A Brief History of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

The last quartile of the 20th century was marked by a rise in software development by companies, individuals and hobbyist groups. Key among software development methodologies was a controversial yet innovative idea about giving away your software code for others to use and improve upon it.

Those new to the free and open source community may not appreciate how radical and dangerous the idea of giving away your source code for free was for people. Those that did subscribe to the ideology sacrificed tremendous profits and fame yet helped create what we now call FOSS today.

We(mindtouch.com) know and understand that there are huge bodies of FOSS history that we have missed.  But we tried to cover the primary highlights and educate our readers at the same time.  It’s a great story and one we enjoyed putting together.

via www.mindtouch.com

Cart: Computer software for making cartograms

Cart is a computer software  for creating density-equalizing maps or "cartograms" using the technique described in the recent paper Diffusion-based method for producing density equalizing maps.

Cart is an open source program. If you wish to run the complete program "cart" to make cartograms from your own data, you can compile the source code as provided. For this you'll need a C compiler, such as Visual C++ or GCC.

To download the software, click here.

For documentation on how to use the software, click here.

via http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/cart/

Examples of cartograms created using this software


Veusz is a GUI scientific plotting and graphing package. It is designed to produce publication-ready Postscript or PDF output. SVG, EMF and bitmap formats export are also supported. The program runs under Unix/Linux, Windows or Mac OS X, and binaries are provided. Data can be read from text, CSV or FITS files, and data can be manipulated or examined from within the application.

In Veusz plots are created by building up plotting widgets with a consistent object-based interface. The program also provides a command line and scripting interface (based on Python) to its plotting facilities. It can also act as a Python plotting module.

Veusz is written in Python. Its user interface uses PyQt (Wiki) and Numpy is used to manipulate data.

Veusz is Free Software and is licenced under the GPL (version 2 or greater)


via http://gephi.org/

Gephi is an open-source software for graph and network analysis. It uses a 3D render engine to display large graphs in real-time and to speed up the exploration. Gephi combines built-in functionalities and flexible architecture to:

  • explore
  • analyze
  • spatialize
  • filter
  • cluterize
  • manipulate

export all types of networks.

Gephi is based on a visualize-and-manipulate paradigm which allow any user to discover networks and data properties. Moreover, it is designed to follow the chain of a case study, from data file to nice printable maps. Gephi is a free/libre software distributed under the GPL 3 ("GNU General Public License"). Runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Gephi is open-source and free.

Learn more:

Amazing facts and figures about Instant Messaging

Instant messaging. We all use it, whether it be Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, or some other IM client or platform. We’ve come a long way since the days of ICQ, when IM as a phenomenon really took off. IM is now such an intricate part of our experience of the internet that pingdom.com thought an infographic on the subject was in order. Enjoy!