Our favorite GitHub repos

The trendy five: GitHub repos that lit the way in summer 2020

Sarah Schlothauer
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It’s that time again, time to browse the GitHub trending page and pick the best, coolest, or most impressive open source projects we encounter. During the summer of 2020 we took a look at a list of public APIs, a privacy-protection project, an open source chat app, 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.

In no particular order, here are our top picks for the summer of 2020.

SEE ALSO: “Kite’s mission is to automate away the tedious parts of programming”



Rocket.Chat is an open source web chat platform for teams to increase their productivity. Communicate in real-time, share ideas, send files, collaborate, and even use video/audio conferencing. It is similar to popular communication tools such as Slack.

According to GitHub, Rocket.Chat features include: BYOS (Bring Your Own Server), multiple rooms, desktop notifications, private groups, public channels, screen sharing, media embeds, link previews, and much more. A native cross-platform desktop app and mobile apps are available.

The community edition is 100% open source and free, but enterprise editions with additional purposes are available.

It is currently moving to single codebase, so check out the website and read more about its features, benefits, and the future of this project.


Remember RSS feeds? (Or did you never stop using them?) RSSHub is “an open source, easy to use, and extensible RSS feed aggregator, it’s capable of generating RSS feeds from pretty much everything”.

Nearly anything and everything can be generated as an RSS feed with RSSHub. Examples include Twitter accounts, Google news, SoundCloud, YouTube, IKEA, the Steam store, and package tracking.

How does it work? From the project FAQ:

When a request is received, RSSHub fetches the corresponding data from the original site, the resulting contents will be output in RSS format. Caching is implemented to avoid requesting original sites for content. And of course, we throw in a little magic 🎩.

You can use it as a browser extension with RSSHub-Radar. Get a taste of what it can do with the demo instance.


Developed by researchers at SANDLab, University of Chicago, Fawkes helps preserve and protect your privacy against facial recognition deep learning models.

Fawkes adds pixel-level changes (called “cloaks”) to your photos before you release them. Because these changes are so small, they are beyond perception to the naked eye.


Pixel-level “cloaks” are invisible to the naked eye. Source.

For more information, read the academic paper Fawkes: Protecting Privacy against Unauthorized
Deep Learning Models by Shawn Shan, Emily Wenger, Jiayun Zhang, Huiying Li, Haitao Zheng, and
Ben Y. Zhao.

Public APIs

This helpful list of public APIs should be in every web developer’s bookmarks. It indexes APIs that are free to use, ranging from a long list of topics including finance, news, music, machine learning, security, text analysis, URL shorteners, and more.

Use APIs to check earthquake data in real-time, modify Google calendar events, chat with other devs on Gitter, get data from Oxford dictionaries, check air pollution and quality, and get information about COVID-19.

Besides the helpful APIs, there’s also some great, not-so-serious APIs such as daily cat pictures, taco database, Pokémon information, an insult database, generate quotes from Breaking Bad, and make bots for your Discord group.

SEE ALSO: The trendy five: Creative GitHub repos bring May 2020 flowers

ASCII Rendering Shader in Unity


Recreating retro nostalgia with the ASCII rendering shader. Source.

If you’ve ever played Dwarf Fortress, then you’re familiar with ASCII UIs. Created in Unity, this ASCII Rendering Shader can turn any image into a nostalgic treat.

To start, add the ASCIIRendering script to your camera Game Object.

Tweak the variables for the best outcome, make your image monochromatic, adjust the height and width, and character count.

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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