Beginner's Guide

How to discover the best Open Source software for your project

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Open Source will eat up the world of software … in companies. And we do not say it. Any tech company you ask, from Red Hat to Microsoft itself, says it . There are plenty of examples: the world of the cloud, the IoT, Artificial Intelligence or Big Data are largely based on Open Source projects.

More and more projects are embracing open source in a vibrant community, which rewards diversity and in the thousands of ideas compete to attract the best developers.

And although this is certainly its greatest strength, it is also one of its great weaknesses. Such a number of projects hinder their individuality, being detected by companies and discovering which ones, effectively, respond to what they need.

To help organizations in this area, however, some tools have been categorizing, evaluating, sorting and presenting the best for some time. The ones that we present below are three of the best alternatives that you have just one click away.

Stack Builder

Developed by OpenLogic , Stack Builder is a free tool designed to help companies create a custom framework of open source applications .

Unlike other approaches in which each application is assessed and reviewed individually, in Stack Builder what prevails is the vertical integration of the whole and how it fits into the needs of companies.

In this way, once the user registers on the platform, they are presented with a screen divided into different categories, which include common elements such as application delivery, data layer, monitoring, containers, work-flow… etc.

The user then has the opportunity to explore the categories that interest them, while creating a stack of applications that makes sense by “dragging” the various projects in a drag and drop interface .

But even if the user is not very clear about it, he can also explore predefined “templates” that reflect different use cases such as Big Data, PHP or serverless Node.js environments.

After the selection is complete, OpenLogic sends the user a report that reflects the usage of each of the selected packages, their highlights, and the best way to implement them.

The Open Source Index

GitHub has been for some years, the great reference in the Open Source world. Practically all the projects that count in this world have their own repository in this space (which curiously is not Open Source) owned by Microsoft .

But with thousands of projects vying for visibility, how do you determine the ones that are worth it? What are the most popular? And not only that but also… which ones have a more active member activity? How often are they updated?

Many of these questions are answered by «The Open Source Index» , an interesting tool developed by Two Sigma Ventures that collects, in a directory, the hundred most popular open-source projects of the moment (tensorflow, bootstrap, react, vue and kubernetes stand out at the moment), thus those that experience a greater growth.

To determine the way in which the different projects are positioned, the company uses the GitHub API itself and orders all the available projects according to their number of watchers , that is, the “subscribers” to each of them.

It also takes into account other metrics, such as the growth rate of those watchers , the number of people who contribute, the rate of publication of new versions and the feedback provided by the community.

Openbase

With an approach that relies on the work of the community, Openbase presents itself as a “TripAdvisor” or “Yelp” of the Open Source world.

Founded in 2019, Openbase’s main objective is to value the best open source packages, facilitating a discovery task across hundreds of categories and informing users about such useful data as weekly downloads, monthly commits and even stars. on GitHub.

The platform goes beyond GitHub’s own capabilities, offering granular categorization and all kinds of search filters, as well as more information on the development process, popularity, and maintenance of each application. In addition, it allows the community to assess or review each of these in certain criteria, based on its own experience.

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