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Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04.1 desk; Red Hat 9.0 server
Help me create a strategy for finding software
So I want to find a particular kind of software for the desktop, in this case time and billing for a professional like a consultant or CPA.
I know there are several sites where I can find linux software. Someone told me some specialize software which is public license (free, and perhaps experimental) and some which do commercial software. In my case, I am willing to pay a reasonable price for the software.
When I go to some of these sites I enter searches for "time and billing" and get dozens or even hundreds of hits. But lots of it are for automating charges for ISPs and other things which are irrelevant to my needs. And this after wading through all these entries, some of which are alpha, some beta, etc. Often the descriptions are written not for a business person but for a techie. And then when I get one that sounds promising, the screen shots and test versions they offer have been so klunky, it seems a waste of time.
I have thought of looking for review articles or going to CPA forums to see what others are using. And perhaps sending e-mails to the developers, too.
So my question borders a little on how to enter searches but mainly stays with the question, what strategy would you use for such a search? Where do you look first for software, where second, how do you verify you have something that is working well for other people?
I usually do a search through my distro's online package database, or another distro class' online package database (like the Debian database), to start creating a general list of software that might meet my needs, then check out the homepages of whatever sounds interesting. Alternatively, you could also check out an online package database, then go to freshmeat and see what category it is in, then check out the category, or do the same at TUCOWS. A third alternative is to search several of the app names in a single Google search string, to find pages that contain both app names, which also indicates a listing of applications for a certain need.