No #!@&! Documentation?...More OSS Tutorials Than You Can Shake a Stick At

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 23, 2008 has an interesting item up today on FLOSS Manuals,an effort to produce comprehensive, free documentation for popular open source software titles. As the post notes, "documentation is one area in which free/libre/open source software (FLOSS) is weakest." That's true, and FLOSS Manuals looks like an excellent learning and reference resource for titles such as OpenOffice, Firefox, Audacity, Blender, Inkscape and more. Here are some of the details on what's available there, and 16 other open source learning and tutorial resources that we've compiled.

FLOSS Manuals has more than 30 guides to open source software titles, and they're free. You can also download some of the guides for free as PDF documents from the FLOSS Manuals Storefront. The manuals are compiled in collaborative fashion.

FLOSS Manuals' manual for Blender, a top-notch 3D animation and graphics title is impressive. It provides information on conventions used in Blender, installation instructions for Mac OS X, Ubuntu, Windows and more, and tutorials on interface, editing, texturing, and rendering. The screenshots are mostly cropped shots, but they get right at how to execute tasks in Blender.

FLOSS Manuals is an ongoing project, and it only covers so many titles. For other open source learning and tutorial resources, you can check our collection of 25 useful examples. And, from the Blast from the Past Department, if you missed the collection we compiled below of open source tutorials, here it is once more:

GIMP is viewed by many as the definitive open source graphics application, and there are a number of outstanding, free tutorials for it on the web. Check out which includes video tutorials and much more. Also look into Grokking the GIMP--a complete, free online book.

Free Firefox tutorials abound on the web. Newbie's tutorial is worth spending some time with. Extend Firefox is a very complete site for people who want to develop extensions for the browser. Also, see OStatic's own collection of Firefox tips and favorite extensions.

Want to install a particular Linux distro and get up to speed? Take in some Learning Linux Videos. And, you can find many more tutorials for various Linux distros at LinuxPlanet.

There are many free OpenOffice tutorials on the web. You can find individual tutorials for the various applications in the suite here. My favorite OpenOffice tutorials, including Flash demos, are at Definitely check these detailed lessons out.

Many open source developers and wannabe developers can get a lot out of brushing up on web and database development topics. I'm a big fan of W3Schools' many online tutorials on these topics. Need to brush up on your CSS? Take a gander down the left rail of this site's tutorial for how much you can learn, and how you can plug in real examples and see what your finished pages will look like. The site also has free tutorials on HTML, XHMTL, JavaScript, PHP, AJAX, .NET, Flash and much more. Highly, highly recommended.

MySQL tutorials can really help demystify deploying and securing your database applications. Here's an easy-to-follow example.

Getting into open source customer relationship management? SugarCRM is the product many people reach for, and SiteGround's free tutorial will get you going. If you're interested in vTiger--also open source CRM software--Siteground has a tutorial that includes information on installing vTiger on your web site.