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Bossie Awards 2010: The best open source software of the year

Aug 25, 2010, 18:37 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Wayner)

"It is now roughly 40-plus years since Richard Stallman released his text editor with the words "Emacs General Public License" in the documentation and 20 some years since the world first saw the phrase "Gnu General Public License." Back in those days, finding the best open source software was relatively simple. There was Emacs, and then came vi. Choosing between them was never easy, and many still argue over the best editor.

"In 2010, the choices aren't any easier, and now there are many, many more packages available. Sourceforge.net claims more than 310,000 projects and GitHub more than 1 million. Before going much further, let us apologize profusely for not sorting through the millions of projects to find all of the very best.

"If finding all of the absolute best piles of code isn't possible, then let me be more precise. The word "best" here can mean many things. It is sometimes equivalent to "most promising," "most surprising", "most subversive," "most unnerving," "most opportune," "most happening," or some weird, inchoate mixture of them all. The one thing it always means is "most useful" -- to developers, IT administrators, and users on a business network."

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