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Open Source Living

18 Apr 2008

I was pointed to Open Source Living by my friend Thomas the other day, and am really excited to see this site.

There are a number of software collection sites out there. For people that use Windows, I would usually suggest FileHippo. They have an easy-to-use interface, they actually look through the software they offer/relay, and they even offer a “Freeware Filter”. Though, this filer only narrows down to software that is free like free beer, not free as in the First Amendment.

Then there is SourceForge which is an amazing resource of open-source projects. Unfortunately, there are many thousands of projects here that range from Java date libraries to full-scale web applications. It has little focus on the type of software that is offered. Still, SourceForge is an important and critical resource for independent developers worldwide.

OSLiving puts these two things together. OSLiving is a great resource to find open-source software for any platform. What makes it stand out from the millions of other software collection sites, is that OSLiving has only open-source resources, focuses on production-level applications, and has a simple, intuitive interface.

OSLiving also realizes that choosing software is much more than whether it costs money or not. They realize when you are choosing software, like when you are choosing your food, you are supporting a much bigger system, be it open or closed source, organic or non-organic, local or global, non-profit or corporate. Open source is more than just software, and it is important to make decisions that are sustainable for society, not just our wallets.

On a similar note, there is much debate between Free Software and Open Source Software. Though I lean towards the ideals behind the free software movement, I think that the term “open source” is more powerful.

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