Open Source is a type of software that is designed to be publicly available wherein the source code is accessible on the internet for anyone to read and modify which is why open source software is gaining popularity in the tech space. As the development world is constantly changing with new rollouts and updates on softwares coming out ever so often, the concept of open source is becoming increasingly preferred having been developed by communities instead of a single individual which ensures innovation through collaborative efforts.Another advantageous feature that makes open source all the rage within the development community is that it follows an ideology where public contributions and collaborations are encouraged to find cutting-edge digital solutions that are truly unique. While the open source ideology had been coined in the late 90’s after the success of Linux, it has since become a movement that is being endorsed worldwide and is quite the popular concept in today’s development arena. Let’s look at some of the most popular open source contributions that are being popularly used in 2021:
GeekyAnts has launched the latest update of their brainchild- NativeBase 3.0, and it ropes in a ton of exciting new features. In 2016, they came up with the idea to design an accessible UI library using which users can not only fast- track development on their React and React Native projects but it also has prebuilt components which can help users to build beautiful design systems for both mobile and web applications. Being one of the early adopters of the popular technology, they used to constantly experiment with the limited documentation available which lead to the realisation that certain code components that are being repeatedly used could be collated to curate a list of UI components which can be used by the user to customise the theme of their application. The recent rollout now supports utility props which can rapidly build custom UI components along with its preexisting rich library.
The expressive and flexible user interface of Flutter, a popular open source contribution from Google, has only been one of the reasons for the number of contributions leading to its high ranking on GitHub. The toolkit not only allows for the fast development of applications for mobile and web interfaces but also results in beautiful and responsive native apps that can be compiled from a single codebase. Google has recently launched the latest version of the platform- Flutter 2.2, which comes with a hoard of new updates which allows users to monetise their apps better, connect to cloud services and APIs that can enhance the app to support new capabilities.
Jina, a deep-learning powered search framework, is a software offering cloud functionalities that allows users to search for any kind of data. The goal behind the project was to provide an ecosystem for both developed and business alike wherein they could access and scale information to make their search easier. Built on the concept and ideologies of open source, Jina believes in transparency when it comes to their service because of which they have created a framework that welcomes constructive feedback and encourages contributions which can help in enhancing the application to empower the future of search.
Zulip, a company offering open source apps powered by React Native and Electron, has gone up in its rankings in the stores for its efficiency in streamlining communication. The company aims to synchronise communication through the integration of its product to other open source chat apps. Another feature that has been one of the causes of Zulip’s rising popularity is the provision of threaded messages which allows users to address the prioritised messages while having the flexibility of coming back the less-important ones at a later time. The app also supports modern features like emoji, reactions, drag and drop and markdown optimization which help in making messages more readable.
Being a saving grace for developing enthusiasts, freeCodeCamp is an open source repository that allows new coders to learn the trade for free. The platform has aided many through various details about the topic using which they can build their own projects and earn certifications to extend their career. The company offers free certified courses in various popular development areas such as data visualisation, quality assurance, scientific computing with Python frontend development and machine learning to name a few while the platform in itself is one of the prime example of an excellent open source contribution as it offers an opportunity for anyone to learn coding absolutely free of charge and at their own pace.
At a time when machine learning is gaining importance in the tech community to derive simple digital solutions for complex problems, TensorFlow is doing a fantastic job through its ecosystem which aims to solve real world problems using results derived from machine learning techniques. Their flagship product is an end-to-end open source platform which facilitates numerical computation through the use of data flow graphs. The application also functions as a platform to build and deploy machine learning models while choosing from various abstractions that are provided.
Open source contributions become a movement amongst developers not just for the fact that it is a cost effective way to develop digital solutions but also for the efficiency that is guaranteed as these apps are continually enhanced by the various contributions from the tech community. Software that is developed based on the concept of open source is also decentralised because of which it attracts more stakeholders which eradicates the risk of the app being taken down at a later time. While the idea behind open source is constantly evolving with the spirit of collaboration and contribution taking focus, it can be said that it is a growing concept that is the source behind the new inspiration in the modern tech space.