How GitHub & the Linux Foundation are accelerating open source projects in 2023 | Open Source Matters

Welcome to the December 2022 edition of Open Source Matters. I’m your host, Ben Lloyd Pearson; let’s dive in!

Open source news from GitHub Universe

GitHub held their annual GitHub Universe event early last month, and I’m wearing my GitHub shirt this month because we have some big open source news to cover from the event. The theme this year: pay your maintainers! 

The first update is the launch of GitHub Accelerator, which will provide stipends to open source maintainers and teams to help them launch full-time open source careers. In addition to a $20,000 cash sponsorship, the 10 week program will provide participants with mentorship from a select group of experienced open source professionals to help with things like licensing and managing relationships with enterprise sponsors. Participants will also gain access to premium features like GitHub Codespaces and Copilot during the program. Anyone who maintains an open source project is eligible to apply, and GitHub is accepting applications through the end of December for their first round of sponsorships.

GitHub also announced the launch of a new venture fund for open source businesses. Based on Microsoft’s M12 venture fund, which focuses on early-stage tech startups, the GitHub M12 fund will similarly focus on early-stage open source companies that are developing on GitHub. The first of such companies is CodeSee, a company that helps software developers visualize their codebase, much like a map of your code workflow. GitHub has dedicated $10M to this fund, and we’ll be sure to update you on any further developments.

Linux launches a survey on digital transformation

In other news, the Linux Foundation has launched the first-ever survey to discover the digital transformation readiness of energy production stakeholders. The goal is to accelerate collaboration among power generators, distributors, transmission operators, and retailers, with a primary focus on decarbonization and sustainable energy transitions. They seek to uncover the degree of preparedness for system operators, gaps in knowledge and training, and how to use open source technologies to achieve global climate targets. They don’t have a deadline listed for participating in the survey, so if you want your voice to be heard, check out the link in the show notes for the 3-minute survey.

Open source machine learning projects at Linux

Keeping with the Linux Foundation news two major open source machine learning projects have announced deeper ties with this ever-growing organization. The first is Pytorch, one of the most popular machine learning frameworks in the world, which is now officially hosted under the Linux Foundation. PyTorch was originally built by engineers at Meta, but it’s popularity has exploded to make it one of the most ubiquitous technologies in the ML space. The second announcement comes from KubeFlow, a machine learning toolkit for Kubernetes. Google launched this project back in 2020 and has announced that they have formally applied to have the project hosted as an incubating project under the CNCF.

These announcements come amid continued efforts from the Linux Foundation to grow the open source AI and ML ecosystems, and both projects are a welcome addition to the community.

One more from Linux: Sigstore & open source supply chain security

We’ll wrap things up with one more update from the Linux Foundation. Sigstore, the leading open source tool for signing, verifying, and protecting open source software distribution has reached a significant 1.0 milestone for two critical components of their tech stack. The first is Fulcio, a certificate authority for signing packages, and the second is Rekor, a system for generating immutable metadata ledgers for software supply chains.

Sigstore was one of the first major developments to come out of the Open Source Security Foundation back in 2020 and is part of the Linux Foundation’s effort to improve open source supply chain security. This topic has received a substantial amount of attention in recent years, going so far as to be the primary subject of both an executive order from the Biden administration and a US congressional hearing this year. Needless to say, these releases represent a significant step forward in the development of critical software supply chain resources.

Open source projects we’re watching

Now, it’s time for the open source launch rapid fire. Here’s all the new projects we’re watching.

  • Laudspeaker – A customer engagement platform to build messaging workflows
  • Wundergraph – A serverless API platform that’s focused on developer experience.
  • Linen – A community chat tool that prioritizes search engine visibility, asynchronous communications, and support and developer tooling integrations.
  • VHS – GIFS as code for demonstrating command line tools.
  • Erxes – A sales and marketing automation tool that features group communications and lead management.
  • Answer – A knowledge-based community platform for technical support and user communications.
  • Mona and Hubot Sans – The popular typefaces from GitHub are now open source.
  • Watermelon GitHub Plugin – Onboard developers daster with this plugin for Visual Studio Code that helps developers view GitHub data for specific sections of code.
  • Figma Autoname Plugin – A plugin that automatically names Figma layers. 
  • Tailwind CSS Gradient Generator – A tool to create color mixtures for web backgrounds.

If you want your open source launch to be featured in the next Open Source Matters, send us an email at [email protected] with the details.

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Ben Lloyd Pearson is the Director of Developer Marketing for Mattermost. He is a technology generalist who focuses his broad understanding to grow and engage developer audiences through digital media, open source advocacy, and events strategy and operations.