Collaborative development efforts to create innovative, 'open source' software, information technology, and tools for religious organizations and individuals are well underway. These information technologies and tools are being released under one or more open source licensing arrangements that allow one to acquire and use these tools at little or no cost. This has tremendous potential consequences for individuals and religious organizations around the world facing funding challenges.
The following are links to selected web sites offering 'open source' software and tools for religious organizations and individuals.
· Bible Time - A free and open source Bible study program.
· ChurchBiz Online - Offering a variety of free solutions for churches, e.g. software, eBooks, music, and much more.
· CrossWire Bible Software - A variety of open source religious software products for use on Laptops, Desktops, and SmartPhones.
· Freshmeat Shareware - List of Bible related open source software on the Freshmeat web site.
· SWORD Project - A Bible software development project that has created a range of related cross-platform open source tools.
· TechMission Christian Software - A collection of freeware and open source software aimed at Christian organizations and individuals that includes church management software, ministry software, Bible study software, and more.
· Ubuntu: Christian Edition – A free, open source operating system geared towards Christians. It is based on the popular Ubuntu Linux.
· Xiphos - A popular open source Bible study software application.
Other Religious Software
· Free Religious Software Download Manager - Offering a wide range of free software relative to most religions that can be easily downloaded.
· ITL – Open source Islamic software tools, e.g. Hijri calendar, prayer time reminder, etc.
· Open Siddur Project - A collaborative open source project aimed at crafting and sharing siddur related content, software, and other materials.
· Sabilly - Operating system and software you need in your everyday tasks, customized specifically for Muslims.
· Ubuntu Buddhist Remix – Buddhabuntu is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, tailored for Buddhist users. It includes various Buddhist Scriptural study tools.
· Zekr – Open source Qur’an study tool with Arabic and translations.
General Purpose 'Open Source' 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.
· JBOSS - An open source platform and development tools with everything you need to deploy, and host enterprise Java applications and services.
· 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.
· 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.
· SugarCRM - A commercialized open source customer relationship management (CRM) software suite.
· Zimbra Collaboration - An open source email and calendar groupware software product.
The following are links to selected religious apps for mobile smartphones, e.g. iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc.
· eBible PDA - Free Bible software and mobile apps for SmartPhones, PDAs, etc.
· Olive Tree - Offering free eBooks, Bibles, study guides, mobile software apps for a range of mobile devices.
· PocketSword - A free Bible study app for the iPhone & iPad that can be downloaded from iTunes.
Other Religious Apps
The following are links to web sites of selected development organizations focused on providing religious organizations and individuals with innovative 'open source' technology and tools.
· CrossWire Bible Society - A resource pool to other Bible societies and Christian organizations that can't afford a programming staff or expensive commercial software tools
· Global Media Outreach - Online missionaries using the Internet and information technology to reach people around the world.
· Joshua Project - A Christian research initiative seeking to gather data about the ethnic groups of people around the world and providing a range of free tools and digital technologies to assist in missionary efforts.
· LightSys - dedicated to equipping Christian missions and ministries with the computer technology best suited to their needs, including the knowledge and contacts needed to support that technology.
· Open Source Initiative - a non-profit corporation formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.
· TechMission - Uses innovative approaches to provide digital technology resources and solutions to meet needs in at-risk communities.
For more information about 'Open' Religious Software Tools and Technologies, visit the religion.cositech.net web site.
Are you using any open source religious software or tools? Let us know about any solutions you would recommend to others.