Welcome to the sixth annual Best of Open Source Software Awards, otherwise known as the Bossies. If you've enjoyed our previous Bossies, you're in for a treat: This year, with the help of our extended InfoWorld family of contributing editors, we've pulled together more than 100 Bossie-worthy products in seven categories, from application development tools to -- for the first time -- games and other fun stuff.
- Bossie Awards 2012: The best open source applications
- Bossie Awards 2012: The best open source application development tools
- Bossie Awards 2012: The best open source data center and cloud software
- Bossie Awards 2012: The best open source databases
- Bossie Awards 2012: The best open source desktop applications
- Bossie Awards 2012: The best open source networking and security software
- Bossie Awards 2012: Now for something completely different
We've taken it upon ourselves to plow through all that frenetic activity and dig up the juiciest, smartest, and most useful open source software available. If you'd just like to page through from beginning to end, start here. Stick around in this article and you'll get a tour of the important trends in open source this year.
Hadoop: An elephant born tap-dancing
Nothing in open source is more exciting than the constellation of software around Hadoop. Technically, Hadoop is just a small part of a big stack of software that keeps a number of machines crunching together on a single problem, but as you may have noticed, your boss's boss has learned to drop Hadoop as a buzzword. So we often overlook related programs such as Pig or Hive though they can be more useful than Hadoop itself.
Hadoop is the poster child for the big data. It began as a small experiment based on Google's MapReduce technology and grew into a stack of code for those who need to do big things with data spread out across a rack of nodes. The tool has been so successful, we've heard rumors that the Google engineers who pioneered the MapReduce paradigm are jealous of the innovation going on in Hadoop. Google got the ball rolling, but the open source nature of Hadoop allowed the rest of the Internet to surpass the biggest dog in big data.