10 new open source projects to watch

Included among them are several names familiar even to those outside the open source world

One of the most exciting things about open-source software is the sheer diversity of projects that are always under way. Aiming to recognize some of the most promising of those projects, Black Duck Software on Friday announced its 2010 open-source "Rookies of the Year" list.

Black Duck helps companies automate the management, governance, and security of free and open-source software in businesses. Working from a list of thousands of new projects launched in 2010, the company evaluated the popularity of each using a weighted scoring system that awards points for "commits" or changes to software within a project, the number of developers involved, and the number of Websites linked to the project. It then audited its findings and normalized the scores.

So which projects were the winners? Included among them were several names familiar even to those outside the open source world.

OpenStack Cloud Platform

At the top of the list, for instance, is Diaspora, the open-source social network that began its alpha testing phase just before Thanksgiving. I've actually been playing around with Diaspora as an alpha tester, so it's exciting to see this Facebook alternative officially recognized.

Though no specific rationale is provided for the order of Black Duck's list, the next project to appear on it is OpenStack, an open-source, open-standards cloud computing platform that's backed by RackSpace and NASA. Cloud computing fabric controller OpenStack Nova, meanwhile, is also on the list in fourth position.

Integrated development environment Cloud9IDE, which was built on top of Node.JS, is third among the Rookies of the Year, while NuGet -- a free, open-source, developer-focused package management system for the .NET platform -- takes the fifth spot.

VoltDB Database

In the sixth position is the Activiti BPM Platform, a business process management and workflow system designed for business people, developers, and system admins, while the seventh spot goes to SparkleShare, a file sharing and collaboration tool that aims to make sharing documents and collaboration easier. SparkleShare also lets users instantly sync with any Git repository to which they have access, Black Duck notes.

Finally, in spots 8, 9, and 10 on the Rookies of the Year list are VoltDB, a scalable, open-source OLTP SQL database; RapidFTR, a mobile app that lets aid workers collect, sort and share information about children in emergency situations; and ownCloud, an open personal cloud designed to be run on a personal server.

Thirty percent of the top 10 projects use the AGPL license, Black Duck noted, which indicates an increasing number of new cloud or SaaS related projects. Forty percent of the top 10 projects, meanwhile, are now on github, the company pointed out.

'Expanding Use of Open Source'

The Rookies were drawn from the Black Duck KnowledgeBase and from Ohloh.net, the public directory of free and open-source software that Black Duck acquired in September.

"The 2010 Rookies analysis demonstrates the continued embrace of the cloud as well as an increasing number of business process applications," said Peter Vescuso, executive vice president of Black Duck Software. "Each project in the top 10 represents the expanding use of open source by developers and the larger community, especially in the mobile and cloud communities."

Indeed, with all the business benefits of using open-source software, it's great to see the universe of choices expanding with so many new options. Whether it's through Linux or any of the many excellent free business applications out there, 2011 promises to be a great year to put the open source advantage to work for your company.

Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags open sourcesoftwareBlack Duck Software

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?