Emusic/J is a project initiated by New Zealander Robin Sheat. An open source music downloader, Emusic/J has received financial support from classical music distributor Naxos and is the official music downloader for ClassicsOnline.
Bond is a rapid application development framework for building database applications. Bond uses a XML file for defining widget layout and database interactions. Bond dynamically populates widgets making them data-aware automatically at run time, removing the need for writing code to populate and manage GTK widgets.
Koha is a library management system originally written by New Zealander Chris Cormack way back in 1999. It is used by 100s of libraries worldwide and has over 40 active developers. Koha is also now based in the States as part of a stable of products from open source library provider Liblime. Koha enjoys strong support from the libraries here in New Zealand that contributed to Koha’s development, and continue to use it to this day. Horowhenua Library Trust in particular were early to recognise Koha’s strengths.
Weka is another New Zealand open source project to come out of a research environment. In this case Waikato University’s Machine Learning Group. It is a world-class tool for exploring and extracting information from data. And a hugely popular one at that, with some 20-30,000 downloads per month from SourceForge over recent years. According to one nomination from Israel, Weka is the de facto standard in the machine learning community, used not because it is free, but because it is the best.
Docvert takes office documents and quickly turns them into standards-compliant web pages, something that most organisations struggle with everyday. Started by Matthew Holloway, Docvert has been picked up by the US-based Public Knowledge Project, which is dedicated to improving the scholarly and public quality of research. Docvert helps non-technical editors and authors put their work online, significantly increasing global access to knowledge and academic research. Docvert is also in use by a number of government agencies keen to ensure long documents are highly accessible on their websites.
Gerris Flow Solver is a very different software project but one in use around the world by scientists and engineers working in the field of fluid dynamics. It stands out in this field as an open source offering amongst a number of strong commercial packages, providing anyone with the curiosity and enthusiasm to explore fluid behaviours with a rich toolset. Its modular design means Gerris will continue to expand with a growing community of developers continuing to improve the core product.
This project started life as an artwork installation at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Manukau City. Turning drawings on paper into video games, Douglas Bagnall has released Te Tuhi under the GPL and partially ported it to the One Laptop Per Child XO platform. While the project is still a work in progress, it demonstrates to kids of all ages a whole new way to interact and understand the computer. Using Creative Commons sounds, open source tools and running on Linux, Te Tuhi adds to Douglas' portfolio of creative uses of free software.
In a knowledge economy, lifelong learning – both online and face-to-face – is increasingly relevant. Mahara is designed to provide people with a way to demonstrate their skills and development to a variety of audiences over time. With blogs, a resume builder and social networking, Mahara puts users in control and in touch with fellow learners, teachers and potential employers. A nationwide Mahara service is already available for schools and tertiary organisations in New Zealand: MyPortfolio.
OnlineGroups.Net has been providing custom collaborative sites for some five years, while methodically improving the GroupServer platform they run on. 2008 saw a milestone release of GroupServer – software that powers Steven Clift's Minnesota-based e-demoncracy.org community issues forums. The core team have invested considerable effort in making GroupServer scale to support large online groups, similar to Yahoo! or Google Groups.
From its origins as a locally produced web content management system, Silverstripe took the open source path and has never looked back. Scoring a major coup in 2008, with the the US Democratic National Convention website, Silverstripe is firmly on the world stage for New Zealand and open source software. With some 250 websites already showcased, Silverstripe has proven to be a versatile and rapidly evolving framework.