11 open source programming tools on the rise
Linus Torvalds's fabled 'world domination' on the desktops of clerks or CEOs may never arrive, but it's already here on the computers of programmers everywhere
By Peter Wayner | InfoWorld | Published: 17:07, 05 March 12
If the open source model has a sweet spot, it's in programming tools. Even in the deepest corners of proprietary stacks, open source tools can be found, often dominating. The reason is clear: Open source licences are designed to let users revise, fix, and extend their code. The barber or cop may not be familiar enough with code to contribute, but programmers sure know how to fiddle with their tools. The result is a fertile ecology fed by the enthusiasm of developers who know how to "scratch an itch." Here is a very unscientific survey of worthwhile open source tools that have caught our eye. Most are relatively new; others continue to surprise us as they morph to support the latest programming trends.
Graphics processing units are best known for popping up triangles from mythical worlds where people shoot at each other. This is rapidly changing as video card manufacturers and programmers are realising that the chips are massively parallel computers primed to manipulate code. Scientists are learning that the graphics card used to play Grand Theft Auto can also run simulations to help cure diseases, as many scientific problems can be structured to include a huge number of events that happen simultaneously, a perfect job for a video card. The OpenVidia repository is filled with projects that perform image recognition, searching, and more.