Open source software is one of the most important movements in world technology. Massively adopted in recent years, the Open source It is a huge innovation hub that accelerates the development of entire industries and creates de facto standards with practical benefits for a developer, professional or company, with benefits that also end up being passed on to the consumers who use it.
Netscape released the source code for its web browser in February 1998 and this was the first practical example of an “Open Source” term that had been proposed a few months earlier to differentiate it from the free software movement “Free Software” led by Richard Stallman.
Its creators believed that Stallman’s political bias, the ethical or “freedom” issues that he proclaimed, and his qualification of “free” could mislead consumers and businesses and a term was needed focused on the key issue of the movement that was none other than the open source code referring to distributed software and developed freely, collaboratively, created and maintained by an army of volunteers from hobbyist programmers to high-level engineers from tech companies.
Today, the Open Source it is a business model of astronomical proportions that goes beyond the ethics, altruism and common good that Stallman proclaims. It does not necessarily have to be “free” or “free” and there is no small or large company that does not develop or use it. Beyond that, this type of software drives the largest companies in the world, protects our personal data, the information of the largest financial companies, the world’s large computer networks or the national security of governments.
The best open source software of 2021
“Money may not grow on trees, but it does grow in GitHub repositories”, describe from InfoWorld when announcing what in their opinion have been the best developments of 2021, and specify that «open source projects produce the most valuable and sophisticated software on the planet, free to use, dramatically reducing your information technology costs«.
There are thousands of Open Source developments and every year a few others arrive. We leave you with some of the winners by InfoWorld.
- Windows Terminal. The definitive command line tool from Microsoft that can handle the Command Prompt, PowerShell Advanced Console, and the Linux Subsystem for Windows under a single interface. Developed external to Windows, the 1x stable version was released this year and is available on the Microsoft Store and on GitHub.
- Crystal. A project to deliver a programming language with the speed of C and the expressiveness of Ruby, which can interact with C code. Version 1.0 was released last spring after years of development and after thousands of collaborations.
- Flutter. The toolkit for developing natively compiled desktop / web / mobile apps. Based on Dart, it is key in the Google Fuchsia operating system since it is the main method to feed it with apps.
- Presto. Also award-winning is this open source, high-performance distributed SQL engine for large data sets.
- BlazingSQL, Another distributed SQL engine for Python based on the RAPIDS GPU data science ecosystem with hardware acceleration.
- Apache Superset. A business intelligence web application that offers easy visualization of the data set.
- Apache Solr– a search engine based on the Lucene project Java library that unlike Elasticsearch which removed its open source license, is still free.
It is only a selection of the thirty open source software solutions awarded by InfoWorld as the highlights of 2021 and whose full list you can see in their Bossie 2021 Awards. There is another heap of new solutions because Open Source development does not stop and it is a monumental center of innovation and business.