Our favorite GitHub repos

The trendy five: GitHub repos to be thankful for in November 2019

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock/ Verbitskaya Juliya

Another month has passed, and that means it’s time to collect our favorite GitHub repos and explore some of the coolest, most impressive, or most interesting projects that we found. In November, we took a look at a privacy-first home automation tool powered by Python 3, a way to use VS Code on the go, a JavaScript library for making intuitive, easy flowcharts, and a few more goodies.

Every month, we go over the GitHub trending page for any cool repos that stand out from the crowd. We choose five of the most innovative, interesting, and well-thought-out projects to highlight in our monthly report. As always, it was tough to narrow down the list of GitHub repos to our five favorites.

So, in no particular order, here are our top picks for November 2019!

Home Assistant


Python 3 puts you in control. Source.

As smart homes and home automation moves from sci-fi fantasy to a common reality, privacy concerns grow. That’s why the open source, Python-powered Home Assistant focuses on privacy and local control. It allows you to control your IoT devices from a mobile device, without storing any of your data in the cloud. This means that even if the Internet goes down, your smart home devices will still work. It’s all local and all in your control.

Home Assistant integrates with a number of commonly used IoT devices and brands, including Arduino, Nest, and Apple TV. It tracks the state of every device in your home.

View a number of automation examples from the community and get creative. Turn the lights off when it starts raining? Sure, that’s just a few lines of code and the Dark Sky sensor. Need to set a reminder to feed the cat? Just add the automation part to your configuration.yaml file.

The demo gives a good feel for its community created UI. Home Assistant works with any device that can run Python 3.



Demonstrating server-powered VS Code. Source.

Take your code wherever you go with the help of the cloud.

Code-server allows you to run VS Code on a remote server through your browser. Pick up exactly where you left off when switching devices, so you never lose that all-important flow. Program on the go without worrying about a plummeting battery. Intensive computation all takes place on the server, so you won’t waste precious percentages on testing and compiling code.

Requirements include a 64-bit host, at least 1 GB of RAM, (ideally) 2 cores, an HTTPS or localhost connection, and Docker. Linux users also require GLIBC 2.17 or later and GLIBCXX 3.4.15 or later.

Code-Server does not connect to the Visual Studio Marketplace, however. Instead, a custom marketplace with open source extensions is available.

SEE ALSO: The trendy five: Chills and thrills with favorite GitHub repos in October 2019



Sit, stay, classifying image. Good dog. Source.

Darknet is a neural network framework built with C and CUDA, authored by Joseph Redmon. Some of its impressive projects include:

YOLOv3: You only look once. This detection system works in real-time, processing images at 30 FPS. Darknet prints the detected images, along with its confidence level and the amount of time it took to identify.

Tiny Darknet: Darknet can squeeze down to a comparatively minuscule 4.0 MB.

Nightmare: What happens when you run image classification backward? Conjure up some neural network sleep paralysis demons with Nightmare.

View the project website for more information about its capabilities and how to install. Be sure to Tweet an image at Darknet and it will tell you what it is.

Leak Canary

Memory leak detection. Source.

LeakCanary acts as the proverbial canary in the coalmine. The library detects memory leaks for Android and provides likely causes of the leaks, so you can prevent potential memory errors and crashes. According to LeakCanary, using the library reduced OutOfMemory crashes by 94%.

What is a memory leak? From the project’s fundamentals:

In a Java based runtime, a memory leak is a programming error that causes an application to keep a reference to an object that is no longer needed. As a result, the memory allocated for that object cannot be reclaimed, eventually leading to an OutOfMemoryError crash.

For example, an Android activity instance is no longer needed after its onDestroy() method is called, and storing a reference to that activity in a static field would prevent it from being garbage collected.

This library is written in Kotlin.

SEE ALSO: GitHub will store code near North Pole for 1,000 years


Create intuitive flowcharts with this lightweight JavaScript library. Flowy makes creation easy, and nothing is easier than simple drag-and-drop. It was created by Alyssa, a full-stack dev who was recognized as the Best Woman Maker of 2018 by Maker Mag. (Congrats!)

This allows you to build automation software, mapping tools, or whatever strikes your fancy with one simple library.

Play with the live demo and create triggers, actions, and loggers with just a click and drag of the mouse.

That’s all for this month! See you in 2020 with the next batch of GitHub repos

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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