Following on from Phil Ryu’s excellent list of top 10 most beautiful OS X apps, I decided to create this list of top ten open source applications for OS X. I’m fully aware that most of the types of posts are scorned for excluding a certain application, but I honestly feel that this is the best, the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of all the open source apps for Mac OS X. And what’s especially cool about this list is that all the apps are available for you to download and use for nothing! So without any more fluff, I present what I think are the top 10 open source OS X apps!
If you have just stuck with Safari as your default browser, then you really need to have a look at Camino. This browser marries the power of Mozilla’s rendering engine with a slick Cocoa UI. It is very very fast, looks great and fits in seemlessly with OS X. In fact, Apple actually considered using Camino as the basis for what is now known as Safari but elected to use KHTML instead because of it’s smaller footprint. One of Camino’s original developers, Dave Hyatt, now works for Apple developing Safari. However, Camino has come on leaps and bounds recently and sports everything you would need for everyday browsing.
Don’t even bother downloading and installing MSN Messenger, AIM or YIM. It’s a total waste of your time. Why? Because you should be using Adium. Simple as that! This thing works with just about every single IM protocol out there, and it’s set to get better with the Summer of Code looming large!
As everyone knows already, getting your tunes onto an iPod is easy but getting them back off requires some leverage. Senuti allows you to easily grab tracks from your iPod and back them up locally to your HD. There’s no gimmicks and with a clean iTunes-esque interface you’ll be pulling tracks in no time at all!
Firefox has taken the web by storm, and because of it’s XUL UI it also works quite well with OS X. Even though the Mozilla foundation has employed Josh Aas to work on further OS X integration, Firefox still lacks in terms of a slick Aqua UI, but work is ongoing to remedy this. The main benefit of Firefox is in the extensions, especially if you are a power user. Web developers are especially well catered for with numerous search marketing extensions such as Aaron Wall’s recently released SEO for Firefox, the Google Toolbar, Yahoo Toolbar and Performancing for Firefox. You can download many more here.
While NetNewsWire is a totally top notch app, and it’s free sibbling NetNewsWire Lite is also neat, you really want to download Vienna. For browsing any number of feeds, this is it! Organize feeds with smart folders, open feeds in new tabs, custom display styles and more. It’s just so elegant, an example of an app with perfect Aqua integration.
There are lots of IRC chat clients out there, but there are none like Colloquy. Aside from the slick Aqua UI, Colloquy has a whole bunch of features: buddy lists, file transfer, plugins, single / multi window modes and much more. And it’s open source! And it’s free!
Don’t want to spend the money on skEdit (very nice text editor), TextMate or SubEthaEdit then try Smultron. This free and open source text editor has a pretty long feature list as you can see: line numbers, support for syntax colouring for many different languages, functions list, support for text encodings, snippets, a toolbar, a status bar, HTML preview, split window, multi-document find and replace with regular expressions, possibility to show invisible characters, tabs, authenticated open and saves, command-line utility, .Mac synchronisation, full screen editing and more!
Looking for a cheap alternative to Transmit, then have a go with Fugu. This FTP / SFTP client has a familiar and intuitive interface (much like that of Transmit), left column for local files and right hand column for remote files. It hasn’t seen a great deal of interest recently and not much has changed except for some localization. But still, it’s worth a look.
Way better and much cooler than the standard Bittorrent app, Transmission is P2P done right. Simple and clean, elegant and space saving. Easily up there with Acquisition in terms of coolness. And oh yeah, it’s free.
While Quicktime works fine with .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .m4a files, it doesn’t do much with other widely spread multimedia formats such as .avi, .ogg, and DivX. This is where VLC comes in. It’ll play back just about anything under the sun!
If there are any cool open source OS X apps that you think deserve to be on this list, then please let me know!