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Author Topic: List of the best available software  (Read 7916 times)
muntealb
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« on: June 20, 2009, 10:31:21 PM »

I have compiled a list of the best software currently available, freeware or shareware. The list has more than 1000 items and is structured in sections (for example "Internet") with subsections (Browsers, RSS, FTP, etc.). Over the years I have installed and tested the majority of the software presented in the list, so the content of the list is based on my experience.

The list has two parts and is available at:

http://muntealb.orgfree.c...gaturi/links-software.htm

http://muntealb.orgfree.c...turi/links-software-2.htm
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PhilB66
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2009, 11:41:50 PM »

Bookmarked.

Thanks for putting this list together. Very useful. (btw, there are a few broken links there)
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muntealb
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2009, 08:29:07 AM »

Yes, I know a few links are broken, but I try to detect them by checking the list regularly with the LinkChecker extension for Firefox. However, these days the abandoned domains are parked, rather than removed from the internet. LinkChecker detects only the 404 pages, so a manual check is better, but it is time consuming for such a huge list. I have done it a year ago, maybe it is time to do it again...
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Innuendo
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2009, 09:17:44 AM »

Quote from: muntealb
I have done it a year ago, maybe it is time to do it again...

Maybe you need some "report this link as broken" links...or at least a "report a link as broken" on each page. At least then people could give you a head's up when a link is dead.
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tinjaw
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2009, 12:58:44 PM »

You can use an online link checker like this.
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Curt
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2009, 04:57:19 PM »

The list has two parts and is available at:

http://muntealb.orgfree.c...gaturi/links-software.htm


- the link will trigger some pop-up advert of a kind:

Quote from: pop-up advert
http://optimizedby.rmxads.com/rw?title=New%20offer!&qs=iframe3%3FJBwAAP0sAwD9nSQAivkKAAIAAAAAAP8AAAABGAICAAK9swEAwaYPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA4k6k5FUAAAAAAAAAAAAAABFANsCFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGahakm-QhwZ29y4ZcbC.x4CHgkgX2Nfx-Tx.OwAAAAA%3D%2C%2Chttp%3A%2F%2Fmuntealb.orgfree.com%2Flegaturi%2Flinks-software.htm


My safety settings won't let me know what the pop-up is about.  tellme
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4wd
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2009, 06:58:54 PM »

- the link will trigger some pop-up advert of a kind:

orgfree.com is a free web hosting service and in line with the majority of them you have to agree to display their advertising, that's all.

I didn't get any advertising, no doubt due to Adblock or NoScript.

From orgfree.com's ToS paragraph 1:
Quote
You may not remove, resize so as to render invisible or unreadable, or otherwise block any of the ads that FreeWebHostingArea.com inserts onto your web pages.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 07:00:37 PM by 4wd » Logged

Four wheel drive: Helping you get stuck faster, harder, further from help...........and it's no different on this forum Evil
muntealb
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2009, 07:42:00 AM »

Innuendo, some time ago I had something similar with what you have proposed, but almost nobody used it, so I removed it. Anyway, I have now added two links at the bottom of the pages (in the explanatory notes) that will open new e-mail messages with the subject already written.

Tinjaw, I did not know about W3C Link Checker, so I tested it with the pages. It works, but it generates false positives like the ones showed below.
====================
Checking link http://www.helpandmanual.com/
HEAD http://www.helpandmanual.com/
-> GET http://www.ec-software.com/error404.html
-> GET http://www.ec-software.com/error404.html  fetched in 3.61s

Checking link http://www.mobile-master.com/
HEAD http://www.mobile-master.com/
-> GET http://www.mobile-master.com/404.html  fetched in 3.23s

======================

I checked again the list yesterday with the FF extension and found only 5 instances where the software was gone (site was removed from the internet) and 15 instances where the software page was present, but moved at a different address than that specified on my page. Of course I have uploaded the updated pages on my site.

The FF extension is more intuitive (it has colors) and more accurate, in my opinion. None of the link checkers can detect parked domains and this is the biggest problem.

Curt, the ad popup is an usual one, just like 4wd explained. It has 3 or 4 text links similar with Google AdSense and is under the control of the hosting provider. They get the revenue needed to provide the hosting for free.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009, 10:06:46 AM »

Quote from: muntealb
Innuendo, some time ago I had something similar with what you have proposed, but almost nobody used it, so I removed it.

Makes sense, I guess. After all, your target audience is a group of people too lazy to search out this software for themselves. What in the world make me think they'd have enough motivation to click a link? Wink

Quote
The FF extension is more intuitive (it has colors) and more accurate, in my opinion. None of the link checkers can detect parked domains and this is the biggest problem.

Sounds like you need to be using one of those link checking programs that can actually tell if there have been changes to the site the link points to since its been checked last. A domain disappearing and morphing into a parked domain would be caught by something like that.

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Curt
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 11:11:30 AM »

@ muntealb, do you ONLY link to programs you have tested/tried?

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sajman99
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2009, 04:23:37 PM »

@muntealb: Congratulations on this list. Any software list is by definition limited and subject to criticism because you left off software XYZ, but this list has lots to check out. I have no problem learning from the experience of others, so thanks very much for your efforts.
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brotman
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2009, 04:58:12 PM »

Hi,

Just checked out your "Best available software" list.  Very well done!   

I admit to being a little skeptical based on the name. However,  once I noticed how many of your selections matched software I'm already using, I realized how good a Judge of software you are  Wink

I'll probably refer back to it in the future. 

OBTW what does the "U" designation mean? Updated?

Thanks for your work and the web pages!

Chuck
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Chuck Brotman
muntealb
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2009, 03:51:21 AM »

Well Innuendo, about the people "too lazy" to search for themselves, it is yes and no. Surely some people that use the list belong to this category, but there are also people that really don't have the time to search and download twenty or thirty programs, then decide which is the best. And also there are those for which the downloads are expensive. Actually the idea for the list came from such a situation. At the time I had a dial-up connection for which I had to pay by the minute, so it was not possible to download myself programs above 20 MB, it was extremely expensive to do it. So the list was at first composed from programs that were on the CDs of two computer magazines that I bought every month for several years. Of course, nowadays I have a high speed connection which is paid with a fixed sum. But back then, I thought about others like me, which could not to download and test all the software they wanted. It is easier for them to download maybe 4 or 5 programs from my list, then decide which is the best.

A software that spots differences in the pages could be useful, but it generates too many false positives, because each time that a software page is updated (new version) I will receive an alert, not only when a page disappears or is replaced with one from a parked domain.

Yes Curt, I only add software tested by myself. Of course the testing is not very thorough, because I don't have so much time at hand. But I usually can tell if a software is good after I use it for 5-10 minutes. But I also listen to the opinion of others, this makes things easier. If a respected member of the DC community says that the software X is good and he has used it for a year or more, of course that I download the software and test it for only 5 minutes, then add it to the list. That's because on DC there are many people that can be trusted when it comes about their software choices. There are some exceptions to the testing routine, mainly for software that cannot be downloaded freely, but otherwise is considered as being one of the best in its category (CATIA, Bentley, etc.).

Sajman99, thanks for the kind words.

Brotman, I judge the software like many others, based on some universal criteria:

1) Functionality (features)
2) Usability (ease of use, intuitive interface)
3) Stability (no major bugs)
4) Graphical Aspect (pleasant to the eye)

The U is for Unicode compatibilty, it is specified at the bottom of the pages in the explanatory notes. This is especially important for non-english users. A software that is not Unicode compatible cannot process files that are encoded with Unicode. For example a PDF file that has been encoded in Unicode cannot be edited with a PDF editor that is not Unicode compatible. For many people Unicode compatibility is the first thing that they want in a software. No matter how feature rich is a specific program, it is for no use if someone needs Unicode compatibility above all the other features.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2009, 04:46:42 AM »

I like these lists, when looking for software I find it useful to have a starting point of some software others have found useful or are regarded as the best.  From there you can research further and try different ones that seem to fit your budget and download abilities, which in my case are both quite low  embarassed .  So good work and thanks for sharing it with us muntealb.
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rjbull
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2009, 06:11:21 AM »

A software that spots differences in the pages could be useful, but it generates too many false positives, because each time that a software page is updated (new version) I will receive an alert, not only when a page disappears or is replaced with one from a parked domain.

I use WebSite-Watcher from respected DC member aignes (Martin Aignesberger) to do exactly that, tell me when something has been updated.  But, you could set its filters to ignore changes in version numbers and dates, so you could see when something else about a page had changed, such as its disappearance.  It gives you a "Page not available?" warning in such cases.  You might also try running one of Martin's other programs, AM-DeadLink, a freeware for link checking.
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widgewunner
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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2009, 09:17:36 AM »

I liked the fact that you list EditPad Pro at the top of the Text editor catagory. However, I was stunned to see that EPP is not even listed on the Wikipedia page you linked to: Comparison of text editors. WTF!? Goes to show the reliability/trustworthyness of wikipedia I guess.
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muntealb
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2009, 07:07:42 AM »

Grorgy, I hope that you will raise soon your download abilities. In Romania, we had one of the worst situations in Europe (only dial-up and very expensive) and now things are much better, with all the broadband options (optic fiber, cable and ADSL) available and uncapped. I can now download all that I want, but I do remember the days when I had to download only the programs that were tiny in size.

Rjbull, I knew about the software that you recommend. Website-Watcher is very good, I have tested it before, but I don't see myself entering 1000+ web addresses in the program and monitoring them. There is also Newzie that is free and has a similar function, but it also needs the addresses to be entered manually. AM-DeadLink is mainly for browser bookmarks.

Widgewunner, actually the idea to have in the list the addreses of some Wikpedia pages was not mine, but I thought that it was useful, although I rarely look for informations about software on Wikipedia. The comparison tables are indeed useful, but not perfect, and I am also amazed about the absence of EditPad. I have edited the Wikipedia page and now EditPad Pro is also present.
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rjbull
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 07:54:54 AM »

I have edited the Wikipedia page and now EditPad Pro is also present.

All I'm seeing is a link to a blank page, unless it takes time for an edited page to appear.  However, a rudimentary page for EditPad Pro is here on the TextEditors.org Wiki.

I don't know if it helps, but WebSite-Watcher can import lists of URLs from various browsers, from text files with one URL per line or one name and a URL per line, and also import RSS feeds from an OPML file.
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muntealb
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2009, 11:34:28 AM »

The links present in the table point to Wikipedia ENG articles, not to external sites, and I just respected this pattern. However, EditPad doesn't have such an article, so the link is red and points to a blank page. EditPad only has an article on Wikipedia NL (dutch). But anybody can write an article on Wikipedia ENG. See also the list of text editors, where there are many programs that don't have yet a Wikipedia page.

I tried to use Website-Watcher on the text file containing the source of the HTML page, but it doesn't work. Anyway, I will manually check the list, which is a tedious process, but I don't think it will take more than 4 hours (at 1 hour per day it is feasible).
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Zero3K
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2009, 12:21:05 PM »

You should consider adding FlexTK (http://www.flexense.com) to the list of File Managers on the page.
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muntealb
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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2009, 08:07:26 AM »

You should consider adding FlexTK (http://www.flexense.com) to the list of File Managers on the page.

Added.

P.S. For anyone wanting to suggest a software, please use an e-mail message (my DC forum username @gmail.com) or a personal message using the forum feature.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 08:09:52 AM by muntealb » Logged
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