A framework for managing continuous builds. Each time you update something in your version control repository, CruiseControl recompiles your code, re-runs your tests, and lets you (and your teammates) know if you've broken anything.
Originally developed by IBM for Java development, Eclipse is the biggest open source
development environment around these days. There are literally hundreds of plugins
for it, and hundreds of thousands of users. It's not for the faint of heart (and it
definitely won't be happy on a four-year-old hand-me-down machine), but it's one of
the real power tools of modern programming.
It doesn't actually stand for “eighteen megabytes and constantly swapping”, and it isn't
actually a Lisp-based operating system, but there's a grain of truth in each claim. Many programmers
swear by it; others massage their aching wrists and swear at it instead, but there's no denying
that it's a very powerful tool.
While it is now several years old, Udell's examination of what the web could be, and how it could help scientists collaborate more effectively, is still as thought-provoking as it was when it first appeared.
The main site for an advanced open source relational database. It may not be as popular as its main competitor, MySQL, but most people who have used both have found PostgreSQL easier to work with.
PyDev is a plugin for Eclipse, an open source IDE backed by IBM that
was originally targeted at Java, but which now has plugins to support several other
languages. Like Eclipse, PyDev needs a lot of memory to run well.
Joel Spolsky's 15-minute guide to character set encodings, and what you have to do to deal with the fact that most of the world doesn't use the standard American alphabet. This article is reprinted in