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up and coming open sourceAs a reader of MakeUseOf, you’ve probably got a bit of a soft spot for open-source projects, either as a user or a collaborator. Who can pass up on supporting free, useful software that does a great job? And who wouldn’t be pleased to be a part of a great open-source project The 10 Best Open Source Projects You Should Be Volunteering To Help With The 10 Best Open Source Projects You Should Be Volunteering To Help With You don't have to be a programmer. You could be a writer, a designer, a translator, just a Facebook or Twitter junkie, or someone who wants to just donate money for the cause. There are... Read More ? Even supporting a project by testing and offering good feedback is still worth your time.

Whatever your reasoning for loving open-source projects, it can still be hard sometimes to stay on top of what’s going on. There are just so many to choose from! That’s why today we’ve made a list of some of the best up-and-coming open source projects for you to help with or download now.

1. Calibre

Calibre is an eBook library manager, eBook reader and converter all in one. It’s the ideal companion to your Kindle or other eBook reader. Books can be categorised manually and searched for by author, year or genre. Books in multiple eBook formats are collated and listed as one entry so that you don’t see multiple copies of the book. Calibre also makes it easy for users to find DRM-free ebooks.

The Calibre program is cross-platform and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. Also, iPhone users can access Calibre via Stanza.

For more information on Calibre, check out our free Calibre PDF guide DOWNLOAD Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre DOWNLOAD Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre Find yourself collecting eBooks, but not sure how to manage them all? "Open Book: Your Guide to Calibre and eBook Management" is the free download you've been looking for. This guide, from author Lachlan Roy,... Read More .

up and coming open source


If you want to get involved in the Calibre project, there is a user forum, IRC channel, Facebook page and many other ways to get in touch. You could start by writing your own plugin or helping with translations.

2. Twitter Bootstrap

Bootstrap is a toolkit brought to you by Twitter in order to help people both write and clean up web applications. It supplies flexible HTML, CSS and Javascript for developers to use when creating these applications. The toolkit is extremely powerful and yet simple to understand.

new open source projects

The Bootstrap toolkit is hosted on GitHub and has been designed to be as easy as possible to use. Bootstrap supports all modern browsers and platforms, so that your web application will be as flexible as possible from the beginning.

3. Canvas LMS

Canvas LMS is a Learning Management System (LMS) designed to make it easy for educators to keep track of learning objectives and class progress. It offers features such as online assignment submission, speed grading, online quizzes and more. Groups can be formed within Canvas in order to allow teachers to easily mark projects for all concerned.

The easy-to-use rubrics ensure students know exactly what’s expected of them and teachers can mark the completed work efficiently and quickly. Student statistics are also easy to view and can be shared with parents if the teachers wishes.

up and coming open source

Paid, hosted LMS solutions are offered at Instructure, who are the folks who originally wrote the software. However, if you wish to self-host your Canvas LMS or get involved in development, you are welcome to join the open-source project which is hosted on GitHub.

These open source projects are obviously just the tip of the iceberg. What are your favourite up-and-coming open source projects? Tell us about them in the comments!

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  1. Luke
    November 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Dolphin just released their new social networking script, big big change since the last version, here's some info:

  2. DevinChopra
    June 13, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Hi Angela,

    I am glad that you started this article, there are so many useful open-source initiatives out there, that it's difficult to go through all of them and many are more useful than their commercial counter-parts.

    It would be nice that could enlist some good open-source initiatives regularly, as they do with useful sites, that would make it more interesting to discover such initiatives and then users can comment on them.

    Cheerios :)

  3. thuya8
    June 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm


  4. Cliff Mccullar
    June 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    unfortunately i just dont see much use in any of these for me at the moment.

  5. Nick Bruce
    June 9, 2012 at 1:10 am

    I can remember right when Calibre first launched and their feature set was just mediocre. They really have expanded from just their basic desktop app.