Springing forward

The trendy five: March 2020 open source faves from GitHub

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / c_zucch

Time to round up some of the coolest, most interesting, and best open source GitHub repositories that we’ve seen this month. In March 2020, we took a look at a mathematical animation engine, an experimental toolchain from Facebook, and a Kubernetes IDE.

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.

And what a month it’s been. But let’s take some time to push COVID-19 out of the frame for a few seconds, take a deep breath, and see what fun things programmers are creating that have nothing to do with the global pandemic. (However, there are plenty of open source projects related to the virus that you should check out.)

So, in no particular order, here are our top picks from March, 2020.

SEE ALSO: Get your children programming while playing with these resources on coding for kids



Manim logo. Source.

Are you a visual learner? Manim is an animation engine for explanatory math videos. Using Python 3.7 code, it creates animations programmatically.

Currently a work in progress, the documentation explains some of the starting concepts to get you started on creating your own math-inspired scenes. You can even livestream your creations using the --livestream option.

See animated math in action here, used by 3Blue1Brown. It uses Msnim to help explain everything from neural networks, calculus, linear algebra, geometry, and more.

(And while we absolutely are not promoting any product, this adorable little pi plushie cannot go without a mention.)


Kubernetes, Kubernetes, Kubernetes. Lately it feels like you can’t go a day without hearing about Kubernetes and here on JAXenter, we are no exception. Lens is an IDE for Kubernetes that will help you take care of all your clusters. With multi-cluster management, keep up on support for hundreds of clusters.

Lens has been tested to handle big numbers, even a cluster running 25k pods.

It fully supports Kubernetes RBAC and requires Nodejs v12, make, and yarn.


Working remotely but not a fan of Zoom or Slack? BigBlueButton is an open source video conferencing solution.

While BigBlueButton was originally designed for online learning, it can be used for anything that requires real-time audio and video sharing. It features a multi-user whiteboard and remote polling so you can engage with everyone on the call.

For online learning, BigBlueButton integrates with major learning management systems such as Moodle, Canvas, Schoology, and more.

Install it on an Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit server and read the documentation for more technical information.



Rome project logo. Source.

Developed by the Facebook React team, Rome is an experimental toolchain for JavaScript. This means it is not currently used in production, but is in still in the experimental stages, while continuing development in the open.

The toolchain consists of a compiler, linter, formatter, bundler, testing framework and more. It was written in TypeScript and is completely self-hosted, with no third-party dependencies.

From the README:

Rome aims to be a replacement for many existing JavaScript tools. We will, however, offer integrations for components in other tools. For example, using the Rome compiler as a plugin for another bundler.

Currently, you can build it via source.

Keep an eye on Rome and see how it grows beyond the experimental phase and perhaps you will see it become production-ready! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

SEE ALSO: Alternative tips to live your best life while working from home during a pandemic


Here’s something a little different to round out the list. When was the last time you checked out all the capabilities in your browser? So often we just use browsers for, well, browsing, without taking a look at further capabilities, APIs, or plug-ins.

This repository collects some great tips and tricks that you may never have noticed. For instance, did you know you can reduce animations in Firefox? What about a picture-in-picture sticky? It’s 2020, see what your browser can do.

That’s all for this month! See you next month with the next batch of 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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