Thursday, March 5, 2015

'Open Source' Software Tools for Railroads & Rail Workers

The Railroad and its labor unions must continue to be forward looking and strive to keep up with other industries and corporations in the U.S. and around the world. In particular, the labor movement must encourage talented union workers and supporters to continuously explore and crawl the Internet looking for useful software tools that can be used strengthen and defend the movement and its members.

There are many high quality free and 'open source' software products that can be downloaded, installed, used, and redistributed amongst union organizations, workers and their families. These products produced by workers associated with the 'open source movement' may serve to meet the needs of union organizations and workers that might not be able to afford more costly commercial products produced and sold by major corporations.

Labor Movement - History & 
Research Software Tools

  • CHNM History Research Tools - The Center for History & New Media (CHNM) offers free tools and resources for historians to help collect, manage, cite, and manage research data and sources.
  • Scholar's Aid - A popular shareware bibliographical data manager, notes and/or information information manager for students and scholars
  • SmartPhones – History & Social Study Apps - A series of free or low cost mobile History apps available from MobileTopSoft.
  • TimeLine Web Widget - A web widget that allows you can make beautiful interactive timelines to better visualize temporal data.
  • Zotero Research Tool - A free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.
Rail & Transportation Software
* Visit the COSI 'Open' Transportation web site

General Purpose Software Tools
  • Apache Software - Originally known for being an open-source web server solution, it has now grown into a large collaborative software community with a wide range of complementary projects and products.
  • Drupal - A widely used open source content management system (CMS) for web sites.
  • Java - A free, portable programming language and/or software development platform originally created by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems.
  • JBOSS - An open source platform and development tools with everything you need to deploy, and host enterprise Java applications and services.
  • Libre Office - A comprehensive open source software suite of office applications (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet) similar to MS Office.
  • Linux - A widely used open source operating system for small and large scale computer systems originally created by Linus Torvalds
  • Mozilla & Firefox - A wide range of open source software products developed by the growing Mozilla 'open' development community. Products include the FireFox web browser, Thunderbird email system, Sea Monkey, etc.
  • MySQL - An open source database management system (DBMS) that offers the full functionality of similar commercial products such as MS SQL, DB2, Oracle, etc.
  • OpenDisc - A collection of open source software products for non-profit organizations, workers, students and others using computers running Microsoft Windows.
  • Open Office - A comprehensive open source software suite of office applications (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet, etc.) that provide very similar capabilities as MS Office.
  • OpenProject  - A free and open source project management software solution that can serve as a replacement for MS Project.
  • OpenSite Solutions - Providing a directory of high quality 'open source' alternative solutions to higher cost commercial products currently being marketed.
  • SourceForge - The world's largest open source software development web site providing free services that help people build software solutions to meet almost any need.
  • SugarCRM - A commercialized open source customer relationship management (CRM) software suite.
  • TWiki - An open source enterprise wiki, collaboration, and web application platform.
  • Wikipedia - A free web-based encyclopedia that anyone can access, edit, or use.
  • Zimbra Collaboration - An open source email and calendar groupware software product.
Learn more about the 'Open Source' movement and many free software tools by visiting the Collaboration, Open Solutions and Innovation (COSI) web site.