October 2014, “Staff Pick” Project of the Month – Miranda IM

For our September “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, we selected Miranda IM, an open source, multi-protocol instant messaging client designed to be very light on system resources, extremely fast, and customizable. Project leader, Robert Rainwater, who has been with Miranda IM since 2004, shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SF: Tell me about the Miranda IM project please.

Robert Rainwater (RR): Miranda IM is an instant messenger application created in 2000 by Roland Rabien (FigBug). The motto has always been “Smaller, Faster, Easier”. Today, the application supports communicating over many different services.

SF: What made you start this?

RR: Miranda IM, a clone of ICQ, was created by FigBug. At the time, ICQ was adding features that many folks considered unnecessary. So Miranda ICQ, which was renamed Miranda IM when more protocol support was added, was born with a minimalist design that focused on communicating over ICQ without any unwanted features. I personally came onto the project a few years later and have been the project leader for the last 10 years. My focus has been to continue to make Miranda IM a simple application with the ability to be as configurable as the user wants.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?

RR: I would like to think so. Many people use Miranda IM to communicate with one another daily.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?

RR: Users who want to communicate with other users and still be able to configure their client down to every last detail.

SF: What is the need for this particular instant messaging client?

RR: There are very few desktop clients that allow you to communicate over multiple protocols simultaneously.

SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using Miranda IM?

RR: Install it, play around with it, check out our Add-ons section to modify it, and then go to our forums to find help from other users.

SF: What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community?

RR: Miranda IM gets contributions directly from our community. Without the community there would not be a Miranda IM. We are always looking for ways to help our users as much as possible. Our forums provide a great way for users to get involved with the project directly and help other users. Our Add-ons section provides other developers with a platform that provides customizations directly to Miranda IM users.

SF: Have you all found that more frequent releases helps build up your community of users?

RR: Creating a huge user base has never been a priority for Miranda IM. We like to release things when we feel like they are stable. The Add-ons site allows other developers to provide updates outside of our release schedule so there is always something happening with the project.

SF: What was the first big thing that happened for your project?

RR: Version 0.1.0.0 added plugin support in 2001, which caused the project to explode with customizations. To this day, plugins are Miranda IM’s biggest feature.

SF: What helped make that happen?

RR: An early Miranda’ developer, Richard “Cyreve” Hughes, created this plugin system and it is the basis for the plugin system in use today.

SF: What was the net result for that event?

RR: The ability for non-Miranda IM developers to create their own plugins and customize Miranda IM with their own vision began with the plugin system. It is the reason we offer the Add-ons section to users today.

SF: What is the next big thing for Miranda IM?

RR: Miranda IM has never reached the elusive “1.0″ release after 14 years. Part of this reason is our aversion to roadmaps. We like to think there are no restrictions and timetables for what comes next. This means there is nothing to hold us back for any feature that we want to build. So only time will tell what that is!

SF: What resources do you need to make that happen?

RR: Our main resource is our community!

SF: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently for Miranda IM?

RR: Nothing. Mistakes are how you learn. Without them, there would be nothing to push us forward.

SF: Is there anything else we should know?

RR: I started out a regular user of Miranda and a few years later became the project leader. Don’t be hesitant to get involved in the project. Our users are what make this project active after 14 years!

[ Download Miranda IM ]

October 2014, “Community Choice” Project of the Month – PortableApps

For our September “Community Choice” Project of the Month, the community elected PortableApps.com, an open source, application launcher that you install directly to your USB or cloud drive and use on any PC. PortableApps.com creator, John Haller, shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SF: Tell me about the PortableApps.com project please.

PortableApps.com is designed to allow Windows apps to move with the user so people can take their own personal PC wherever they go. The apps as well as the platform to manage them (menu, app store, updater, backup, etc.) install portably, without needing to be ‘installed’ within Windows like standard apps. So, you can have all your own apps with all your own settings, customizations, email, bookmarks, passwords and more on your local machine, in a synced cloud drive, or on a portable device like a flash drive or external hard drive. They continue to work wherever you do on any Windows machine, as well as within Wine on Linux/BSD and Wine derivatives on Mac OS X.

SF: What made you start this?

It started a bit by accident when some users noticed that Firefox had a setting to point it to a specific location for its profile back in 2004. Someone else wondered if that could be used to run it from a flash drive. I packaged it up and made it available on my personal site and “Portable Firefox”, the first modern portable app, was born.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?

It has and then some. But we’ve been growing the vision along with the project over the years. Today, we’ve grown to include local installs for users who want an easy way to keep their apps and data independent of Windows, as well as cloud drive installs for users moving between machines or wanting to keep everything backed up all the time.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?

The apps and management platform can benefit all kinds of users. We’d originally envisioned it helping students as they moved between classes but it quickly grew to include travelers, military personnel, teachers, office workers, and others who wanted a complete PC on a flash drive as a backup.

SF: What is the need for this particular portable app sharing platform?

PortableApps.com is the world’s largest portable software project thanks to our developers and users. In addition to assisting the users, we’ve helped expose smaller apps to wider audiences and gotten more folks involved in open source software. We’ve even helped a couple of our developers get into college and land their first jobs. We’re expanding to make it even easier to portablize apps and have publishers get their apps to users, to make it easier for users to share the apps they love.

SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using PortableApps.com?

The easiest way to get started is to download the PortableApps.com Platform. It lets you setup a portable software environment on a local, cloud, or portable drive with an easy installer. From there, you can automatically download all the apps you need as well as the tools to package your own apps, help test the apps we’re working on, and contribute translations, all within your portable environment. We also keep complete documentation on the tools within our Developer section on the website. And if you need help packaging an app or getting things working, we have nearly 200,000 users in our online forums as well as live chat within your browser or IRC.

SF: What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community?

We’ve found that having transparency and allowing wider participation helps a lot when growing a community. Providing means to keep in touch like mailing lists, wiki pages on the website that all developers can update, and other participation tools. Listening to your users, translators, and contributors is important with any community but it’s even more so within open source projects. We’re expanding to include better source management tools and writing custom conversion tools (all open source, of course) to enable our translators to use online collaboration and translation tools because they’ve told us that that’s what works best for them.

SF: Have you all found that more frequent releases help build up your community of users?

Release early, release often is a mantra within open source and startup communities for a reason. It helps keep users, testers, developers, and translators engaged. We’ve had some periods of time over the last decade when we’ve held back on releases to make them bigger, with more of a wow factor, to generate more buzz. But it’s often been a mistake because, even if we publish the code and the plans, it disengages users and contributors. So, frequent betas to get new features out, bug fixes in, and new translations reviewed are key. And frequent stable releases, without being often enough to bug a user looking for a nice stable app, pair well with that.

SF: What was the first big thing that happened for your project?

Our first big thing was hitting the front page of Slashdot (aka getting “Slashdotted”). This was back when the apps were hosted on JohnHaller.com and it took my web server out pretty quickly. After that, we got “Dugg” as well (hitting the front page of Digg).

SF: What helped make that happen?

I think creating a tool that helped people both work and play that was useful to them. I hadn’t promoted it at the time other than posting about it back on the mozillazine forums looking for testers.

SF: What was the net result for that event?

The Slashdot and Digg postings helped generate enough interest to build a wider community and it’s been growing ever since.

SF: What is the next big thing for PortableApps.com?

The next big thing is twofold. First is to improve OS integration to the point that PortableApps.com can become the user’s main way to interface with all their apps. The second is adding in another tier of services so that users who like the product can help support the hosting, bandwidth, and development costs on an ongoing basis with a payment or subscription. This will help ensure that PortableApps.com keeps growing for the next 10 years. In the same vein, we’ll be debuting an online app store for commercial software so that users can use their favorite commercial apps alongside their open source and freeware apps. Open source fans can always set it to only show open source apps, of course.

SF: How long do you think that will take?

We’ve already partially completed setting up an infrastructure for a paid bandwidth tier for faster downloads around the world. We’re also exploring making cloud storage and online backup available directly to users from within the platform. We hope to roll out the first test releases for interested users by the end of the year. OS integration is improving with each release as well.

SF: Do you have the resources you need to make that happen?

We have some of them, but adding in the supported services is a way for us to get more resources to make the portable software experience better for everyone.

SF: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently for PortableApps.com?

There are two things I’d do differently. First, I’d shut up and listen more. Second, I’d start working on a plan for financial self-sufficiency immediately.

SF: Why?

Because working with a community of people from all over the world who speak different languages and who have different technical and cultural experiences amounts to different expectations, which is different than just making an app in your living room. It took me a few years early on to realize how much users, developers, testers, and translators bring to the table by and how difficult it is to make all that expertise, passion, and wants/needs gel into a coherent plan. It was a humbling experience but well worth it.

Also, I’d originally started PortableApps as a hobby, so its growth, along with the need for funds, bandwidth, servers, etc., was always one step ahead of us. Planning for self-sufficiency and future financial needs makes sense for any project that wants to be around even just a few years from when they start.

SF: Any reason you can’t do that now?

We are!

SF: Is there anything else we should know?

We’re very proud of our past accomplishments and optimistic about our future. We’re always looking for more developers, testers, and translators to join our team. And we need users, of course. Some of the best ideas start with someone using one of our tools and thinking “it would be even better if I could…”

I’d also like to express my gratitude to SourceForge for hosting us for all these years. We’re one of the top projects and all that bandwidth and exposure has helped grow the community we have today.

On behalf of everyone at PortableApps.com, we’re honored to be the SourceForge Project of the Month and we’re always happy when our work is appreciated. Thank you!

[ Download PortableApps.com ]

Projects of the Week, September 29, 2014

Here are the featured projects for the week, which appear on the front page of SourceForge.net:

Alt-F

Alt-F provides a free alternative firmware for the DLINK DNS-320/320L/321/323/325. Alt-F has Samba and NFS; supports ext2/3/4, VFAT, NTFS and ISO9660 filesystems; RAID 0, 1, 5 (with external USB disk) and JBOD; supports 2/3/4TB disks; rsync, ftp, sftp, ftps, ssh, lpd, DNS and DHCP servers, DDNS, fan and leds control, clean power up and down, and more.

[ Download Alt-F ]

TYPO3 Content Management Framework

TYPO3 is an enterprise class Web CMS written in PHP/MySQL. It’s designed to be extended with custom written back end modules and front end libraries for special functionality. It has very powerful integration of image manipulation.

[ Download TYPO3 Content Management Framework ]

Vtiger CRM

Vtiger CRM enables sales, support, and marketing teams to organize and collaborate to measurably improve customer experiences and business outcomes. Vtiger CRM also includes email, inventory, project management, and other tools, providing a complete the business management suite.

[ Download Vtiger CRM ]

Cyberfox

Cyberfox is a Mozilla-based Internet browser designed to take advantage of 64-bit architecture but a 32-bit version is also available. The application provides a higher performance when navigating your favorite pages. Compatible With Windows Vista x64, Windows 7 x64, Windows 8/8.x OS. Cyberfox uses windows 8 SDK.

[ Download Cyberfox ]

Ultimate Edition

Ultimate Edition Linux, previously “Ubuntu Ultimate Edition” is an Ubuntu remix for both new and experienced Linux sophisticates. We cater to a large base of *nix users including, but certainly not limited to gamers & low resource computers. We have a Ultimate Edition for virtually any user.

[ Download Ultimate Edition ]

gnuplot development

gnuplot a portable, multi-platform, command-line driven graphing utility. Features include 2D and 3D plotting, a huge number of output formats, interactive input or script-driven options, and a large set of scripted examples.

[ Download gnuplot development ]

D-Fend Reloaded

D-Fend Reloaded is a graphical environment for DOSBox. D-Fend Reloaded is a successor of the discontinued D-Fend. Both environments look alike and D-Fend Reloaded contains all features of D-Fend. Even the D-Fend config files can be used.

[ Download D-Fend Reloaded ]

gretl

gretl is a cross-platform software package for econometric analysis, written in the C programming language. Supported formats include: own XML data files; Comma Separated Values; Excel, Gnumeric, and Open Document worksheets; Stata .dta files; SPSS .sav files; Eviews workfiles; JMulTi data files; own format binary databases (allowing mixed data frequencies and series lengths), RATS 4 databases, and PC-Give databases.

[ Download gretl ]

Google Map Gps Cell Phone Tracker

Google Map Gps Cell Phone Tracker includes clients for IOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Java Me/J2ME cell phones. The project allows you to track cell phones periodically. For instance every minute or every five minutes. You can watch the cell phone being tracked in real time and you can store and reload routes easily. You have the choice of two server stacks. Either using asp.net and sql server or using php and mysql.

[ Download Google Map Gps Cell Phone Tracker ]

“Community Choice” Project of the Month Vote – November

The vote for November 2014 Community Choice SourceForge Project of the Month is now available, and will run until Nov 15, 2014 12:00 UTC:

Vote here for the Community Choice SourceForge Project of the Month for November 2014

PortableApps

PortableApps.com is the world’s most popular portable software solution allowing you to take your favorite software with you. A fully open source and free platform, it works in any cloud drive folder (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc), on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, memory card, portable hard drive, etc), or from your local hard drive. With millions of users all over the world and a full collection of open source software (as well as freeware and commercial software), PortableApps.com is the most complete solution for life on the go.

[ Download PortableApps ]

Ares Galaxy

Ares Galaxy is a free, open source BitTorrent and chat program that uses its own decentralized supernode/leaf network. Ares Galaxy has a simple, quick access interface with a built in audio/video viewer. Ares allows you to share any digital file including images, audio, video, software, documents, etc. You may now easily publish your files through the Ares’ peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

[ Download Ares Galaxy ]

Media Player Classic Home Cinema

MPC-HC is an extremely light-weight, open source media player for Windows®. It supports all common video and audio file formats available for playback. We are 100% spyware free, there are no advertisements or toolbars.

[ Download Media Player Classic Home Cinema ]

SMPlayer

SMPlayer is a free media player for Windows and Linux with built-in codecs that can also play and download YouTube videos. One of the most interesting features of SMPlayer is that it remembers the settings of all files you play. SMPlayer is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the award-winning MPlayer, which is capable of playing almost all known video and audio formats.

[ Download SMPlayer ]

Ubuntuzilla

The Ubuntuzilla project hosts an APT repository with .deb repacks of the latest official release versions of Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla SeaMonkey, and Mozilla Thunderbird. The repository should work on any APT-based distribution, including Ubuntu and Debian descendants. Although the project was born on Ubuntu forums, it is not really specific to Ubuntu.

[ Download Ubuntuzilla ]

Alt-F

Alt-F provides a free alternative firmware for the DLINK DNS-320/320L/321/323/325. Alt-F has Samba and NFS; supports ext2/3/4, VFAT, NTFS, and ISO9660 filesystems; RAID 0, 1, 5 (with external USB disk) and JBOD; supports 2/3/4TB disks; rsync, ftp, sftp, ftps, ssh, lpd, DNS ,and DHCP servers, DDNS, fan and leds control, clean power up and down, and more. Alt-F has a set of comprehensive administering web pages so you don’t need to use the command line to configure it. And Alt-F also supports additional packages on disk, including ffp packages, which you can install, update, and uninstall using the administering web pages.

[ Download Alt-F ]


PocketMine-MP

PocketMine-MP is the server software for Minecraft Pocket Edition. It has support for plugins to extend it and add new features or change default ones. The entire server is done in PHP, and has been tested, profiled, and optimized to run smoothly. It is available on Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS.

[ Download
PocketMine-MP
]


PDF Split and Merge

PDF Split and Merge (PDFsam) is an easy-to-use tool with graphical and command line interfaces to split, merge, mix, and rotate your PDF documents.

[ Download PDF Split and Merge ]


usm

Usm is a unified slackware package manager that handles automatic dependency resolution. It unifies various package repositories including slackware, slacky, ponce, salix, and alien. It also supports slackbuilds.org and will build from source.

[ Download usm ]

Projects of the Week, September 22, 2014

Here are the featured projects for the week, which appear on the front page of SourceForge.net:

Alt-F

Alt-F provides a free alternative firmware for the DLINK DNS-320/320L/321/323/325. Alt-F has Samba and NFS; supports ext2/3/4, VFAT, NTFS and ISO9660 filesystems; RAID 0, 1, 5 (with external USB disk) and JBOD; supports 2/3/4TB disks; rsync, ftp, sftp, ftps, ssh, lpd, DNS and DHCP servers, DDNS, fan and leds control, clean power up and down, and more.

[ Download Alt-F ]

ScummVM

ScummVM is a cross-platform interpreter for many point-and-click adventure games like LucasArts SCUMM games, many of Sierra’s AGI and SCI games, many of Humongous Entertainment’s children’s SCUMM games, and more.

[ Download ScummVM ]

winPenPack: Portable Software Collection

winPenPack is a project that collects the most frequently used and most popular open source applications made portable so that they can be executed without installation from any USB Flash Drive or Hard Disk. The winPenPack suites offer a wide range of portable applications like office tools, Internet tools, multimedia tools, development tools, security applications, and other frequently used utilities. Everything you need, completely free, open source, and portable!

[ Download winPenPack: Portable Software Collection ]

MediaPortal

MediaPortal turns your PC into a very advanced MediaCenter / HTPC. It allows you to listen to your favorite music & radio, watch and store your videos and DVDs, view, schedule and record live TV as a digital video recorder, and much more.

[ Download MediaPortal ]

Vtiger CRM

Vtiger CRM enables sales, support, and marketing teams to organize and collaborate to measurably improve customer experiences and business outcomes. Vtiger CRM also includes email, inventory, project management, and other tools, providing a complete the business management suite.

[ Download Vtiger CRM ]

TEncoder Video Converter

TEncoder is a multithreaded video and audio converter that uses MEncoder, MPlayer and FFMpeg. It can download video/audio from video sites like youtube. I can also rip unprotected DVDs. It can convert almost every video and audio type to each other. Subtitles with same name as video can be hard-coded into video. Up to 8 simultaneous encoders can be run so encoding time decreases. You can select between multiple audio and subtitle tracks. Extracting video or audio content is possible. Edit subtitle and audio delays and part of video that will be encoded. Effects like deinterlacing or cropping can be applied to videos.

[ Download TEncoder Video Converter ]

PocketMine-MP

PocketMine-MP is the server software for Minecraft: Pocket Edition. It has support for Plugins to extend it and add new features, or change default ones. The entire server is done in PHP, and has been tested, profiled, and optimized to run smoothly. It is available on Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS.

[ Download PocketMine-MP ]

Cyberfox

Cyberfox is a Mozilla-based Internet browser designed to take advantage of 64-bit architecture but a 32-bit version is also available. The application provides a higher performance when navigating your favorite pages. Compatible With Windows Vista x64, Windows 7 x64, Windows 8/8.x OS. Cyberfox uses windows 8 SDK.

[ Download Cyberfox ]

XBian

XBian is a small, fast, and lightweight media center distro for the Raspberry Pi, based on a minimal Raspbian image. Our slogan is “XBMC on Raspberry Pi, the bleeding edge” as our main focus is delivering the fastest XBMC solution for the Raspberry Pi.

[ Download XBian ]