There have been many open source technologies that have sprung up in recent years, but a few stand out above the rest. These five technologies have transformed their industries, championed change and empowered countless individuals and companies with their innovative solutions. Here are the five greatest open source technologies of 2012:
Codename One is a new open-source platform that allows developers to create native mobile applications across many mobile operating systems using a single Java code base. The platform enables developers to reduce fragmentation and significantly cut time and costs in developing native apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows 7 Phone and other devices.
The startup was founded in 2012 by Shai Almog and Chen Fishbein, two former engineers at Sun Microsystems well-known for developing LWUIT. Codename One, which has already attracted hundreds of clients including mobile giants like Vodafone, is a powerful tool for mobile developers worldwide and will play a central role in defragmenting the mobile apps space.
CFEngine software automates large-scale IT computing infrastructure and ensures the availability, security and compliance of mission-critical applications and services. One of the great open-source projects of our time, CFEngine grew out of Oslo University post-doctoral fellow Mark Burgess’ desire to spend more time researching and less time managing a complex and disorganized system of computers.
The software has gone through two rewrites and is now being run on millions of computer systems worldwide, by companies like AT&T, LinkedIn, and NASA. CFEngine offers two editions to a wide array of user types and budget levels.
Kaltura is the world’s first and only open-source online video platform, offering flexible video solutions through media management applications and a framework for developing custom apps. The software is used by web publishers, media companies, enterprises, educational institutions and service providers. Kaltura offers a dual-licence model (like RedHat and MySQL) with a fully AGPL’ed version available at Kaltura.org and a commercial version available at Kaltura.com.
Since launching in 2006, the company has exploded with success, with 27,000 registered developers in its community and over 150,000 customers including the likes of HBO, Best Buy and dozens of universities. Kaltura, which has raised $43 million in funding, supports API client libraries in 12 different programming languages.
E-commerce platforms are a dime a dozen, and there are still a decent number of open source e-commerce platforms. But one stands out from the crowd. Launched in 2007 by Roy Rubin and Yoav Cutner, Magento is an open source platform that offers businesses from $500K to $500M in revenue the flexibility of total control over design, content, and online retailer functionality. The open source e-commerce platform boomed in 2010 when it began delivering enterprise level solutions and was sold to eBay in 2011 for $180M. Even with a new crop of competition, it continues to be the fastest growing e-commerce platform in the world.
Initially launched in 2000 by two Carnegie Mellon students, Dominic Mazzoni and Roger Dannenberg, Audacity is an open source digital audio editor and recorder. The software picked up speed after winning the SourceForge.net’s Community Choice Award for Best Multimedia Project in 2007 and 2009.
As of October 2011, Audacity had seen over 76.5 million downloads, making it the 11th most downloaded project on SourceForge.net. In addition to standard recording and post-processing features, Audacity is available in over 20 languages and continues to be one of the most popular open source audio tools available.
What other open-source platforms would you add to this list?
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