10 Open Source Projects Make the Cut As Rookies of the Year

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 21, 2009

Black Duck Software released a list of the top 10 projects launched in 2008 that have the most promising future in the open source community. The company also says if you're trying to decide which FOSS horse to back in the next year or so, you should put your money on mobile apps.

Black Duck playfully calls the projects the Open Source Rookies of the Year for 2008 and says that of the more than 17,000 new projects released last year, 10 specific ones stand out from the crowd.

While culling the list of freshly-registered projects during 2008, Black Duck discovered that 47% use the C programming language, and the number two choice was Java at 28%. (Since only 6% of the projects are written in Ruby, it looks like programmers really are window-shopping.)

They whittled down the massive list by looking at which projects had the most developer activity. "When a developer has something that they want to share, they tend to wrap it up in a tarball (or equivalent) and produce a release. We would expect projects that support a large number of releases to tend, more often than not, to have a more committed team of talented developers. Our view is that rookie projects that have a larger number of releases, and thus a greater amount of developer activity, are definitely worth further study," reads a news release on the company's Web site.

Black Duck eventually settled on 10 projects that range from anime management software to an authentication / authorization system for RubyOnRails. Here's the full list of the rookies that made the cut:

1)  Beacon Cache - Peer-to-peer file sharing web cache based on Gnutella

2)  AnimeVision - Anime management software

3)  Wordpress Themes & Plugins - Themes and plugins for the Wordpress open source blog publishing application

4)  Artica-postfix - Protects an SMTP mail server from malicious programs and spam

5)  sorian-ai-mod - A game called "Sorian AI Mod for Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance"

6)  SysDirector - Configuration management system

7)  Lockdown - Authentication/authorization system for RubyOnRails

8)  Bombusmod (bm2) - Modified version of the Bombus instant messaging client for mobile phones

9)  notefinder - Cross-platform desktop note-taking application

10)  jbooktrader - Automated trading system for market securities.

Black Duck says also there's a clear increase in the amount of projects geared toward creating mobile phone apps. There are more than 120 new open source projects focusing solely on the mobile market and over 40 developed for the iPhone specifically, including a comic viewer and a copy of Wikipedia that requires no network access.