Archive | Project of the Month RSS for this section

April 2015, “Staff Pick” Project of the Month – GNS3

For our April “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, we selected GNS3, a graphical network simulator that allows you to design complex network topologies. The GNS3 team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): Tell me about the GNS3 project please.

GNS3 Team: GNS3 is a network emulation platform used to build and test multi-vendor computer networks.

SF: What made you start this?

GNS3 Team: Jeremy, the creator and CTO, initially came up with the idea for his university thesis project. He wanted a platform that he could use to easily train for his certifications but could not find one. So he created it himself.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?

GNS3 Team: Yes, and even more so. It started as a simple training tool and now is being used to build networks for Fortune 500 companies.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?

GNS3 Team: Network professionals, and soon-to-be network professionals, who want a better way to build and test computer networks.

SF: What is the need for this graphical network simulator?

GNS3 Team: Building networks is an expensive and laborious task. GNS3 reduces costs by 90% and decreases time to working production by over 30%.

SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using GNS3?

GNS3 Team: Go to The Jungle and learn from the GNS3 experts. Get your hands on some labs, read the documentation, and start playing around with the software.

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

GNS3 Team: In order:

  1. Create great software.
  2. Provide a place for users to connect and share information.
  3. Use community feedback given to build even better software.
  4. Repeat.

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

GNS3 Team: We have done more releases in the past 12 months than we have done in the previous 6 years. Quality releases are better than the quantity of releases. But being quick at fixing bugs is crucial.

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

GNS3 Team: In 2011 things started really taking off and, honestly, we have no idea why. The best thing that has happened was big network vendors like Huawei, Cisco, HP, and Juniper started releasing their own products like GNS3. This put more technology out into the environment and allowed us to integrate systems that we couldn’t before. As these big companies innovate, we are able to integrate and expand our software offering.

SF: What helped make that happen?

GNS3 Team: Seeing the success of GNS3 made these big companies take notice and want their own. Also, their customers are using the GNS3 software and were requesting their own.

SF: What was the net result for that event?

GNS3 Team: GNS3 is the sum of all those parts created by other vendors because we have the ability to integrate their systems into our platform.

SF: What is the next big thing for GNS3?

GNS3 Team: Taking the existing platform and expanding it into an all-in-one VM, to “Take it anywhere, put it anywhere, use it anywhere”.

SF: How long do you think that will take?

GNS3 Team: Work has already begun and we have working prototypes. Within the year it should be released.

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

GNS3 Team: Yes, along with major partnerships to help back it.

SF: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently for GNS3?

GNS3 Team: Taken it seriously at the start. It wasn’t until 2014 that we knew there was something special about the software and community. If we had started taking it seriously back in 2011, who knows where we would be now.

SF: Why?

GNS3 Team: That is when things started to really take off for GNS3 in terms of usage.

SF: Any reason you can’t do that now?

GNS3 Team: We can. We have a full time team of developers and a support infrastructure. We’re pushing this project very hard!

SF: Is there anything else we should know?

GNS3 Team: For more info, check out our website.

[ Download GNS3 ]

April 2015, “Community Choice” Project of the Month – Simutrans

For our April “Community Choice” Project of the Month, the community elected Simutrans, a cross-platform simulation game. The Simutrans team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): Tell me about the Simutrans project please.

Simutrans Team: Simutrans is a game about transporting stuff. You are in control of a transport company and have to satisfy demands for transport from cities and factories. Compared to all other similar games, Simutrans probably has the most sophisticated simulation (i.e. passengers decide on their destination before traveling and factories only produce when they have enough resources).

The Simutrans engine is very flexible and can be customized with different graphics and varying levels of economic challenges. Because we use isometric sprites, it is very easy to have your favorite item running in a simulation. Simutrans is focused on performance but with as much flexibility or “configurability” as possible. We always listen to our community, especially our graphic artists, about how to provide a better experience and improve graphic options. We also have a dedicated community fork that we call Simutrans Experimental, it’s a kind of extended version that offers many more options for controlling your company vehicles and resources, but our standard version offers the best performance.

Simutrans does not have a definitive leader but Markus Prissendorf (prissi) is the acting leader, due to his long term contributions and knowledge of our code base. There are several other folks that have a major say on what is included in Simutrans but we are actually quite democratic; if either the coding team or the community show big support for something it gets included. The only things that may stop inclusion in the code is either poor performance or bad coding.

SF: What made you start this?

Simutrans Team: In 1997 the original creator of Simutrans, Hansjörg Malthaner (hajo), who is no longer with us, wanted to learn Object Oriented Design and Programming in C++ by creating a new version transportation simulator because he was displeased with some aspects of Transport Tycoon, especially the AI. Usability for other users was not a goal while he learned OOD & OOP, as it was a private project, but this changed when he decided to let some friends enjoy Simutrans.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?

Simutrans Team: Yes, for quite some time already. Until about 2005 it was the only free and continuously improved transport game. At the beginning Simutrans only had trains, cars, and ships but now it has almost any transportation type. Because Simutrans predated things like the Standard template library, it has its own OOP templates for most stuff.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?

Simutrans Team: Anyone who is not in a hurry because there are several creative ways people play Simutrans. The standard way to play is with a transportation simulator, which requires that you build a company and deliver things around the map to win money. However, there is also sandbox gaming for people who just like to deliver things and build scenery. You can play alone or together with others via servers. Also, there are people who like to contribute artistically. In Simutrans it is very easy to add you own object (car, house, tree, plane) and share it. People like to contribute to Simutrans in more ways than one because some people’s passions are more in line with coding or drawing than gaming, and they simply enjoy seeing their graphics or code running in Simutrans.

SF: What is the need for this cross-platform, transportation simulation game?

Simutrans Team: Simutrans is cross platform ( we have been since 1997, including Beos) so the code is highly portable. Simutrans has a graphics library (SDL or Allegro) and a C++ compiler, including AmigaOS and many more. The simulation does not force player’ behavior and we do not force players to use a certain platform either.

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

Simutrans Team: Curiosity. You can read the in-game help files by pressing F1 or clicking on the question marks. If you have ever been fascinated by a steam engine, a plane, or train, then Simutrans is for you, that may be why 90% of our community is male.

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

Simutrans Team: We listen to our community politely and we reward long term contributions by a “devotee group”, as a kind of special honor. We are always electing new devotees by holding elections that are voted on by other devotees.

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

Simutrans Team:  A huge part of our active community use our nightly builds because they are so stable; yet, it’s worth mentioning that our community existed long before we went Open Source in 2006.

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

Simutrans Team: At the end of 2004, Hajo (the original developer) retired while the project was still closed source but, by 2006, prissi took over and made Simutrans Open Source (nearly 11 years ago!). This really helped, along with some new graphic sets!

SF: What helped make that happen?

Simutrans Team: In hindsight going Open Source  (i.e. convincing the founder to agree to Open Source).

SF: What was the net result of that event?

Simutrans Team: Lots of growth in the many different directions, like new park sets, new features, nightly builds, etc.

SF: What is the next big thing for Simutrans?

Simutrans Team: Simutrans is quite mature. But we get a lot of requests to to go 3D.

SF: How long do you think that will take?

Simutrans Team: Hard to say. I think a rewrite will be easier, so it might only be a Simutrans in name. That would take at least a year. Then a lot of good models would be needed.

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

Simutrans Team: Some members tried but found severe limitations. Also getting suitable models is not trivial.

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

Simutrans Team: Maybe using Java instead of C to include portability and network support from the start. Also nowadays one would use 3D instead isometric sprites.

SF: Why?

Simutrans Team: Games have become more visual oriented. So 3D is probably a must have today.

SF: Any reason you can’t do that now?

Simutrans Team: Simutrans can be played on maps with 5000 x 5000 tiles, which easily have tens of million of objects. This may push a Java garbage collector to its limit. Also the number of different graphics (houses, cars, etc.) still exceeds the texture memory of typical graphic adapters.

SF: Is there anything else we should know?

Simutrans Team: Not that I can think about right now. Enjoy playing!

[ Download Simutrans ]

March 2015, “Staff Pick” Project of the Month – ProjectLibre

For our March “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, we selected ProjectLibre, an open source and compatible alternative to Microsoft Project. The ProjectLibre team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): Tell me about the ProjectLibre project please.

ProjectLibre Team: ProjectLibre is an open source alternative to Microsoft Project. Our functionality mirrors Microsoft in a way since you can simply open existing MS Project files in ProjectLibre. It is available on Linux, Mac, or Windows. ProjectLibre is the culmination of long careers in the project management software industry. The two founders are Marc O’Brien and Laurent Chretienneau. We have been innovating in the project management software industry since the Mainframe and DOS software era. Our mission is to provide an open source alternative to Microsoft Project. There are many ‘lite’ project management solutions but ProjectLibre is the only solution that has the full feature set to replicate Microsoft Project’s functionality.

SF: What made you start this?

ProjectLibre Team: We have a passion for the project management marketplace. We are also the founders of WebProject and Projity, which were both acquired by large organizations, but the vision of making a global impact with an open source replacement of Microsoft Project was impacted with each acquisition. We are in this for the long term and are effectively making a difference.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?

ProjectLibre Team: Yes, that is a good question and we are thankful the vision is being achieved and exceeded. ProjectLibre has over 1,400,000 downloads in over 200 countries. We are continuing to make improvements and will be release a complimentary cloud solution this year.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?

ProjectLibre Team: The project management world is being held captive by a Windows only solution from Microsoft that costs over $1,300 per desktop copy, which does not cover the entire requirement stack such as the Project Server and many other components. This is very expensive! ProjectLibre still has roadmap features to complete but for no charge effectively project managers around the world can manage their projects without going broke. They can funnel their cash resources into their core business and not management software.

SF: What is the need for this project management software?

ProjectLibre Team: There are over 60,000 people each month downloading in over 200 countries to manage their projects. They can manage schedules, resources, and costs at a very high level. There are pharmaceutical, construction, environmental, government, and other industries. The government of Laos is using ProjectLibre to manage the building of schools. The Clinton Foundation and other non-profits are using ProjectLibre in Africa for NGO programs in agriculture and other areas. We are making a major impact! Our website includes an impressive list of Fortune 500 companies that use ProjectLibre everyday.

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

ProjectLibre Team: Our users vary from small projects to major initiatives. We encourage users to become community members at http://www.projectlibre.org. There are great discussion forums where community members answer questions and post questions. We also have documentation and videos available at the community site to help you get started and get the most out of ProjectLibre.

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

ProjectLibre Team: This is very important for open source initiatives. We have a community site, with over 60,000 community members who contribute. One of our goals for this year is to engage further with the community. We recently launched an improved website and want to continue this work to engage further with ProjectLibre’s amazing global community.

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

ProjectLibre Team: We do not have frequent releases. ProjectLibre is undergoing a complete rewrite to make it modular. This will have long-term benefits for the community and allow for extensions/integrations to be contributed. This process has impacted our ability to have frequent releases of the current project but in the future we certainly will!

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

ProjectLibre Team: The initial release was such a monumental effort from the team. It was recognized by SourceForge, which greatly helped bring wanted attention to our solution. InfoWorld subsequently gave us a “Best of Open Source” award and that also helped. SourceForge’s support is truly appreciated and has been an important part of our success.

SF: What helped make that happen?

ProjectLibre Team: The ProjectLibre team is truly unique. Our domain expertise is unparalleled for having innovated for decades in the project management marketplace. We have taken that domain expertise and have devoted ourselves to offering the global community a FOSS solution.

SF: What is the next big thing for ProjectLibre?

ProjectLibre Team: ProjectLibre is breaking the news here. We will be releasing the modular rewrite of ProjectLibre on the desktop. We will also be releasing a cloud version and are working on hosting options. There will be a companion cloud solution called PPMLibre, which will allow enterprises to manage their entire portfolio of projects. We are well into both initiatives but have not announced a release date.

SF: How long do you think that will take?

ProjectLibre Team: Great question but we are not in a position to announce the release date yet. We are using it internally and demos are impressive but I get in trouble every time I preview it because it looks good already. That’s why the team has asked me stop previewing it until we have an official release date.

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

ProjectLibre Team: ProjectLibre is very complex software. The code is complicated and the domain expertise adds to the complexity. We are hoping the modular rewrite will allow for more community contributions but at this point it is limited. It has been a struggle, as we do not have corporate sponsorship or revenue. We will make it happen but it has been difficult. This is a testament to the team’s commitment to ProjectLibre!

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

ProjectLibre Team: One thing I would never do is to choose a different co-founder. I do all the public facing work for ProjectLibre but Laurent, who leads the development efforts, is truly irreplaceable. We have worked together for many years. Our community is and I am so fortunate that Laurent is passionate about ProjectLibre!

SF: Is there anything else we should know?

ProjectLibre Team: ProjectLibre has made a difference globally with downloads in every corner of the globe. Our user stories inspire us and we are dedicated to ProjectLibre for the long haul. We hope the cloud version of both ProjectLibre and PPMLibre will allow us to accelerate our core mission.

If you have a user story to share, please send it to info@projectlibre.org. We’d love to hear from you!

[ Download ProjectLibre ]

March 2015, “Community Choice” Project of the Month – GnuCash

For our March “Community Choice” Project of the Month, the community elected GnuCash, an easy-to-use personal and small-business finance manager with a checkbook like appearance. The GnuCash team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): Tell me about the GnuCash project please.

GnuCash Team: GnuCash is a personal and small-business, single-user, double-entry bookkeeping software application based on standard accounting principles, with a wide variety of financial and accounting reports to help you get a clear picture of your finances. GnuCash is a mature project with almost twenty years of development and is also a part of the GNU project to build a free software operating system.

SF: What made you start this?

GnuCash Team: GnuCash started as a port of the older X-Accountant software package, with a modern Gtk+ GUI toolkit that runs on GNU/Linux (and others). At the time, a free software accounting program was considered essential to the GNU project.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?

GnuCash Team: Yes, the original vision was to support single users’ accounting needs and this has been achieved.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?

GnuCash Team: Anyone who needs to keep track of their finances, whether it’s a single user, a small business, a charity fundraiser, or anyone that prefers to use a free software solution instead of a commercial or closed-source solution.

SF: What is the need for this personal and small-business -accounting software?

GnuCash Team: If you’ve ever paid taxes, you’ve keenly felt the need for good financial record keeping. If you’ve run a small business, you’ve had to keep detailed records of your business transactions such as invoices, vendors, customers, budgets, etc. GnuCash can help with both personal and small business accounting needs.

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

GnuCash Team: The best way to get the most out of GnuCash is to use it according to the double-entry bookkeeping principles it has been designed for by using the five basic types of accounts, and debits and credits between them, as the building blocks of your financial record-keeping. GnuCash uses your accounting transaction records to build detailed reports of your accounts.

To that end, we have an excellent concept-based guide that walks you through all the accounting activities you can do using GnuCash.

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

GnuCash Team: Our project has a very active user mailing list (gnucash-user@gnucash.org) where both new and experienced users ask questions, swap tips, and help each other. We also have an active developer mailing list (gnucash-devel@gnucash.org) where GnuCash developers collaborate on making improvements to GnuCash. Last year the developers migrated the project repository to the Git version control system to try to lower barriers to entry for potential contributors.

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

GnuCash Team: In our case we have found that stability is important to our community. We ship new features in minor releases about once every three years and bug fixes in micro releases every few months.

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

GnuCash Team: The first big thing probably was the port to Gtk+. There was a lot of excitement at the time. GnuCash was also one of the earliest projects on SourceForge, within the first 150 registered or something like that. The number would have been even lower but we dawdled for a month or two before completing the process.

The port to GTK/Gnome was also when the project name changed based on a popularity poll. Some excellent names were suggested, along with some clunkers like GnoMoney. Somehow GnuCash came out on top. This was circa 1997, meaning SourceForge and GnuCash go back a long way together!

SF: What helped make that happen?

GnuCash Team: The GnuCash team realized that one of the big requirements of a free software desktop, like the emerging GNU/Linux desktop, was a free software accounting package and they helped to bring that vision into reality.

SF: What was the net result for that event?

GnuCash Team: The net result is that anyone looking for a way to manage their finances on free desktop software can now succeed in doing so.

SF: What is the next big thing for GnuCash?

GnuCash Team: The next big step for us is to move to a multi-user architecture so that several people may be able to enter transactions into the same book of accounts simultaneously. This should help small businesses and folks looking to scale up their operations with a free software solution.

SF: How long do you think that will take?

GnuCash Team: The time frame for this is the next several years.

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

GnuCash Team: We have an excellent team of developers who know the code base inside and out but we would love to extend a welcome to  new contributors on the project.

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

GnuCash Team: We would not have used the Gtk+ toolkit’s GObject library for writing ‘object-oriented’ code in C.

SF: Why?

GnuCash Team: It ties the internals of GnuCash to the GObject library, which hinders portability.

SF: Any reason you can’t do that now?

GnuCash Team: We are trying to do it now as part of our multi-user architecture effort, but it is a large undertaking and will take time to get right.

SF: Is there anything else we should know?

GnuCash Team: Yes, if you use an Android mobile device, you can record your transactions on the go and import them into GnuCash later. Check out our website to learn more about GnuCash and GnuCash for Android, which is separate from the GnuCash project.

And a big Thank You to SourceForge for continuing to be an indispensable resource for free software projects around the world.

[ Download GnuCash ]

February 2015, “Community Choice” Project of the Month – ClamAV

For our February “Community Choice” Project of the Month, the community elected ClamAV, a GPL antivirus toolkit for UNIX that integrates with mail servers. The ClamAV team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): Tell me about the ClamAV project please.

ClamAV Team: ClamAV® is an open source (GPL) anti-virus engine used in a variety of situations including email scanning, web scanning, and end point security. It provides a number of utilities including a flexible and scalable multi-threaded daemon, a command line scanner, and an advanced tool for automatic database updates.

SF: What made you start this?

ClamAV Team: ClamAV began in 2001 after the original author of ClamAV discovered an open source antivirus product entitled OpenAntiVirus. However, that project was written in Java, lacked a command line scanner, and automatic updates. So ClamAV began. The project was purchased by Sourcefire in 2007 and lives on today as part of Cisco.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?

ClamAV Team: Yes. The original vision was to make an open source antivirus that was simple to use and had an open detection language. This has been achieved, and over the years many more features have been added as the code base has been expanded. ClamAV is now the largest free antivirus and email gateway malware scanner in the world.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?

ClamAV Team: Users of almost any operating system can use ClamAV to protect their files and detect any malicious content; however, ClamAV is mostly used as a mail gateway scanner.

SF: What is the need for this Open Source antivirus engine?

ClamAV Team: ClamAV allows anyone to write detection for malicious files. This allows local installations to target malware or files specific to their environment without sharing that information with the rest of world. The reverse is also true. But allowing the code and signature base to be open source, we receive a ton of contributions of detection that users give to us for distribution to the world.

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

ClamAV Team: Download, install, and run it. It’s antivirus, so protecting yourself against modern malware is crucial.

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

ClamAV Team: Once an Open Source project becomes mature and contributions to the main code base slow down, encouragement to contribute to a different part of the code base is vital. In our case we encouraged people to submit community based malware signatures. This is where the majority of contributions to the project take place now. We still accept and receive bug reports and security bugs from the community.

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

ClamAV Team: Frequent releases are important to maintain interest; however, people value quality as well. The size of your user base will grow with stable releases. The amount of people that use “frequent” test releases will always be a subset of your user base.

SF: What is the next big thing for ClamAV?

ClamAV Team: One of the big things we are working on currently is support for other major malware languages. We are hoping this increases our usage and people using the project to submit detection back to us.

SF: How long do you think that will take?

ClamAV Team: We are still planning our next release, which will have this feature.

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

ClamAV Team: Yes.

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

ClamAV Team: Make the website simpler.

SF: Why?

ClamAV Team: We recently performed a redesign of the website and and our downloads increased by about 600 installs a day!

[ Download ClamAV ]