One of the reasons I originally created this website was to make a list of some of the awesome places on the internet. And as I learned more about open-source software I thought this should also be a place to make my own list of excellent free open-source links. And more and more people I know started having there own websites and blogs so there is a place on here for that as well.
Click on these categories to jump down to a section of links:
My Favorite Links
Some of the most awesome links I've come across.
This American Life – This American Life is my favorite NPR program. There are years of fascinating true stories. Some of my favorite episodes include: the hassle of trying to sort out a phone bill mistake, unexpected adventure leads to becoming an MC of a prison poetry contest, being shipwrecked on a remote island in the middle of New York City, a lifetime spent in pursuit of time travel, the story of a man who found and lost faith, then found redemption in the end, and the story of teachers being sent to detention.
This Week in Tech – a great collection of podcasts focused on technology.
Source Code in TV and Films – a blog that examines the code shown in various movies and tv shows.
Eboy – Eboy is a group of three German graphic designers who make highly detailed isometric landscapes that are beautiful.
Celestia – Celestia is a really cool planetarium app that transforms your desktop into a window across the cosmos. Really cool for those interested in the stars, and checking out what things might look like from the other side of the galaxy.
The Internet Archive – in addition to the Way Back Machine, the Internet Archive has some other really great stuff. For example, they have tons of old video games that you can emulate right in your browser, like Frogger or my favorite Seaquest.
8-Bit City – imagine Google maps as an NES game.
US National Whitewater Center – Charlotte is home to the US National Whitewater center, where you can go rafting kayaking, mountain biking, ropes coursing, canoeing, etc. I have seen the US and Canadian national teams practising.
The Map Shop – a great place to look for maps. Their actual shop in Charlotte NC is a must-visit location.
EDallmeyer.com – a portfolio of art and architecture of my friend Emily.
AmySandersPottery.com – the website of my friend Amy, who is a talented potter. She also has a blog.
This website (Huffmania.com) is my first, but I have a few others, and there are some I've worked on professionally:
JHuffmanDesign.com – some examples of my graphic and web design.
DreamWithPixels.com – this is my main portfolio site.
Retro Video Game Console Museum – a little class project, learning to code with PHP.
Christmix – one of my friends makes a Christmas music compilation every year. I make the CD cover art.
Habitat for Humanity Charlotte – I've actually built several websites for Habitat Charlotte, and a couple for other Habitat affiliates in the surrounding areas.
I've worked on a few other non-profit sites, both large and small, in the Charlotte area.
Open-Source Software links
You don't have to shell out the bucks to have access to powerful software. There are certainly are some advantages to premium software, but if you can get by with a decent open-source free alternative, why not?
All of the software listed here are apps that I have tried out, and some I use on a regular basis.
Replace Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud with free open source design software
Nothing beats Adobe Creative software. If you have access to it, there is little reason to consider using anything else. However, if you are interested in alternatives that are very capable, not to mention free to download and use however you want, then I suggest giving the following programs a try. (And if you like them, you might want to donate to the effort.) The following is essentially a free/open-source version of Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud:
GIMP – GIMP (stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a really nice raster image editor, and alternative to Photoshop. You can do so much with Gimp. It really is a solid replacement for almost anything you would want to do with Photoshop. You'll probably have to do a little Googling to figure out how to use GIMP to do the same things you would have done in Photoshop, but fear not, there are tons of tutorials on YouTube thanks to a great user-base.
Inkscape – Inkscape is a fantastic vector graphic editor and alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape is my go-to graphics program that I can use for nearly anything. It may not have all the extra bells and whistles that come with Illustrator, but it's lightweight (so it runs quick) and it has the essential capabilities that make it very simple to pick up, espicially if you're familiar with Illustrator. Its just such an amazing little illustration program. I have used it for nearly all of the artwork on this website, and for pretty much everythign I do.
Scribus – Scribus is a desktop publishing application. It offers much of the same capibilities that InDesign is well known for (ex: master pages, spreads, etc). Nothing really beats InDesign in this regard, but Scribus is a nice free alternative.
Kompozer – if you're looking for a WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editor to replace Dreamweaver, then Kompozer is probably your best choice. Kompozer provides a live preview (which runs on the same rendering engine as Firefox), as well as a code view, and other helpful views. Kompozer is actually a descendent of the 'Composer' feature that was part of the Netscape Navigator browser (hence the similar name spelled differently).
Text Editors (For HTML, CSS, JS, SASS, LESS, JQUERY, C++, PHP, Python, Objective C, Etc.)
Looking for a good free text editor to code with. There are now plenty to choose from:
Notepad++ – As far as I'm concerned, nothing beats Notepad++. Its my go-to text editor. It color-codes tags, self-closes tags, supports many different languages (including HTML, CSS, JS, etc), allows for editing multiple areas of the same document simultaneously, has tons of extensions, etc. The only downside is that is is Windows-only.
Sublime Text – Sublime Text is a very popular editor with a lot of designers these days. It's cross-platform but not free. It is free to try, with an unlimited trial period.
Atom – Atom is a great alternative text editor that offers lots of community-created extensions.
Adobe Brackets – Adobe now has an open-source text editor that offers a lot of the best of what Dreamweaver's code editor has to offer. So if you're looking for an editor that is familiar to Dreamweaver and don't need to use and IDE, give Brackets some consideration.
Microsoft VisualStudio Code – Microsoft has also offered a really nice free text editor with VisualStudio Code. It really nice features and tends to be my second favorite text editor.
Read my blog comparing text editors here.
Replace Microsoft Office with free open source office software
Microsoft Office is the de-facto productivity suite across most offices and schools. Nearly everyone uses it, but it's usually not included with a computer purchase, except as a free-trail. But, if you don't need to have every bell and whistle that Office provides, you can use an open-source alternative and get by just fine. And most importantly, the open-source options available are fully compatible with MS Office, so you can send and receive documents from your peers and be totally compatible. Here are two good options:
Apache Open Office – the original Open Office provided by Sun Microsystems became Apache Open Office after Oracle's acquisition of Sun.
Libre Office – some of the original creators of Open Office, and it's non-profit foundation, the Open Document Foundation, forked off from Open Office to develop Libre Office. This is actually now my preferred open-source Office alternative.
Tip: with both of these programs, you'll want to configure the default file save-as format to be the Microsoft file format – ex: .doc and .xls.
Web Design links
This is Responsive – a great collection of Responsive Web Design resources.
CodeCademy – an excellent free online code-learning resource.
CSS-Tricks – CSS-Tricks provides lots of great examples and useful tools, such as this CSS button creator, or this horizontal rule styler, or these tips for floating divs, or this guide for clearing floats, or this tutorial on centering with CSS. There is bunch of useful stuff there.
Dave Walsh's Blog – I've found some really great examples on Dave Walsh's blog of cool stuff - such as a how to for creating animated SVGs, and some truly mind blowing WebGL examples here and here.
Code Validator – It's important to make sure your code is valid. This online validator helps make sure your code is correct. You can drop in your URL, or paste the code in directly to test.
W3Schools – w3schools.com is basically an encyclopedia for all of the code on the web. You'll find through explanations and demonstrations for HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery, PHP, Bootstrap, AngularJS, etc.
Stack Overflow – is a giant community of developers. Chances are, if you have a question, you'll find an answer on Stack Overflow's forums.