Auld Lang Syne

GitHub reflections: Was 2018 the year of open source?

Sarah Schlothauer
open source
© Shutterstock / DedMityay

With just a few days left in 2018, GitHub released their State of the Octoverse. 2018 was their busiest year yet! Was 2018 the banner year for open source? Here’s hoping that 2019 continues to bring forth more great open source projects and contributions.

The end of the year means time for reflection and building your New Year’s resolutions! Even GitHub’s State of the Octoverse reveals some trends of 2018. While FOSS has been around for a long time, is it too presumptuous to declare 2018 the year of open source?

Breaking records

GitHub made headlines when Microsoft acquired the company. The agreement announcement in June signaled a new era for GitHub as well as open source in general. While there were many skeptics about the event, so far time is proving that the beloved Octocat rests in trusted hands.

Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings towards this acquisition choice, the numbers speak their own story. 2018 was a banner year for GitHub. According to the recent State of the Octoverse report: “In 2018 alone, we saw more new users than in our first six years combined, and we celebrated hosting over 100 million repositories”. Those numbers are something to celebrate. More and more people are becoming aware of open source and contributing, thanks to GitHub!

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Top 2018 topics

We love examining trends and watching for ebbs and flows. According to GitHub, here are the top ten topics for new open source projects in 2018:

  1. nodejs
  2. react
  3. dotnet
  4. docker
  5. android
  6. machine-learning
  7. api
  8. ios
  9. cli
  10. vue

JavaScript was the number one language for new projects this year, and it shows with the inclusion of JS tools in the top ten list. Machine learning continues to grow in popularity.

The top ten projects based on the number of stars are:

  1. Denoland/ Deno
  2. Trekhleb/ Javascript-algorithms
  3. Leonardomso/ 33-js-concepts
  4. KelseyHightower/ nocode
  5. Tipsy/ profile-summary-for-github
  6. 30-seconds/ 30-seconds-of-code
  7. FelixRieseberg/ Windows95
  8. Microsoft/ MS-DOS
  9. Wangshub/wechat_jump_game
  10. FacebookResearch/ Detectron

As for the top ten projects based on number of contributors, here are the 2018 winners:

  1. Hacktoberfest-2018/ Hello-world
  2. KelseyHightower/ nocode
  3. Wangshub/ wechat_jump_game
  4. Lingonsaft/ hacktoberfest
  5. Omkar-Ajnadkar/ Hello-world
  6. ValveSoftware/ Proton
  7. Ambujraj/ hacktoberfest2018
  8. Denoland/ Deno
  9. VAR-solutions/ Algorithms
  10. Microsoft/ MS-DOS

For more on GitHub’s 2018 happenings, be sure to check out their favorite 2018 ships. (No, not romantic pairings, the other kind of ship!) Some of the ships focused on help make collaboration on GitHub possible (and better). Others keep businesses safe, or teach newcomers how to code.

Congrats to everyone who helps contribute to open source on a busy year! May 2019 continue to bring more great projects.

SEE ALSO: A new ACT for open source compliance from The Linux Foundation

Future gazing

Can 2019 be even more influential when it comes to open source software?

Read what the experts say is in store for the year ahead. One highlighted expert Laurent Bride predicts that the market will “double down on open source technologies”. Here’s what he had to say about this prediction:

2018 has seen $53 billion in deals involving open source following the Cloudera/Hortonworks merger and acquisitions of Red Hat, GitHub and others. 2019 will see businesses double down on open source technologies — more investments and deals will get done, and open source communities will also pour more effort and energy into projects after having seen the opportunity for open source in the marketplace. To-date, open source has still functioned with a freemium model, but the coming years may see that shift as the enterprise finds value in conventional open source technologies.

What are your own predictions for open source tech in 2019? Do you think that the Red Hat merger spells out bad news for the future, and are you still unsure about Microsoft’s involvement in GitHub? Or, are you focusing on the glass half full?

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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