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A Big Bag of 60 Great Open Source Development Tools

Bugtrackers, Code Documenters, Management Systems, and more and more and more

  • September 27, 2010
  • By Cynthia Harvey
If you're looking for good open source developer tools, you literally have thousands to choose from. For this list, we focused on 60 of the best and most well known. Rather than trying to rank them, we've arranged them into categories and listed them in alphabetical order.

That said, we're sure to have left off a few (or perhaps even a few dozen) that deserve to be included. Feel free to add your suggestions in the Comments section below.

One quick note about operating systems: Many of these open source developer tools run on a wide range of OSes. In some cases, they support more than a hundred different platforms.

For the sake of keeping the list short and readable, we noted whether each developer tool supports the big three � Windows, Linux and OS X. If you want to know whether a particular tool will run on Solaris or FreeBSD or another platform, you can click the link to check its Web site.

Open Source Bugtrackers

1. Bugzilla

More than 1,000 groups use Bugzilla to track their software bugs, including Mozilla, Facebook, the Linux kernel and NASA. The Web-based system makes it easy to manage code changes, issue patches and stay in communication with other members of your development team. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

2. GNATS

The GNU bug tracking system stores information about software defects in a central searchable database. It can be accessed via a variety of interfaces and can send communication to team members as needed. Operating System: OS Independent

Open Source Business Rule Management System

3. JBoss Drools

A competitor to commercial software like Blaze Advisor and JRules, Drools describes itself as a business logic integration platform for rules, workflow and event processing. It includes five separate modules: Drools Guvnor (BRMS/BPMS), Drools Expert (rule engine), Drools Flow (process/workflow), Drools Fusion (event processing/temporal reasoning) and Drools Planner (automated planning). Operating System: OS Independent

Open Source Code Documenters

4. Javadoc

Javadoc uses the comments you embed in your Java code to create an HTML documentation file. By default it describes the public and protected classes, nested classes (but not anonymous inner classes), interfaces, constructors, methods and fields. It's included in Oracle's Java developer kits. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

5. JSDoc

Based on Javadoc, JSDoc parses your JavaScript code to create documentation. Note that in order to use it on Windows, you'll need a Perl runtime. Operating System: Windows, Linux

6. phpDocumentor

Like Javadoc, phpDocumentor turns code comments into readable documentation for users, only in this case for the PHP language instead of for Java. It's very fast and includes a variety of templates. Operating System: OS Independent

Open Source Compilers

Read the rest of this Open Source Development Tools roundup at Datamation

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