Software and Priorities (Open and Other)

Just a quick note about software and priorities. I am continually looking to change the software I use to reach the most desirable set of criteria (if I am using software that does not yet embrace those criteria). Here are the criteria, in alphabetical order:

* Active developer community
* API
* Cross platform
* Extensible (plug-ins, etc.)
* Free
* Functionality
* Large user base
* Open source
* Simplicity
* Stability

There are a few pieces of software that more or less meet these criteria, such as:

* [Apache](http://apache.org/)
* [MySQL](http://mysql.com/)
* [PHP](http://php.net/)
* [Python](http://python.org/)
* [Ruby](http://ruby-lang.org/)
* [Firefox](http://mozilla.com/)
* [Open Office](http://openoffice.org/)
* [Pidgin](http://pidgin.im/)
* [Blender](http://blender.org/)
* [VLC](http://videolan.org/)
* [FileZilla](http://filezilla.sourceforge.net/)
* [Gimp](http://gimp.org/), especially the [GimpShop](http://plasticbugs.com/?page_id=294)
* [MediaWiki](http://mediawiki.org/)
* [WordPress](http://wordpress.org/)

Some software I like to use might violate these criteria, such as [notepad2](http://notepad2.com/) (no development, windows only) and [iconforge](http://www.cursorarts.com/ca_if.html) (not free, windows only), but they are simple and good at what they do, so I stick with them. However, over the long run, I see open source, cross platform as winning. I believe I will be cutting over to Ubuntu around 2009 or 2010. Here are my current reservations:

* [Cinelerra](http://heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3) is not cross platform, plus drivers!
* Open Office Impress sucks compared with Powerpoint
* [Second Life](http://secondlife.com/) client for linux is in alpha

So, the way I look at it, as soon as I can move over to a new operating system while maintaining my current set of software tools (which have been slowly migrating to linux supported options), then I can make the move.

I look forward to the transition.

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