BOSS Index – Most Popular Open Source Projects

BOSS Index
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We all wonder which are the most popular Open Source software that we use today? Is Node.js more popular than Python? Which is more sought after; MongoDB or Cassandara? Everyone has their own opinion and reasons to choose one over the other. But which one is at the top of the list? BOSS Index wants to change that with their unique ranking.

There are a few organizations, like Battery Ventures, or Distrowatch who are actually trying to track the popularity of some of the open source software by using defined and smart metrics and associated weights to determine a workable ranking. For over a decade Distrowatch has done a considerably good job of giving us unbiased reviews and tracking of the best Linux distros out there. Now, Battery Ventures, wants to do the same with all popular open source softwares and projects. The ranking is called BOSS Index (Battery Open Source Software) ranking tracks over 40 open source projects at the moment. It is updated quarterly.

The metrics that they use include as per their official release include “online discussion activity; search activity; jobs impact; and GitHub activity.”

Here is the ranking of the current top 10. The detailed listing can be seen on Battery Ventures site.

Rank Project Name Overall Project Rating Category Sample of Related Companies Google Score Job
Stack overflow Github
1 Linux 100 IT Operations Red Hat, Ubuntu 100 100 100 100
2 Git 31.1 DevOps GitHub, GitLab 5 23 60 42
3 MySQL 25.23 Data & Analytics Oracle 31 21 318 5
4 Node.js 22.75 DevOps Nodesource, Rising Stack 7 9 113 59
5 Docker 22.61 DevOps Docker 14 9 38 75
6 Hadoop 16.19 Data & Analytics Cloudera, Hortonworks 7 23 58 11
7 Elasticsearch 15.72 Data & Analytics Elastic 7 5 36 43
8 Spark 14.99 Data & Analytics Databricks 15 2 33 15
9 MongoDB 14.68 Data & Analytics MongoDB 7 10 55 21
10 Selenium 12.81 DevOps Sauce Labs, Browserstack 11 7 82 15

There are quite a few surprises here. Selenium, which is used for automated QA makes the top 10 list, along with Docker and Spark. All of them are niche products for their market segment but their popularity makes them stand out from the equivalent commercial offerings.

Linux, GIT and MySQL are the usual suspects that make the top three. We should definitely find them on any list that ranks open source software as those are literally now the standard in their own market segment. But it is good to see MongoDB making the top 10 and giving MySQL a run for its money.

Quite recently, we talked about IEEE Spectrum’s top ranked software languages. As we saw in that ranking, that the world’s top programming languages were all open source. However, in BOSS Index we do not see any of those programming languages. It’s funny to see no Java or Python making it into BOSS Index but Node.js is at number 4. And IEEE did not rank Node.js among the top 10.

Since IEEE and Battery Ventures use different metrics to rank software we see such a huge divergence that the programming languages tracked do not show any ranking patterns. Suffice it to say, we still need better ranking methods when it comes to open source software.

Having said that, we need more of such rankings out there. Be it Distrowatch, BOSS Index or IEEE Software rankings. These are important to understand what is happening in open source and over time they will refine to a level where we will have a better understanding of the open source community.

For now, check out the BOSS Index and give your feedback in our comments section.

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Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

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