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The State Of Various Experimental Open-Source Projects

Free Software

Published on 14 July 2013 07:17 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
7 Comments

Quite often on Phoronix we cover various experimental open-source projects that catch our interest as they're interesting from a technical perspective, but often these projects don't end up stabilizing due to limited manpower or prove to be too technically ambitious. Here's a look at some of the less heard of open-source projects that have previously been covered on Phoronix to look at where they are today.

After writing a status update yesterday on Phoronix for the Darling Project, which is an open-source project to run Apple OS X binaries on Linux, I digged through the 9,000+ news post archive I have written over the years to look up some other interesting projects I haven't heard from in a while.

Here's an update on some dead or alive projects along with some brief remarks.

Shedskin is an experimental Python to C++ compiler. It was covered two years ago on Phoronix as a way for optimizing Python programs by compiling to C++, but there hasn't been any major news covered on Phoronix about Shedskin since 2011. Checking out their Git repository, the project is still going on and the latest activity is just one day old. Shedskin still is dependent upon the Python programs being statically typed for being able to compile to standalone C++ programs.

ULatencyD is a daemon for dynamically adjusting Linux kernel scheduling parameters and other performance tunables. The daemon is intended to minimize latency on a Linux system with CGroups. The project was covered back in 2011 on Phoronix while its GitHub has its most recent activity as of three months ago.

PerfKit was introduced on Phoronix in 2010 as a performance recording tool-kit. Its development seems to have ceased about a year ago, according to its GitHub.

Mozilla's Shumway is one of the newer experimental projects to be covered on Phoronix. Shumway is an Flash player VM implemented and executed within JavaScript. With it being a Mozilla-backed project, while it's not yet part of Firefox, it is still being developed actively. You can find the code here.

Eudev is a fork by Gentoo of udev that came about last year to free it from systemd. While it hasn't seen any widespread use outside of Gentoo yet, the code is still being updated and can be found here.

Xoreos is a re-implementation of BioWare's Aurora engine as open-source software. Xoreos is designed to run Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and other titles. While it's not a major open-source project, its last commit was last week.

Etnaviv is an open-source user-space graphics driver for Vivante GCxxx embedded GPUs. Its latest commits are just a day old, but the project still hasn't evolved into any mainline Mesa/Gallium3D driver yet.

Spearmint is a more advanced version of ioquake3. While most popular open-source game projects are still running ioquake3 code, Spearmint is still in active development and picking up more features. More details can be found here.

Dagon is an open-sourced adventure game engine. The cross-platform game engine features a simple scripting language and comes from Sensascape. Since the open-sourcing of the game engine, it's still been developed in project and its latest commits are just hours old.

From this quick round about of some of the lesser known projects not covered on Phoronix in a while, it's good to see many of these open-source software projects still advancing.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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