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What are examples of widely-used open source software that started life in the last five years?
111 replies and sub-replies as of Sep 04 2017

2010. It just took awhile to take off.
that’s an interesting example where the source is open, but the project operates in a centralized way based on control of servers
React is only 4 years old
are JavaScript​ frameworks counting?
for my purposes, yes. I’m curious whether there’s life left in the open source movement
Interesting, your hypothesis is that there isn’t?
I'd venture not on the desktop. But I'd guess it's moved to dependency components like ruby gems and packages, the nuts and bolts
I see it's harder than I thought quick googling later: bower, react
but also may things are already invented and alive there is no need to reinvent the wheel
oh and maybe @teabass with @librariesio has so data how may popular libs are newer than 5 years
Does open source hardware count? LulzBot is doing quite well.
I can't think of any period in open source history where widely-used tools were under 5 years old.
PHP had explosive & measurable growth, and from 1995-2000 it got to <10% of websites……
OSS arguably much stronger now than it was then. New versions of Android (open-source-ish) reach millions of people in well under 5 years
Depends on what you mean by life, but I'd argue by number of devs producing it that it's never been stronger.
And further that the fact that there are fewer overnight explosions (if there ever were) is a sign of open source's growth and maturity.
React, prettier, badger, jetty, preact, cue
if you mean jetty the webserver that's from the 90's.
Ah I actually meant caddy the go web server made by @mholt6 but keep doing that mental substitution
Ansible. Feb 2012.
I might be stretching it because they probably started work before then, but that was when they open sourced it
Discourse forum software.
Atom (2014), Visual Studio Code (2015)
Docker? Kubernetes was 2014.
Apache Storm and Kafka are close at 6, each less than 5 at Apache.
does LetsEncrypt count?
no, I don’t think it does (though I love them!)
should be about that age. Unsure where you draw the line of “widely-used”.
Prometheus (TSDB), Grafana (monitoring dashboard thingy), Atom (the text editor), Electron (the framework)
VuFind (library search engine) -- meh, version 1.0 of 2010 already
Wikipedia says 2011... I thought It would be from 2013 or so. Turns out it's also a fork from another older 2005 project from Sun :-\
Mastodon (federated social network)…
I said widely-used!
"There are currently 1.607 instances being tracked, with a total of 651.356 users." // Well. What about NextCloud?
Boom! Headshot
Mhm... Vagrant, Docker, ReactJS, ArangoDB, Ansible...
CrapJS, moarCrapJS, thatOtherCrapJS, WhalePunContainer, BraggyDB, CrapJSBrowsesifier. AI-BaitAndSwitch
Not sure if it counts as widely used, but Nylas Mail.
WIdely used + new tech is a kind of a weird venn diagram. You're biasing towards "trendy". Really good stuff takes a while.
yeah, I take your point. It’s possible too that there’s no cool software being made at all, just startup tools for startup tools
Kind of silly to be snarky about "startup tools" while judging the health of open source only by new projects
is five years “new” in your mind?
For wholly new, widely used software projects, yes. LLVM is still the "new" compiler; it started in 2005. Nginx started in 2004
There are newer open source web servers but they're not widely used (yet). Nginx only really started to tick up in 2010, 6 yrs after launch
Composer is starting to become a widely used component of PHP projects. It launched in March 2012, just over 5 years ago.
It just seems like weird criteria. Swift is open source, <5 yrs old, and growing very fast. But that says more about Apple than OS community
Meanwhile Drupal 8 is a major rewrite, 1.5 yrs old, and already used in big sites like Weather & NBA .com. But does that count as "new"?
How about @caddyserver ? It's new but might not be "widely used" especially given drama around vulnerability to @letsencrypt downtime.
If we're talking about web infrastructure/apps, I would say most big projects categorically wouldn't pick up a tech less than 2yrs old.
Then you've got half-life like rollover as most people have to keep what they have even if new tech is better.
5 years is pretty new. C was 5 years old in 1978. WWW was 5 years old in 1995. Perl was 5 years old in 1992. None were widely used then.
I can't think of one single piece of widely-used open-source software that was widely used 5 years after it started life. Not Emacs, not X11
How about any software at all? Windows launched in 1985 but really took off with 3.0, which launched in 1990
There might be some. MacOS, maybe, or various bundleware. Oooh, wait, can we count viruses? There's probably a worm or two that qualifies.
Elixir (2011)
Atom (the text editor)
Elasticsearch is only a little older, I think it's fairly widely used.
as only just turned 5 as a commercial org, as a project it’s been double that
Ethereum only dates back to 2013. It is widely used (as far as these things go) and growing fast.
Maybe it takes just a bit more than five years to really break into mass market with open source?
actually Jupyter is from 2001, although it was called IPython then. It added the notebook interface in 2011, when it was 10 years old.
I guess it depends on what you want to consider the start of the project? There is IPython, then IPython notebooks, then Jupyter.
(each seems like a kind of new project to me, although obviously builds on the work of the previous iteration)
Jupyter is just a name change to promote the fact that (for more than a decade now) it supports languages that aren't Python
Actually, you know what? IPython only supports non-Python languages since 2013, which is inside the 5-year window. Name change only 2y later
Yeah, Jupyter is absolutely amazing in many ways! This JupyterLab thing looks cool :) I certainly didn't mean to say Jupyter was *stagnant*.
I was just saying it hadn't *started life* in the last five years. It seems like it takes longer than that for free SW to get widely used.
Yeah, reading some of the other replies to this thread, I think other than js frameworks, it takes longer than 5 years to gain adoption
Yeah, maybe JS frameworks are shaping up as an exception? Docker is also only 4 years old.
it just falls outside your window by a few months, but i will nominate sidekiq by @mperham. it's an very popular background job platform.
Freebayes in genomics
In ML Land tensorflow, keras, pytorch
Not in last 5 years, but many tools in python picking up steam for data analysis, like pandas, jupyter, etc.
Also, Raspberry Pi ecosystem is mostly open source (I think).
Most replies are privately started/funded, are you looking for grassroots, free, or just open source?
The frontend dev ecosystem reinvents itself every 6 months, so... pretty much anything there
at this point I think frontend development is pathological
Even projects that've been around longer have undergone massive changes (angular being the example that immediately comes to mind)
Are etcd and consul young enough to count?
Kubernetes? Tensorflow? Atom?
I started and less than 5 years ago. They are both widely used (1000s of users).
Swift? I guess Vagrant would qualify - shaves off a lot of time everyday for me.
Without checking I'd say @apachekafka might qualify