Many web workers appreciate free software applications, and there are a lot of good ones out there, especially open source tools. You can find a lot of these in the database of over 150,000 open source applications at WebWorkerDaily’s sister site OStatic, where I edit the blog. You just click the Software button atop the page to start searching, and you can ask OStatic members questions too. In addition to OStatic, there are many quick-in, quick-out places to find both freeware and open source applications, with many of them covered here.
In this post, I’ll discuss four sites where access to really useful freeware and open source applications is particularly optimized for the web worker in a hurry, including places to get many applications in one download.
Mashable’s Open Source God has a much more limited set of applications than sites featuring large databases such as OStatic and SourceForge. It collects about 480 free, open source applications, but provides top-notch titles in easy-to-scan categories. The categories include accounting software, content management systems, CRM, desktop environments, e-mail clients, video encoding tools, and much more. As a condensed way to evaluate well-known open source applications, it works nicely.
I’ve written before several times about PortableApps.com. For Windows users, it’s a very good way to get bushels of open source applications in a single download. For Mac users, Mac Libre is an equivalent site that also offers lots of good applications in one download. Here again, neither of these sites is as exhaustive as the database-driven sites, but they do allow you to easily and quickly evaluate individual applications that could make a difference for you.
OpenDesktop.org is a relatively new site that houses a lot of applications available for free. The nice thing about it is that users at the site rate the quality of the applications. You also get categorized views of the applications, which works well.
Especially in these economic times, it can feel like a gift to come across a new, really useful application available for free. If you spend some time at these sites, you may find a diamond in the rough.