50 Noteworthy New Open Source Projects

Open source projects for privacy, mobility, big data and the Internet of Things are key themes on this year's list.


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Posted September 19, 2014

Cynthia Harvey

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About once a year or so, Datamation puts together a list of interesting new open source projects - anything from Android open source projects to Java open source projects. This year's list features quite a few cool open source projects that place an emphasis on security and privacy. In fact, many of the open source software project websites below reference government intelligence programs and Edward Snowden as their reasons for existence.

Big data also continues to be a major theme for top open source projects, particularly as it relates to analytics, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT). Another common focus is mobility, especially development tools for creating mobile apps. And cloud computing and virtualization continue to be very important as well – these hot areas can grow to be among the largest open source projects. Think OpenStack, for instance, which is clearly a new a top open source project.

The list of open source projects also includes a potpourri of top open source projects from other categories, including Web content management, software-defined networking, desktop publishing, games, IT management, electronic health records, operating systems and more. You want variety – All of these apps were released for the first time within the last couple of years and most of them haven't been featured on our lists in the past.

As always, if you know of other cool open source projects that you think should be on our list, feel free note them in the comments section below. An Python open source project, a Google open source project, even an open source Microsoft project (yes, there are such things) – pleas let us know!


1. Ghost

Downloaded more than 340,000 times, Ghost is an open source blogging platform based on Node.js. You can run it on your own Web server for free or use the hosted service, with prices starting at $10 a month. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Cloud Management

2. ManageIQ

Sponsored by organizations like Red hat, Booz Allen Hamilton, Chef and CloudSoft, ManageIQ is the open source project behind Red Hat CloudForms. It allows enterprises to control the lifecycle of virtualized applications by setting policies for workload scheduling. Operating System: Linux, VMware.

3. Roboconf

Roboconf makes it easier to deploy distributed applications, particularly in cloud computing environments. It's still in the early stages of development but aims to provide excellent scalability and flexibility. Operating System: OS Independent.


4. Docker

Although it's still very young, this containerization app has quickly developed an enormous following, particularly among enterprises with large data centers. An alternative to traditional virtualization, it speeds the development and deployment of apps. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Content Management

5. Fraym

Launched in 2014, Fraym is still in beta status. It promises "a new experience for creating and editing websites" and includes features like multi-language support, SEO, integrated caching, themes and drag and drop editing. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

6. Okatea

This modular content management system strives to find a balance between simplicity and flexibility. It includes modules for news, pages, contact, galleries and more. Operating System: OS Independent.

7. Yellow

Yellow's claim to fame is its simplicity: "Just files and folders...Not much to learn." It's best for simple blogs and wiki-style websites. Operating System: OS Independent.


8. Apache Drill

This Apache incubator project allows companies to perform SQL queries on datasets stored in Hadoop and NoSQL databases. It aims to enable "day-zeo analytics and rapid application development," and the project website includes instructions for getting it up and running within ten minutes. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

9. Hustle

Hustle describes itself as "A column-oriented, embarrassingly distributed relational event database." Based on Disco, it's designed to offer extremely fast queries for very large data sets. Operating System: Linux.

10. InfluxDB

InfluxDB is specifically designed to handle data related to a chronological series of events, such as log data, BI analytics and other metrics. Written in Go, it is horizontally scalable, has no external dependencies and is easy to install and manage. There's an online sandbox for trying it out and a hosted service that incorporates Grafana dashboards. Operating System: OS Independent.

11. Realm

Conceived as a replacement for Core Data and SQLite, Realm is a mobile database that aims to help developers build mobile apps faster. The software is open source, but enterprise services are available for a fee. Operating System: OS X, iOS.

12. WebScaleSQL

Based on MySQL, WebScaleSQL is a collaboration among Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter. Their goal is to create a SQL database that can offer the performance, reliability and scalability that these large Web companies need. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Desktop Publishing

13. ShareLatex

Although it was just launched in February 2014, ShareLatex already boasts more than 200,000 users at organizations including Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge and NASA. It enables online collaboration on documents using LaTeX, an open source editor ideal for scientific and mathematical documentation. The open source code is available free, or you can pay for the hosted service. Operating System: OS X, iOS.

Development Tools

14. Apigility

Zend-owned Apigility humbly proclaims itself to be "the world's easiest way to create high-quality APIs." Key features include RESTful or RPC services, JSON, versioning, normalization and validation, and authentication via HTTP Basic/Digest or OAuth2. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

15. Appium

With so many different mobile devices and operating systems on the market, it can be difficult to test apps to make sure they will work for all end users. Appium is an open source mobile testing framework that can automating the testing of native, mobile Web and hybrid applications. Operating System: OS Independent.

16. Crypton

Crypton is a JavaScript framework that allows developers to create applications that protect user privacy by preventing the developerr from accessing the data stored on the server. It's been featured in several publications, and it is owned by SpiderOak, a file-sharing service Edward Snowden has mentioned as a good alternative to Dropbox. Operating System: OS Independent.

17. Dirigible

Cloud-based Dirigible describes itself as an Integrated Development Environment as a Service (IDEaaS). SAP launched it in March 2014, and it is currently in beta trials. Operating System: OS Independent.

18. Falcon

This Python framework for building cloud APIs and web app back-ends claims it has been "Unburdening cloud apps for over 1.69 x 10-2 centuries" (or a little over a year and a half). It boasts very fast performance and very few dependencies. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

19. Flight

Created by Twitter, Flight is a "lightweight, component-based JavaScript framework that maps behavior to DOM nodes." It's based on ES5-shim and jQuery, and Twitter uses it for its own Web apps. Operating System: OS Independent.

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Tags: mobility, big data, open source project, Open Source App

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