Top open source projects for 2018

Submitted by peter on Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:46

Top 10, top 20, top n where n equals whatever is worth mentioning. Here are the top n open source projects for 2018 based on progress in 2017. Here are the leaders in no particular order.

Developer tools and libraries

There are hundreds of developer tools and libraries of interest in many niche areas. One of the big leap forwards in 2017 was PHP 7 with a massive speed increase and a very easy conversion.

Almost everything else in 2017 had only incremental improvements and often with difficult conversions. As an example, Drupal 8 grabbed everyone's attention but provided a conversion from only Drupal 6, not Drupal 7.

Node.js had a big expansion in use but the Javascript world is still divided between AngularJS and many other libraries. React native looks like dominating the mobile client.

Netbeans improved as the leading IDE but is not a standout and most people just use an editor.

OpenStack is gaining use in the cloud but cloud suppliers are tending to fail and consolidate. Docker is king of containers and often creates a mess of too many containers that need other products to manage.

Git and Github fight it out for source management. So many projects are distributed across disconnected developers that the online Github is a natural solution.


Email might seem to be dead with so many people using Faceblab, Twitter, Whatsapp, etc. Email is returning due to the absolute waste of time flowing through other applications. An estimated half a billion people left Facebook and similar numbers are switching off the other social media. Email remains solid for serious communications.

Thunderbird is the leader for email. You can install it anywhere. It does everything you need. You can handle multiple accounts. You can use full security. You do not have Google trawling through your email, extracting every detail, and selling it to advertisers.


The surprising Raspberry Pirp Zero evolved into the far more flexible ZeroW with built in Wifi, solving the biggest problem with the Zero. There are many projects published for the Zero, making the hardware the best starting point for new device projects in 2018. The ZeroW is now available in larger numbers and opens up all those Zero projects to a rethink.

The Raspberry Pi range is low powered and flexible. Many projects require Wifi. A Wifi adaptor for a Zero cost more than a Zero and used more power. The ZeroW costs less than a Zero+adaptor and uses an amazingly low amount of power for Wifi.

Office software

LibreOffice killed OpenOffice after OpenOffice started killing off Microsoft Office. LibreOffice is now the default in many operating systems.

Microsoft is locking people into online Microsoft Office and through locks from other Microsoft software. Unfortunately Microsoft is also making upgrades too difficult, killing off customers who might have stayed with Microsoft Office. LibreOffice is the easiest alternative. Google Docs is a big fail next to any version of Office.

Google Docs is great for cooperative editing of the content but then you have to transfer the result to an office program to finish the document. LibreOffice wins this battle.

Operating system

Linux Mintlm is the best distribution of Linux for the desktop. Many people are converting from OSX and Windows to Linux Mint.

Cinnamon is the most successful desktop on Linux with LXDE and Xfce battling it out for the lightweight crown on ARM devices. KDE is losing support.

On tablets and similar devices, there will be a battle between Android and Chrome, making the tablet a mess similar to the OSX/iOS divide. Microsoft continues to damage Windows. Most other operating systems and user interfaces have lost direction or are now too complicated.

Project Management

Microsoft Project dominates project management for everything except some highly specialised manufacturing applications. ProjectLibrepl is the big new alternative and is better for many users.

Microsoft project has the advantage of more documentation for beginners but has that crazy Microsoft Office user interface that makes many things more difficult. Microsoft project also has some stupid defaults, forcing you to manually change things after creation. LibreOffice has a sane user interface that is easier to learn and the defaults are what you usually expect.

ProjectLibre has a cloud version in development while Microsoft Project has an enterprise version. For the projects I work on, the ProjectLibre cloud version will be useful while the Microsoft enterprise product is almost useless overkill.

Web browser

Google Chrome won the Web browser war by using a virus infection approach. Mozilla is fighting back with an excellent improvement to Firefox in Firefox 57, also known as Firefox Quantumfq. 2018 will be the first full year of the new Firefox. Will thinking people replace the Chrome virus with Firefox?

You would never use a Web browser without NoScriptns or equivalent. There is a new NoScript version 10 for Firefox Quantum. The user interface is a bit messy with confusing icons. You have to read something like Jeaye's guide to using NoScript 10.


fq Firefox Quantum:

jg Jeaye's guide to using NoScript 10.x:

lm Linux Mint:

ns NoScript:

pl ProjectLibre:

rp Raspberry Pi: