Our favorite GitHub repos

The trendy five: April 2020 open source GitHub repos entertain during lock-down

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Javier Brosch

It’s that time of the month again, time to browse the GitHub trending page and pick the best, coolest, or most impressive open source projects for the month. In April 2020, we saw a Flutter boot camp, a conference tool, and more.

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 from April, 2020.

Background Matting


Composite image with Background Matting. Source.

Want to create a video with a complicated background but don’t have access to a green screen? With Background Matting, “the world is your green screen”. Using a matting equation, it separates an image into the foreground and background.

The paper about Background Matting by Soumyadip Sengupta, Vivek Jayaram, Brian Curless, Steve Seitz, Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman will be presented in IEEE CVPR 2020.

Read the blog post by Vivek Jayaram for an explanation and more examples, including tips on achieving the best possible images.

SEE ALSO: C passes Java and becomes number 1 programming language

Jitsi Meet

Last month, we took a look at BigBlueButton, an open source alternative to video call clients such as Zoom and Slack. This month, tack another FOSS solution to the list.

Jitsi Meet is a scalable video conference tool that you can use either as a standalone app or embed in your web application. It is a JavaScript app that doesn’t require any installation, with no need for an account, so users can remain anonymous.

Check out their website for additional info. Read more about its security and privacy.



Generated comments with ParlAI. Source.

ParlAI is a Python framework for training dialogue models and dialog AI research using over 80 popular datasets, including PersonaChat and Wizard of Wikipedia.

It integrates with Facebook Messenger and Amazon Mechanical Turk for data collection and evaluation and comes packaged with pre-trained models.

It uses Python3 and requires Pytorch 1.1 or newer.

Read the paper ParlAI: A Dialog Research Software Platform by Alexander H. Miller, Will Feng, Adam Fisch, Jiasen Lu, Dhruv Batra, Antoine Bordes, Devi Parikh, Jason Weston for a more in-depth, scholarly look at how it works.


Looking to learn a new skill? What about learning how to create apps with Flutter?

The Complete Flutter Development Bootcamp by the App Brewery teaches you how to code while creating your first cross-platform application.

It includes 16 sections packed full of hands-on tutorials. Start with a gentle introduction to Flutter and Dart and by the end, you will learn how to create apps from scratch, build UIs, speed up development, and more.

SEE ALSO: What Rust features are still missing? – Interview with Steve Klabnik

Turnip Prophet


Using open source for gaming profit. Source.

If you are anything like me, your gameplay in Animal Crossing: New Horizons reached triple digits. (What better way to fight off quarantine blues by befriending animals on a tropical island?)

This repo helps predict the price of turnips in Animal Crossing. For the uninitiated, turnips are the game’s stocks, with fluctuating buy and sell prices that can either break your bank or add zeroes to your bank account.

It is a single-page web-based app but you can also run it locally by cloning it from GitHub and then executing the project.

That’s all for this month! See you next month 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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments