“In love, you must open your heart — and your source code.” -David Habusha, VP Product at WhiteSource
This Valentine’s Day, we are sharing a different kind of love, one only developers can truly appreciate: love of open source projects.
If you’re a developer, open source probably plays a major role in your work. Perhaps you love it just as much as we do, and for that reason, we’ve created this post to share the seven open source projects we admire the most.
7 open source projects to know & love
Number of contributors: 287
Top contributor: Jonathan Ellis, CTO & Co-Founder at DataStax | @spyced
Primary language: Java
Number of stars: 5,700
Apache Cassandra is a distributed and decentralized database designed to manage massive amounts of structured and unstructured data across the world. It was developed at Facebook for inbox search and open sourced in July 2008.
One of Cassandra’s most essential features is its elastic and linear scalability, which enables a consistently fast response time. Data is automatically replicated to multiple nodes for fault tolerance and easy distribution.
Some of the open source project’s largest production deployments include Apple, Netflix, and Chinese search engine Easou. It’s also in use at Constant Contact, CERN, Comcast, eBay, GitHub, Instagram, and more than 1,500 more companies.
Number of contributors: 2,383
Top contributor: tensorflower-gardener
Primary languages: C++ and Python
Number of stars: 141,000
TensorFlow is an open source library for numerical computation and machine learning that was created by the Google Brain Team in 2015. TensorFlow is designed to enable the simple creation of machine learning models for desktop, mobile, web, and cloud.
One of the project’s greatest benefits is abstraction. In other words, TensorFlow allows developers to focus on the general logic of the application while the library handles the details of implementing algorithms in the background. It also provides a direct path to production. Whether on servers, edge devices, or web, TensorFlow lets you train and deploy your model easily in any language or platform.
Some of the biggest companies using TensorFlow include airbnb, Coca-Cola, DeepMind, GE Healthcare, Google, Intel, and Twitter.
Number of contributors: 190
Top contributor: Rhys Arkins, Director of Product Management at WhiteSource | @rarkins
Number of stars: 2,600
Renovate is the essential “keep absolutely everything up-to-date” code maintenance tool. Acquired by WhiteSource in November 2019, Renovate is designed to save developers time and reduce security risk by automating dependency updates in software projects.
We obviously love Renovate a lot, mostly for its open-first approach and ability to support a highly coordinated and efficient open source security strategy.
One of Renovate’s key benefit is its ability to support multiple languages and file types in order to detect dependencies wherever they’re in play. It runs continuously to detect the latest available versions, and provides changelogs and commit histories with every update. You can also run your existing suite of tests on every update to avoid regression errors.
Number of contributors: 2,441
Top contributor: Jordan Liggitt, Staff Software Engineer at Google | @liggitt
Primary language: Go
Number of stars: 63,000
Over the past few years, containers have become a go-to for software development teams, helping them build, deploy, test, and deploy at scale, and keep up with the hectic speed of release cycles. Kubernetes, an OG in the container space, is an open source project that is designed to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Its main objective is to simplify the work of technical teams by automating many of the processes of applications and services deployment that were formerly completed manually.
We love Kubernetes for its automation capabilities, which ultimately saves you money through more efficient use of hardware. Kubernetes allows you orchestrate containers on multiple hosts and scale resources and applications in real-time.
Special mention goes to K9s, the Kubernetes CLI that makes it easier to navigate, observe, and manage your Kubernetes clusters.
Some of Kubernetes’ biggest users include China Unicom, Spotify, Nav, and AppDirect
Number of contributors: 4,884
Top contributor: Brian Coca, Sr. Software Engineer at Ansible | @brian_coca
Primary language: Python
Number of stars: 41,700
Featured in GitHub Octoverse’s list of top open source projects by contributors since 2016,
Ansible is an IT automation tool that “loves the repetitive work your people hate.” We love this open source project because it eliminates much of the complex, redundant tasks intrinsic to application development and delivery.
Ansible has risen in popularity because of its simple, human-readable language and ability to automate complex, multi-tier IT application environments. Organizations that are able to eliminate some of the lamented grunt-work their developers face stand to reap the benefits of improved productivity and accelerated DevOps.
Number of contributors: 149
Top contributor: Enrico Tröger | eht16
Primary languages: C & C++
Number of stars: 1,500
Geany is a small and lightweight IDE that runs on Linux, Windows, MacOS, and every platform that is supported by GTK libraries. We love it because it fulfills the need for a flexible, powerful, cross-platform IDE that provides helpful features without congesting your workflow.
For instance, Geany offers syntax highlighting, code folding, symbol name auto-completion, call tips, a build system to compile and execute your code, and project management, among others. Another unique resource is its extensive User Manual and crowd-sourced Wiki and full Plugin API Documentation.
Number of contributors: 1,853
Top contributor: Tim Graham | @timograham
Primary language: Python
Number of stars: 47,100
Django is a high-level Python Web framework, and it’s very loveable. For one thing, it’s designed to help developers achieve their most important objective: rapid development.
Django is beloved by Python developers because it enables programmers to push apps from concept to completion fast, without the usual hassle of web development. Of course, we also appreciate its dedication to security. It helps developers avoid many common security errors, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, clickjacking, and more.
Considering Python’s increasing popularity in the open source community, we expect Django to continue to grow. Versatile and scalable, many websites have already adopted Django, including Mozilla, Pinterest, Instagram, Open Stack, National Geographic, MacArthur Foundation, and more.
Share the Love: Giving Back to the Open Source Community
We just love them all! While each project we mentioned here has a different core objective, each has the potential to improve the way you work. They enable faster, cleaner work, and place a growing emphasis on security.
As our love of open source continues to grow, along with our dependence on the open source projects that power and support the software products we create, it’s important to remember to give back to the open source community. While many of the projects that we highlighted are supported by a loving community of maintainers and supporters, not to mention some of the largest tech giants, other open source project maintainers have struggled to support get support for the components the lovingly created and maintained.
If we want to make sure that the open source projects that we love so hard continue to flourish, and remain stable and secure, the best way to do that is to give a little something back, and share the love.