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January 2017, “Staff Pick” Project of the Month – antiX-Linux

For our January “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, we selected antiX-Linux, a fast, lightweight and easy to install Linux live CD distribution based on Debian Testing for Intel-AMD x86 compatible systems.

antiX provides an environment suitable for new and old computers, giving old computers a fresh new feel. It can also be used as a fast-booting rescue cd. Its goal is to provide a light, but fully functional and flexible free operating system for both new and experienced users of Linux. It should run on most computers, ranging from 256MB old PIII systems with pre-configured swap to the latest powerful boxes.

256MB RAM is the recommended minimum for antiX, and the installer needs a minimum 2.7GB hard disk size. Special XFCE editions made in collaboration with the MEPIS Community are available. Currently, antiX-16 comes as a full distro (c695MB), a base distro (c510MB) and a core-libre distro (c190MB) for 32 bit and 64 bit computers.

[ Download antiX-Linux ]

January 2017, “Community Choice” Project of the Month – Bodhi Linux

For our January “Community Choice” Project of the Month, the community elected Bodhi Linux, a minimalist, enlightened Linux distribution. Project author Jeff Hoogland shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): What made you start this project?
Jeff Hoogland (JH): When I was in college I started using the Enlightenment Desktop on all of my Linux computers. At the time there was no easy way to install Linux distributions that featured this desktop as their primary interface. In fact, many did not even have an up to date version of the desktop in their repositories.

This led to me regularly building E from source on my 4~ different computers I had at the time. Always looking to do things in an optimal manner I started creating my own packaged sets for the desktop and figured I might as well take the short bit of extra time required to spin up a live CD with said packages installed / configured nicely.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?
JH: I think we accomplished our goal quite well. We aim to provide a fast / sleek user interface on top of the powerful and flexible Ubuntu base and that is exactly what we provide.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?
JH: Unlike many Linux distributions we are not targeting novice users with Bodhi Linux. People who are looking for an operating system that will get the most out of their system resources will enjoy using Bodhi. From systems that need something slim, all the way up to modern gaming systems Bodhi flies on computers of all speeds. Just because your computer has 16gigs of RAM doesn’t mean you want your operating system using a large portion of it. The less resources your interface occupies, the more resources your applications you care about have access to.

SF: What core need does Bodhi Linux fulfill?
JH: Bodhi fills a nice middle ground between Linux distributions like Ubuntu (that come with a bulky desktop and lots of pre-installed applications) and something like Arch Linux that starts you with just a command prompt. We are just about as minimal as a fully-functional operating system can be without requiring use of a command prompt.

SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using Bodhi Linux?
JH: Using it as your operating system of course! And tweaking it to your heart’s content with all of our themes and extra modules.

SF: What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community?
JH: Responding to feedback in a timely manner is ideal for building a community. I am very active in our user forums. Even when I do not have an answer to a question I make sure to try and point users in the right direction to find proper help with their issue.

SF: Have you all found that more frequent releases helps build up your community of users?
JH: While more releases are good for exposure to your project, I do think “updates for the sake of updating” that many projects do today is silly. With Bodhi our version numbers have meaning – whenever our first version number increases you know there is an entire base change for the operating system.

SF: What was the first big thing that happened for your project?
JH: Getting recognition from the site DistroWatch jumped our traffic by a good deal. It’s the site many people use to search for Linux distributions based on different parameters.

SF: What helped make that happen?
JH: They list distributions once they have proven they are here to stay and are not just a flash in the pan. Having regular relevant updates and releases for several months got us this recognition.

SF: How has SourceForge and its tools helped your project reach that success?
JH: SourceForge provides something for free that most places do not – bandwidth. Our operating system is smaller than most, but our five release discs are at least 600MB each. Multiply this by the over 7000 downloads we see per week and you are looking at over 15 TB of bandwidth which SourceForge provides us per month.

SourceForge also does a good job of making the data I provide above readily available to me as a project owner.

SF: What is the next big thing for Bodhi Linux?
JH: The next major change we have planned for Bodhi is a rewrite of our desktop’s settings panel.

SF: How long do you think that will take?
JH: Since Bodhi is powered by volunteers our timelines are never firm. All of our code is written on a “as time permits” basis. Ideally our new settings panel will be ready for inclusion in Bodhi by default by the end of 2017.

SF: Do you have the resources you need to make that happen?
JH: Time is our only bottleneck. We have a team of dedicated folks though who are more than capable of getting the work done.

SF: If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently for Bodhi Linux?
JH: I would use consistent naming schemes from the start for our repositories. We bounced between “main” and “stable” and “testing” and “unstable” for various things. With our 4.0.0 release we standardized to “b4main” and “b4testing” which will then change to “b5main” and “b5testing” with our 5.0.0 release in 2018.

SF: Is there anything else we should know?
JH: Bodhi is a Live CD! This means you can load it up on a CD or a USB drive and give it a try on your computer without changing the contents of your hard drive. Give it a go and see how fast it is for yourself.

[ Download Bodhi Linux ]

“Community Choice” Project of the Month Vote – February 2017

The vote for February 2017 Community Choice SourceForge Project of the Month is now available, and will run until January 15, 2017 12:00 UTC.


Maxima — GPL CAS based on DOE-MACSYMA

Maxima is a computer algebra system comparable to commercial systems like Mathematica and Maple. It emphasizes symbolic mathematical computation: algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and much more. For example, Maxima solves x^2-r*x-s^2-r*s=0 giving the symbolic results [x=r+s, x=-s]. Maxima can calculate with exact integers and fractions, native floating-point and high-precision big floats. Maxima has user-friendly front-ends, an on-line manual, plotting commands, and numerical libraries. Users can write programs in its native programming language, and many have contributed useful packages in a variety of areas over the decades. Maxima is GPL-licensed and largely written in Common Lisp. Executables can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android; source code is also available. An active community maintains and extends the system. Maxima is widely used: annual direct downloads exceed 300,000. Many other users receive it through secondary distribution.
[ Download Maxima — GPL CAS based on DOE-MACSYMA ]


fre:ac – free audio converter

fre:ac is a free audio converter and CD ripper for various formats and encoders. It features MP3, MP4/M4A, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, and Bonk format support, integrates freedb/CDDB, CDText and ID3v2 tagging and is available in several languages.
[ Download fre:ac – free audio converter ]


winPenPack: Portable Software Collection

winPenPack is a project that aims at collecting 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 ]


JasperReports Library

JasperReports Library, the world’s most popular open source business intelligence and reporting engine and JasperReports Server, the most popular open source interactive report server built-on JasperReports Library
[ Download JasperReports Library ]


net-snmp

Net-SNMP provides tools and libraries relating to the Simple Network Management Protocol including: An extensible agent, an SNMP library, tools to request or set information from SNMP agents, tools to generate and handle SNMP traps, etc.
[ Download net-snmp ]


Manjaro Community Torrents

This project is for download the Manjaro Officials and Community releases using a bittorrent client (console or graphical)
[ Download Manjaro Community Torrents ]


digiCamControl

digiCamControl is an free and open source software. This allows you to save time by transferring images directly from your camera to your computer as you take each shot and allow to control camera shooting parameters.
[ Download digiCamControl ]


gretl

gretl is a cross-platform software package for econometric analysis, written in the C programming language.
[ Download gretl ]


Linux Diagnostic Tools

Project’s goal is to create better tools for diagnosing Linux systems. Diagnostics include first failure data capture, error log analysis, preventative testing, and system inventory gathering.
[ Download Linux Diagnostic Tools ]

December 2016, “Staff Pick” Project of the Month – Tcl

For our December “Staff Pick” Project of the Month, we selected Tcl, an interpreted language and very portable interpreter for that language.

Tcl is a very powerful yet easy-to-learn dynamic programming language that’s been widely used since its creation in 1988. It is highly embeddable and extensible, cross-platform and suitable for a very wide range of uses. These include web and desktop applications, networking, administration, testing and many more.

Open source and business-friendly, Tcl is a mature yet continuously evolving language. It is highly-rated among the projects featured on SourceForge, and has been nominated as “Community Choice” Project of the Month in previous months.

Learn more about Tcl by visiting their website.

 

[ Download Tcl ]

December 2016, “Community Choice” Project of the Month – ReactOS

For our December “Community Choice” Project of the Month, the community elected ReactOS, an operating system based on the best Windows NT design principles. The team behind the project shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction.

SourceForge (SF): What made you start this project?
ReactOS Team (RT): ReactOS was started by a group of developers who, while impressed by the NT architecture of Microsoft’s Windows family, desired a more open development environment. They felt that not only would such an environment be beneficial to all developers that target Windows, providing insight into just how the underlying system actually works, but also provide a means to improve on the security and stability of the system by letting more people participate in its development.

SF: Has the original vision been achieved?
RT: We are still some ways to achieving complete application and driver compatibility with the NT5 family.

SF: Who can benefit the most from your project?
RT: Software developers seeking to understand how Windows works under the hood, OS developers/hobbyists who want an example of a non-Unix style OS, and users who require an NT5 era Windows platform for application or hardware compatibility, and who want continued updates for security and the like.

SF: What core need does ReactOS fulfill?
RT: With Microsoft having end-of-lifed the NT5 family, including XP and 2003, users who would prefer that environment, or a much more lightweight Windows environment, would be better served by ReactOS when it is completed.

SF: What’s the best way to get the most out of using ReactOS?
RT: Try it out on VirtualBox or VMware, and don’t go in expecting everything to be perfect yet. If you’re ready for some tinkering, or excited about the ability to customize everything, you’ll quickly find things to try or areas to take a deeper look at.

SF: What has your project team done to help build and nurture your community?
RT: Probably the biggest effort to help build our Community started a couple [of] years ago when we defined a new Product-Community strategy. As our first milestone we launched a crowdfunding campaign letting the Community decide which apps they wanted to see start working in ReactOS. The main objective of this move was not just to raise some funding for such on-demand development but also striking news, reaching new users, showing them their opinion counts, and helping them to find that lot of software was already working. This, as planned, enlarged our Community but, even more important, it helped build a closer relationship with them. The new site released at the same time, and largely requested by the Community, has been proven to improve the first overall impression of the ReactOS product itself.
Since then, and as part of our second milestone, we created several scripts which share in our social channels a constant flow of information from all our services. The best fixes from our Jira bugtracker, the latest videos from our ReactOS Youtube channel, blog posts created by developers or official news from the ReactOS website are, among others, shared now automatically. Now the Community can track how ReactOS is evolving daily and interact in real time with it. These interactions help attract new members to the Community and enhance a closer relationship with the current ones. Nowadays we’re probably one of the most complete in sharing infra among the open source projects out there.

SF: Have you all found that more frequent releases helps build up your community of users?
RT: Very much so, we’ve increased our release frequency considerably this year and have seen a far greater influx of new users and testers on our forum. Word of mouth is our only advertising way and seems to combine perfectly with a faster release tempo.
At the same time, our current 3 months lapse helps to feel the difference in terms of stability and compatibility within releases.

SF: What was the first big thing that happened for your project?
RT: We’ve had quite a few milestones in ReactOS’ history. The first time the OS booted by itself instead of being bootstrapped by DOS, the first time we were able to switch between two windowed applications, the first time network communications worked- there were a lot of big things over the course of the project.

SF: What helped make those happen?
RT: All of the milestones we’ve achieved have been due to the hard work and very often tenacity of our developers and testers. Some of these guys had to get very creative in solving the problems they encountered in trying to develop an OS from scratch. Also we can’t thank enough the support of our donors. Since we don’t have any company supporting our development, they are the ones helping to hire new developers and paying our server bills.

SF: How has SourceForge and its tools helped your project reach that success?
RT: All of our releases are done through SourceForge, helping us to reduce the cost of distribution of our product. The metrics that we get from the downloads provide us with a good idea of where our prospective user base is from.
These metrics help us to understand our users’ behaviour: Are they willing to test bootcds or livecds? Are we attracting more users release after release? How does it affect the downloads, a faster release cycle as we’re doing now? How does a particular marketing action done affect the ReactOS downloads? How is the inertia (download of old releases) evolving?
But also it helps us to predict the expected visitors in our website for the next releases so we can ensure the needed resources for the peak days.
Handling and analyzing correctly this data proves to be an amazing way to discover the health of the project and summed to the rest of our analytics helps to draw a roadmap of our actions.

SF: What is the next big thing for ReactOS?
RT: There are several next big things coming pretty soon. The first one is the integration of the results from this year’s Google Summer of Code. Also we’re working hard on having Word 2010, Java RE and Google Chrome supported, since they are the apps selected by our Community in the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign.

SF: Do you have the resources you need to make those happen?
RT: So far we’ve been fairly fortunate this year, contributions and manpower have been quite steady and we expect to get the improvements in without too much fuss. With that said, ReactOS is on its way to reach Beta status. Beta supposes a jump in quality and for such we’ll need to place full time developers to reach it. Reaching Beta is not as costly as one may think but some extra resources will be needed.

SF: If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently for ReactOS?
RT: ReactOS took a few shortcuts in its early days to try to achieve as many user-visible improvements as possible. Those hacks have been the source of considerable headaches as the team implemented more functionality correctly.
Looking back, we probably should have fought that particular temptation and done the software engineering right the first time around.

SF: Is there anything else we should know?
RT: ReactOS is now hiring!. Thanks to the donations and contributions from our Community we’re planning to hire a new developer. So if you are skillful in Windows APIs or you are willing to help us in fixing bugs, you can just drop an email here.
Feel free to follow the progress of our current hired developer, Hermès, through his blog posts, discover what’s coming in the next release, or join the Community in Twitter, Facebook or Telegram.

[ Download ReactOS ]