The key point about applications is that as platforms become
generalized (with Java
as an example), applications also become
Open network applications are not tied to fixed hardware platforms
but utilize and provide network resources in a platform-transparent way.
The network and solutions that run on it
give us freedom from closed platforms.
- Apache web server
- The Apache web server is a fascinating and actually new-traditional
example of 'net-based open collaboration on a free, open Internet application.
One could argue that Apache is the most important Internet
server application to date.
Apache now powers about 60% of the world's web sites.
It's a development of the groundbreaking NCSA web server,
which was also free and open.
(This openness enabled growth and further development.)
As a measure of power and success of free, open systems, Apache is the now
world's most popular web server
by a large margin.
Apache's share of server installations continues to accelerate away from
Microsoft and Netscape,
and Apache comes bundled with BSD and Linux.
- Mozilla web/mail/news client
- The open source Mozilla web browser, mail and news client
are rapidly becoming a favorite throughout the Internet
for reliability, strong features, and streamlined functionality.
- Open Source and totally free shopping cart software
currently powering more than 1000 stores worldwide.
Runs under BSD, Linux, Solaris, Windows. Uses PHP, Apache,
and MySQL. Installs with rapid store setup out-of-the-box.
Good developer community.
- Here is an free, open source office suite to replace
things like Microsoft Office. It's being bundled with
many Linux distributions. OpenOffice.org's mission is:
To create, as a community, the leading international
office suite that will run on all major platforms and
provide access to all functionality and data through
open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format.
LibreOffice is a free office suite for spreadsheets, word processing,
presentations, etc. It's just as functional as Microsoft Office
for every day use.
Unfortunately Oracle handled LibreOffice's open source parent
OpenOffice (which it inhereted from its acquisition of Sun Microsystems)
poorly, so most of
the developers forked off a much better maintained
version as LibreOffice.
LibreOffice is widely used under Windows, Linux, BSD, etc.
- Oracle and
- Oracle and Informix have announced ports of their (closed)
commerical database engines to the free, open Linux platform.
Oracle also pledges that its' first-tier Finance, Manufacturing, and
ERP applications will have Linux support. Now if only we could
get them to release FreeBSD versions.
- PostgreSQL is a free object-relational database
developed at U.C. Berkeley. Some of the concepts of
Postgres have recently been incorporated into commercial
relational database systems.
- Free, Open Source 2-Dimensional CAD package for UNIX.
Trialware for Windows.
- Open CASCADE
- Open Source 3D Modeling kernel "used to create all types of
domain specific 3D graphic applications, including CAD, CAE, CAM,
AEC, GIS, reverse engineering, metrology, optical simulation,
Reads and writes standard IGES and STEP data formats for exhange
with commercial softwre environments.
Runs under Linux, Solaris, Windows NT, others by subscription.
"A resource dedicated to providing timely information about the
BSD operating systems with commentary and reviews of software
Key Internet Service Are Open and Free
While mainstream business today tends to focus on
commercial (paid) applications,
much of the Internet is built on freeware.
and other key Internet services have
long been developed by volunteeers and distributed for free.
This is part of the culture of the net: to promote openness
and communication by donating work that contributes directly to that goal.
Admittedly a strong part of this culture comes from the academic background
of the net, but the idea is firmly planted and remains a very
strong undercurrent among its' many contributors.
For some of the reasons outlined above, these kind of services,
which the entire Internet depends on, probably can not be
developed, maintained or supported in a closed, proprietary way.
In order for them to work broadly, which is the greatest asset
of the net, they need to be tested and developed broadly.
No one company (including Microsoft or Cisco) or national government
has the scope or standing to encompass every system on the Internet.
The beneficiaries are the growing hundreds of millions who use and are
empowered by the Internet.
One of the more interesting and ongoing events in the history
of the Internet is
Internet hardware developers get together once a
year to connect their systems to make sure they can
interoperate with each other.
The preparation for this even actually begins months in
advance with the systems being set up in giant warehouses
before the formal event takes place.
Originally almost a purely technical session, Interop has
also evolved into the World's largest networking trade show.
It's held in Las Vegas in the Winter and in
secondary locations like Chicago or Atlanta in the Summer.
Organizations Developing Free Software