As 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? 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.
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.
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
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.
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!