I am wondering if people have any ideas for open source projects that don't exist yet that they would like to share. Also, submit ideas that may be under open source development but need considerable work. I want to gauge the need for various projects.

Please submit one idea per answer for effective voting, thanks.

+6  A: 

A fully featured IDE without a bunch of bugs. Something that could actually compete with, say, visual slickedit or visual studio when it comes to features and stability.

I am aware that there are free solutions out there that claim to do this, but I have found that they fall far short of the commercial solutions.

Maybe MonoDvelop...
@tloach: are you talking about any language/environment in particular? Because I think Eclipse and NetBeans both are very solid IDEs.
Joachim Sauer
+10  A: 

A flash compiler that works.

Matthias Wandel
How about a 64-bit Flash player that works?
Just Some Guy
or how about an open-source .fla IDE that works? there's tons of OSS Flash compilers but I'm with you, they all suck. I'd love to be able to open, edit, and compile existing .fla files with a piece of free software.
+8  A: 

open source web-dev IDE.

currently in the news again due to Mozillas recent anouncement

The only stuff in the field right now is the dead Nvu, eclipse web tools etc.

Nothing that can compete with e.g. dreamweaver, visual studio (unless i have missed it)

Colin Pickard
quanta+ is great IMHO
Have you looked at Aptana? It's actually better than VS for Html/Javascript development.
Adam Lassek
I downloaded Aptana today, and can only say I was VERY impressed. It's like a dream come true
Robert Gould
I like aptana. Unless I missed something, it doesn't have a html or css visual designers. pretty crucial for an IDE
Colin Pickard
Since 6.5 Netbeans is really awesome for web development, in particular when doing PHP and also its very good for working with JavaScript libraries such as jQuery.
Mark Davidson

The apd-pecl-plugin for PHP.

Yes, it does exist, it hasn't been updated since 2006 though, and it doesn't work on "newer" versions of PHP. Probably the best debugging / profiling plugin for PHP.

+1  A: 

I would like to see more convenience libraries for the Rhino JavaScript interpreter. Currently in order to use most of the Java libraries in Rhino, you end up coding directly to the Java APIs, which defeats the point of a scripting language.

For example, I'd like to do this in Rhino to echo stdin to stdout (the resemblance to Python is not accidental):

for each (line in iterlines(java.System["in"]))

But you can't do that out of the box or with a well-known library -- you have to write your own iterlines:

function iterlines(inputStream) {
    var br = new
    var line;
    while (line = br.readLine())

JavaScript would be a great Java scripting language with those kinds of convenience functions built on top of it.

Steven Huwig
+2  A: 

a command-line Unix equivalent of Microsoft's Logparser. There are a few similar projects but all scripts.

Robert Gould
+2  A: 

A usable operating system.

Just kidding, Linux/BSD.

I'd like an open-source audio editing program, like FL Studio.

Audacity seems like it'd be pretty close to what you want...
Audacity is pretty good. The UI is a bit clunky, but it gets the job done.
yeah LMMS, i don't think is really close, but it's usable.
+13  A: 

A SQL change management tool!

Kinda like rails migrations? Check out liquibase ( Its written in java, but it can handle any db, of course.
Miguel Ping
+10  A: 

Something simple and slick that bridges the gap between MSWord and Latex.

Like LyX? I love it for document editing.
Just Some Guy
Not so much for document editing (although it'd be nice), more something that that makes styling a Latex document a task that doesn't require a thick reference book and possibly a large beard. (Lyx isn't bad though)
In you can export to LaTeX.
Agreed latex is awesome just really annoying trying to figure out how to do some stuff that would take one click in word.
Mark Davidson
I agree. LyX is probably as good as this get.
Joachim Sauer
+19  A: 

A working Exchange connector in component form that could be used by KMail, Thunderbird, Evolution, etc.

Just Some Guy
... and work with shared calendars too.
Christian Vest Hansen
+8  A: 

A version control client which can be used for multiple VCS.

I don't think that's likely for the reasons that there are some very fundamental differences between systems. CVS and SVN are very close, but neither really resemble Git or Mercurial. A client that could handle all of those well might be pretty unwieldy.
Just Some Guy
I don't know. There is TFSBridge for using TortoiseSVN with TFS, for example. I can see that approach being used.
Jeff Yates
Maven scm plugin supports multiple transports. Maybe you could rip out it's guts, and build a GUI on top of it?
+3  A: 

Someone picking up the old NDoc code base and bringing it up to par with support for all the new language features. SandCastle does a good job but it is still much harder to use and doesn't have as many features.

Scott Dorman
+22  A: 

A big red button that makes IE6 go away and never come back :)

How about IE altogether, past and future? But no -- I'll NEVER GET THAT TIME BACK!
Agreed IE on the Mac went away nicely back to hell. Time to do the same for every other very in particular, AOL users that don't even have a normal version of IE6.
Mark Davidson
+5  A: 

A free C++ library that supports generically connecting to all (well most) databases. Oh and the whole point is for it to be covered with a license that can be used commercially

Robert Gould
Search for "SOCI"
Nemanja Trifunovic
+1  A: 

mapping elements like virtual earth or google maps for silverlight.

I know that SharpMapmight eventually do this but its long far away from this ability.

The biggest problem with maps is not the software but the insane amount of money that would be required for actually getting the map data. Go !
Joachim Sauer

A better editor for FitNesse pages; their edit mode is very very rudimentary right now and I think it's one of the top 3 entry barriers to using the tool for less technically inclined users.


I'm really missing FolderSize in Vista. I loved it in Win XP; it simple did what it was supposed to do and otherwise stayed out of the way.

+3  A: 

Id like to see more research on the .NET Operating System... Singularity

Singularity - Wikipedia

Singularity - MSDN

+9  A: 

A good open-source touch typing game.

what specifically would make it good?
+8  A: 

A professional-quality game.

Paul Nathan
Grand Theft Linux!
They already did that, it's called Apple OS/X
Jeff Yates is a try in this direction
Ronny is one of the best I know of.
Stefan Steinegger

well this was my master plan Idea but anyway i do not have time for it now and maybe i will never have enough time and resources to do it

the idea is a web based IDE fully featured (including GUI designing, Database Designing, intelisence, etc) for Java,php, ROR

well i mean i want a web based version of netbeans :)

See for the pascal/basic version of your dream :)

An open-source Flash player built with .NET would be pretty handy.

It's not Open Source, but ComponentOne did have a .NET control for playing FLASH. If you need this, I would check them out. I purchased the suite a few years ago, but I never used that tool. Can't say if it is good or bad, but it does exist.
Bobby Ortiz
+1  A: 

An open source .net reflector.

P a u l

ICQ library for .NET

Go with Jabber and find a Jabber server that provides an ICQ service, done!
Joachim Sauer
+1  A: 

An open source IDE or addon for Eclipse or Netbeans which will allow to code and debug in VC++ for Windows, and will be better then Visual Studio in everyway.

Keep an eye out for that here:
Thanks, that project looks interesting. No too active lately though :-(
+4  A: 




(SO doesn't allow one-word responses, thus the triplication.)


A native Python reporting tool, similar to JasperReports for Java or Crystal Reports for every damn thing.

Robert Rossney

I really want something like Delicious Library, that will let me use a webcam to scan barcodes to easily import the contents of my real-life library. The closest I've found is Zebra Barcode Reader, but it's not integrated into any collection management software.

It's on my TODO list (itch, scratch) but there's so many other things on there too...

I believe alexandria or gcstar can import barcodes from text files. Not perfect integration but might be good enough for now
Colin Pickard
+1  A: 

I would love to see a tool to generate XAML from an existing Winform.

Bobby Ortiz
+2  A: 

A good video editing program.


A professional video editing program.

Yes, Cinelerra is almost there, but it's problems are down in the core - and noone wants to use ages to fix it up.

So Lumiera would be the obvious successor to be the Open Source Video editing program. But it needs to be finished.

+4  A: 
  • THE BEST MEDIA PLAYER. Something that would combine the versatility of VLC and the user interface of WinAmp/Windows Media Player.
  • Something like DropBox, but one that I can put on my own server.
  • A good advanced pixel/animation editor. Like Paint.NET but with focus on animations and pixel-by-pixel editing. Full support for GIF and MNG should be out-of-the-box with endless possibilities for plugins.
  • Antivirus substitute for computer experts. I'll have to explain a bit. The idea is that I don't like antiviruses because they slow down the computer quite considerably. And I haven't gotten any viruses for the past 5 years anyway although I don't use anything else besids Windows Firewall. But staying completely unprotected isn't very nice either. So I'd like some tool that would keep a record of all known programs and would warn me if an unknown program wanted to execute. Of course, it should be possible to make exception folders too - don't want a popup each time I recompile the program I'm working on. But the main idea is - it'd have to consume next to no system resources. It'd only check programs when they started up and then only their filenames/modify dates/sizes (no hash calculating).
  • A tiny Windows software that would show the status of Num Lock/Caps Lock/Scroll Lock in my systray (in a single icon). Wireless keyboards are nice, but the lack of indicator LED's is not. :P
  • Developer's SMTP/POP3/IMAP server. I'm thinking of a tool which would help to develop application that deal with emails. It would act as these three servers and you could develop your client against it. The SMTP server would not actually relay any emails, but would instead store them in a local folder where you could look at them with the built-in MIME analyzer (would help to hunt down MIME bugs). All actions would be looged in great detail so you can analyze what went wrong. I could go on for quite a bit about useful features in such a tool, but I'm sure you all can imagine them too.
  • Forum administrator helper tool. The idea is that many internet forums out there use volunteer moderators who participate while doing their daily jobs. This utility would help them. It would sit in systray (on Windows; don't know anything about *nix) and light up when new topics were created or new posts were made. Clicking it would bring up an UI which would allow to do most normal and administration tasks in the forum. And all that without actually visiting the website. On the forum's side there would have to be some kind of web service of course that would support this. Again - the possible feature list is enormous.
  • A GOOD CD/DVD burner software. One that would be as good as Nero Burning ROM when it comes to burning. I don't mean all the other software that comes with it, just the burner software. I know that there are some out there, but I haven't found one that even came close...
  • A good icon editor. So far Axialis AxIcons is the only normal software for it, but it's not free.
  • Microsft Exchange alternative.
  • Ultimate Driver Diagnostics Tool. A bootable CD/DVD which would allow you to do anything imaginable with your hard drive(s). Whether it would be low-level ATA commands or high-level filesystem structural repairs - it would have it.
  • Alternative to the abandoned CDMage software which would also support DVD images. That was a GREAT tool.
  • A nice kaleidoscope screensaver for windows that would use hardware acceleration. Actually - you can never have to many nice screensavers. :)
amarok is a pretty ok media player, and it is/will be available for windoze too when KDE works properly on windows.

No one wants a Quicken replacement? I'd move my Mom to Linux in a heartbeat with one.


A good Quicken replacement - one that's backed by a real (i.e., queryable) database. Something backed by SQLite would be great.


DDD the graphical front-end for command-line debuggers to run natively on Windows.

Rob Kam

I'd like to see a vim-port to symbian-s60.

€: shoot there are so many programs I want to see ported to my mobile

a proper java impl, a proper browser that does not proxy everything to opera, a proper go-program, a good pdf-viewer ...


A full replacement for Access. Like it or not there's a vast amount of business investment in Access applications, many not easily replaced by web apps due to close integration with other Office components and Exchange. The lack of something suitable to port existing applications too - ideally binary compatible but a reasonably parallel rewrite would be ok - is the problem stopping many SMEs moving to the Linux desktop.