

Re:Android is cool but... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284843)

Google Maps gets their maps from the same company that sells to GPS device makers.

GPS device makers pay a lot more than google, so as to get permission to use it for turn by turn.

Google would be violating their agreement if they did what you wanted them to.

Re:Android is cool but... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285159)

If I were to take a guess, it was at the request of cell phone carriers who advertise turn-by-turn directions as a unique feature of their phone network and/or charge separately for that feature.

Re:Android is cool but... (1)

Fluffy Bunnies (1055208) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285837)

I suspect it's due to pressure from whoever google buys their maps from. Basically, it's not cool to them to give out that kind of functionality for free. Nokia had to remove a feature from their maps where you could have the route and instructions displayed on the map while tracking your position with the GPS. The map makers (quite correctly) felt it would make people not want to buy the actual navigation package.

Re:Zzzzzz (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284879)

The ChannelWeb editor's colorful use of language has confused you. You are confusing the phrase "to come across the transom" with the phrase "to come blasting from the uterus trailed by a gusher of afterbirth".

More Importantly (2, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285331)

These are all projects with mainstream corporate backing.

In my opinion the list should include projects done by people who don't have vast sums of cash to back them.

I personally like this one (-1, Troll)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285485)

My personal favorite open source app is this one this one [smouch.net] . But I guess I'm just a bit picky....

TFA could use more in depthness (4, Interesting)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284305)

2 Ubuntus, 2 SuSes, a new Fedora.. and a host of applications that just version incremented this year, and a twitter clone.

Meh.

Not dissing the applications.. I think OO3 is a vast improvement, and newer versions of an OS is probably a good thing.. I was just hoping for stuff that wasn't just 'Newest release of MyFlavourHere linux based OS'

Re:TFA could use more in depthness (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284795)

More in depth? Heck they couldn't even bother themselves to add a link to the products. If they're that lazy a link to Distrowatch would've covered over half the entries.

I was going to say this is the first site I've seen that has more ad and navigation space than article space, but no, I've seen that before.

Spoiler (5, Informative)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284353)

The coolest are:
  1. OpenOffice
  2. IBM Lotus Symphony
  3. Firefox 3.0
  4. Laconica
  5. Fedora 9
  6. Ubuntu 8.10
  7. Open SuSe11
  8. Novell JeOS
  9. Ubuntu 8.04
  10. Android

Re:Spoiler (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284641)

Damn that FOSS, I tried to find a FOSS app named "ice" but google failed it. Ruined a perfectly good joke.

Programmers, get on that ICE project, ok?

Re:Spoiler (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284891)

Ice? [zeroc.com] ICE! [usq.edu.au] This is ex-Ice... [turnkey.com.au]

Sir, turn in your geek badge at the door. We will mail your belongings later.

Re:Spoiler (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284981)

How about icecast?

Re:Spoiler (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285033)

Why? It's already on that list: Firefox aka Iceweasel (Debian "fork" of Firefox).

Re:Spoiler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26285481)

http://www.icecast.org/

Close enough, and well-known.

For the lazy... Re:Spoiler (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284847)

The coolest are:

1 and 2: OpenOffice
3: Firefox
4: OSS Twitter clone that surely will surpass Twitter because Twitter is popular. (?)
5, 6, 7, 8, 9: Linux. (More specifically, Fedora, Ubuntu, Suse, Suse, Ubuntu)
10: Whatever Google released recently. What, it's hardware? Meh, leave it on the list, anyway.

Re:Spoiler (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26285177)

The coolest are:

  1. OpenOffice
  2. IBM Lotus Symphony
  3. Firefox 3.0
  4. Laconica
  5. Fedora 9
  6. Ubuntu 8.10
  7. Open SuSe11
  8. Novell JeOS
  9. Ubuntu 8.04
  10. Android

Firefox 3.0?! Where's IE 8!

not quite The 10 Coolest Open Source Products Of (2, Interesting)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284397)

open office, IBM Lotus Symphony

I didn't even read the the rest, dos not seem worth it. Why can't these list articles have sofware like this. [yorku.ca]

Re:not quite The 10 Coolest Open Source Products O (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284451)

yeah, theres quite a few innovative packages and systems out there.

I wouldnt feel right without posting my own work of art :)

http://maemo.org/downloads/product/OS2008/liqbase/ [maemo.org]

http://liqbase.net/ [liqbase.net]

Its the startings of a very touchable UI able to run on performance limited devices (and scaling right up to anything).

Re:not quite The 10 Coolest Open Source Products O (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284569)

Yeh lets turn this into some kind of ask-slashdot thread. Any one else have any cooler projects than the article.

not a 2008 project but (2, Interesting)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284403)

WinDirStat is my #1 favorite OSS by far and above anything else. This year I have used it a ton, and I even have a contribution budgeted for Feb. It's small, fast, useful and beautiful. Thank you WINDIRSTAT!

Re:not a 2008 project but (2, Informative)

nonewmsgs (1249950) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284471)

isn't that just a windows clone of the KDE program that does the same thing? Kdirstat (i think)

Re:not a 2008 project but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284873)

And us Gnome users/haters are still stuck using fucking Baobab. Gnome sucks.

Hello, I would like to dispute this list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284455)

My software is cooler because it produces a list of hot women. When I see the list I become a vampire. Then I fly about the moonlit night and steal virgins to drink their blood (in a Platonic, non-agressive way); this is why my software is the best. Thankyous, Ti,m,my the Italians/

WTH? (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284467)

5 of the 10 are just Linux distro's. Ubuntu 8.10 AND 8.04 were both on the list as seperate entries!?!? And Lotus Symphony, a version of OOo, was listed along with OOo as seperate products. For the most part this could have been condensed down to:

Linux, Firefox, OpenOffice, Android

Which is so boring a list that it's of no use to anyone actually using open source already.

transom? (1)

convolvatron (176505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284473)

why is open source crawling through the transom?

still cant get a key eh?

Top ten list (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284485)

hidden in 500 adds. That site just made my blacklist.

Re:Top ten list (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284805)

What ads?

huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284521)

Two different versions of Ubuntu on the list and yet no mentioning of the giant step forward that is Debian's Lenny? I'm disappointed.

Completely worthless (4, Informative)

IICV (652597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284523)

This list is entirely without any redeeming value. More than half of the "coolest" products are new versions of operating systems and applications (OMG they released Fedora 9! I may wet myself with glee!), and the rest of it includes useless things like what appears to be a Twitter clone and something IBM's branded as Lotus. Hell, they put Android on there, and that's a hardware platform that doesn't even have a killer app yet.

Ubuntu's on it twice for goodness' sakes! And the second time is the long-term service distribution, which is about as exciting as growing grass!

Normally I don't complain about the stuff that makes it to the front page, but this list is just a complete waste of absolutely everyone's time.

Re:Completely worthless (2, Funny)

monkeySauce (562927) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284709)

And the second time is the long-term service distribution, which is about as exciting as growing grass!

I think you mean about exciting as watching grass grow .

Growing grass on the other hand, is quite exciting to a lot of people; eg. drug dealers, pot heads, the DEA.

Re:Completely worthless (3, Funny)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284951)

Hank Hill

Re:Completely worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284987)

What? Is your pharmacist having a hobby of lawn care?

Re:Completely worthless (1)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284729)

...they put Android on there, and that's a hardware platform that doesn't even have a killer app yet

Android is an OS, not a hardware platform.

Re:Completely worthless (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284819)

Yeah, I meant to just say "platform". It seems the sheer, concentrated stupid in the article is contagious.

Re:Completely worthless (1)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285777)

Yeah, I agree. It almost would have been better if they just called it a collection of screenshots so we wouldn't have expected actual, meaningful content.

5 Distros, 2 being Ubuntu? (2, Interesting)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284535)

How about some individual projects? Amarok [kde.org] 2 came out in 2008. Other things that existed before but which improved mightily in '08 were:

Flock [flock.com] (released v2)
KDE Released 4x series, abysmal at first, but it's great now.
BasKet [kde.org] Probably doesn't belong on a Best Apps Ever list, but it is pretty useful. This existed before, but I just found it this year and it's great, and it has become a lot more stable for me through the year. Someone help get them to qt4!
There are lots of great apps out there that deserve some love this year.

The premise is flawed (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284659)

8 of the items listed are updates to existing open source projects, dating back as much as 10+ years. They can probably republish this article next year with minimal changes, which means it's kind of useless.

Open Source software is generally released early and often, so it's not likely to be cool or exciting when first released, and it slowly becomes more robust and feature-full over time. That doesn't fit into the "xxxx of 2008!" list.

GCC 4.3... (1)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284663)

I nominate GCC 4.3 for making everyone fix their C++ includes.

Blender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284691)

Blender is way cooler than most of those listed. And if you argue that it's just an update, Big Buck Bunny certainly isn't. And if that's not enough, these guys also delivered a game, Yo Frankie!

Clojure (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284693)

Not quite mainstream and obvious as the pointless list presented in TFA, but I gotta add: Clojure [clojure.org]

Clojure seems at first as Yet Another Lisp or Yet Another JVM Language or the general Yet Another New Programming Language, but once you scratch the surface you will discover it's an amazing engineering feat with groundbreaking design.

If thats the "10 coolest"... (0)

kimanaw (795600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284735)

...then open source is in deep trouble.

Clue for the TFA'a author: there are lots of very interesting open source projects that don't have a damn thing to do with Linux!

Re:If thats the "10 coolest"... (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284895)

Clue for the TFA'a author: there are lots of very interesting open source projects that don't have a damn thing to do with Linux!

Like what? I'd be interested in trying a few.

Re:If thats the "10 coolest"... (1)

kimanaw (795600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285073)

A leisurely stroll through Freshmeat [freshmeat.net] should be sufficient.

Of course, TFA's author apparently couldn't be bothered to do that either...

Re:If thats the "10 coolest"... (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285101)

A leisurely stroll through Freshmeat should be sufficient.

Not if you're looking for "10 coolest...".

THE GOGGLES, THEY DO NOTHING (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284745)

Jesus christ. I just got eye-raped by all the ads on that page. What're we talking here.. 1:10 ratio of content:crap?

GOOD LUCK WITH THE WEB2.0 SOON TO BE OUT OF BUSINESS WEBSITE

GNU/Linux (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284757)

The answer is: GNU/Linux! 2008 was the year of the Linux desktop!

I feel cheated (1)

Kt.foss.zealot (1442361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284849)

Why is Ubuntu listed twice? How are things that have been around for years the "coolest of 2008"? What's with all the distros? Desktop utilities and relatively normal GNU/Linux distros that have been around for some time are not the COOLEST products of 2008,.. Where are all the FOSS Games listed? Where is Nexuiz? Where is AlienArena? Where is KDE 4?

Junk (1)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284875)

This story is click-through junk and should not be on slashdot, even on a slow news day

Hey Timothy! (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284907)

You just got spammed by an ad-farm. Moron.

the product NOT on the list (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284935)

Why is the Internet not on the list?! Over half of it, anyway. FreeBSD. Linux. Apache. PHP. Embedded devices, routers, switches, wifi; A lot of this is open source too. They keep the networks running, and without their contributions it wouldn't exist. But who cares about infrastructure when--Oooh look, a kitty!

So, what they're saying is it was a lousy year? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284971)

Sorry, all I'm seeing here is redundancy. A handful of Linux distros, and a few attempts to replace existing commercial apps?

Where's the innovation?

-jcr

Re:So, what they're saying is it was a lousy year? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285005)

innovation occurs when the tools you have at hand do not suit the task you need it to do and you have the skills to do something about it :)

Windows and Linux and mac seem a bit stale.

What About These?! (2, Interesting)

Java Commando (726093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285163)

How did Stellarium [stellarium.org] and/or Celestia [shatters.net] *not* make this list!? If one's criteria is for "Cool" applications, these can't do anything but qualify.

worthless piece of shit article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26285201)

Yeah, the product review reads like one of those meaningless PC World article just advertising existing products trying to keep themselves fresh by just releasing new versions with unnecessary features.

Totally worthless shit. Shame on the writer.

Arduino (2, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285449)

I'd have to say that the most interesting "product" that I've seen this year is an electronics microcontroller platform called Arduino [arduino.cc] . It started pre-2008, but it has shot up in popularity and had a writeup in Wired this year. The board is open source (blueprints and source code are Creative Commons), and people are making a wide range of alternative form factors with special features.

cool? that's the same as hot - right? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285459)

Merely a list of the usual suspects.

Though I suspect the auhor was in a hurry (and the editor was asleep) as 5 of the ten are basically the same: linux distros.

In fact I have a feeling that, apart from the version numbers, this will also be the author's personal list for the 10 coolest / hottest products for 2009, 2010 ... Though it comes nowehere near being mine - nor probably yours, either

yawn!

Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Ubuntu... (2, Interesting)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285509)

I clicked on this article thinking I could maybe find some really cool open source piece of software that I haven't seen yet. I am completely unimpressed, the list is barely anything more than a bunch of Linux distros.

Here's my personal favorite open source project I discovered in 2008: Spring Engine http://spring.clan-sy.com/ [clan-sy.com]

my 2 cents

Won't read Ad Whore sites like that. (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285521)

Formula sites:

1. Post interesting sounding but meatless articles in the form of top 10 lists.

2. Divide the content into 12 parts -- opening, items 1-10, and conclusion.

3. Post pay per view or pay per click ads on each and every page.

4. Profit! While users limp through your lame site.

Not interested -- not even though I have ad-blocking that makes it a futile attempt.

Distro List? (1)

Baavgai (598847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285589)

Sorry, if half of your list is just Linux distro shoutouts, you fail.

A single linux item is tolerable, though still a cop out. Listing the same distro twice is just highlighting your mediocrity.

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