March Madness 2019: Competing To Be The Top GitHub Repository

March. Madness.

The two words which send chills to every sports fan. It’s the month where everyone overthinks and tinkers when filling out their big dance brackets. This is the month where people will spend countless hours watching college basketball and overreading every stat possible to get any kind of small edge when choosing who they think will win.

This could be the month where your younger sister ends up having a better bracket than you because she picked the teams with the “cuter” mascots.

Now how does Github relate to March Madness? One of the most popular features on GitHub is their tracking of the top trending repositories on the platform. Running a top repository in GitHub and getting the recognition from the open source community is hard work. Staying on top is even more difficult, requiring some serious dedication and ingenuity.

Continuing the tradition from last year when we crowned Chinese-independent-developer the winner of WhiteSource March Madness 2018 repository tournament, we decided to go for it again this year.

Spanning the past two weeks, we gathered all the stats for the top repositories for each trending project and now we have crowned a new winner. Similar to the NCAA March Madness tournament, it's pretty tough to predict who will come out on top every week. On the path to victory, we’re expecting major upsets and we could possibly see an unknown project become the top dog on GitHub.

Week 1

We start our competition with a complete darkhorse top seed. codercom/code-server (4,938 StarGazers) is an open source remote development environment serving Visual Studio Code which allows you Run VS Code on a remote server.

Coming in second was a familiar foe to the open source community, Microsoft’s newly open-sourced Calculator (3,283 Stargazers). This project provides a standard, scientific, and programmer calculator functionality, as well as a set of converters between various units of measurement and currencies.

Finalizing the Top 3, our third project might sound all too familiar to the open source community. mozilla/send (2,853 Stargazers) is a file-sharing project which allows you to send encrypted files to other users.

Unlike in previous years, the lower seeds showed that they had the numbers to tag along with the top seeds by grabbing the Github community’s attention with their trendy projects.

Despite putting up great numbers, coming in the fourth seed, timvisee/ffsend (2,492 StarGazers) is a project where you can easily and securely share files and directories from the command line through a safe, private, and encrypted link using a single simple command. Files are shared using the Send service and may be up to 2GB.

Following up in with the fifth seed, ShiqiYu/libfacedetection (2,935 StarGazers), an open source library for face detection in images. The face detection speed can reportedly reach 1500FPS for those of you who are counting.

Rounding out the lower the seeds, the NSA’s NationalSecurityAgency/ghidra (2,167 StarGazers) secured the six seed with their software reverse engineering (SRE) framework for analyzing malware. Our seventh seed, gotify/server ( 2,079 StarGazers) is a simple server for sending and receiving messages in real-time per WebSocket. (Includes a sleek web-UI).

The final spot in week one’s tournament went to ityouknow/spring-boot-examples (1,287 StarGazers) for it’s the project of learning Spring Boot via examples.

Week 2

After an exciting first week of wondering “will they or won’t they” take the top seed in the rankings, week two kicked off with some Cinderella stories and upsets. We saw almost the majority of week one’s top repositories lose their spots on the list to some new projects which grabbed the attention, or shall we say forks, of the GitHub Community.

Week two provided us with major changes almost throughout the entire elite eight. Staying on top is a challenge, however, in this case, codercom/code-server (5,382 StarGazers) that order wasn’t too tall as they maintained their top spot for week two.

After a strong week one appearance and an even stronger week two showing, ShiqiYu/libfacedetection (4,011 StarGazers) blazed in as the second seed. Finishing the second week’s top three is clone95/Machine-Learning-Study-Path-March-2019 (3,823 StarGazers) which is a complete Machine Learning study path, focused on TensorFlow and Scikit-Learn.

Despite giving our third seed a run for their money is alexfoxy/laxxx (3,793 StarGazers) which is a  lightweight (<2kb gzipped) vanilla javascript plugin to create beautiful animations when you scroll was slotted in as our 4th seed for week two of the tournament.

Grabbing the fifth seed is twhite96/js-dev-reads (2,645 StarGazers), a curated list of books and articles for the discerning web developer to read and learn from others’ mistakes.

The lower seeds for week two provided some familiar faces and a darkhorse that just missed out on week one’s party.

Despite dropping three slots from their week one performance, mozilla/send (2,550 StarGazers) found their mark in the sixth seed for week two. The biggest drop in the seeding from week to week was Microsoft/calculator (2,486 StarGazers) falling to the seventh seed after peaking as the second seed in week one.

Despite being just short of making the competition in week one, Wookai/paper-tips-and-tricks (2,097 StarGazers) which provides best practice and tips and tricks to writing scientific papers in LaTeX, with figures generated in Python or Matlab, finalized the competition for week two as the eighth seed.

In the open source and GitHub community, you can quickly learn a lot of what interests the community and what doesn’t. One week your project can be the talk of the town and then next week you suddenly aren’t that popular anymore and miss the cut.

The Winner

When it comes to March Madness, the audience’s ideal outcome is a major upset with a darkhorse winning out despite the lack of support from the crowd at large. Unfortunately, in our tournament the winner wasn’t shocking at all, having stood atop of the mountain throughout the entire tournament.

While the different repositories on GitHub changed places throughout the two weeks to see who would make the final went back and forth to see who would move up to make the final, codercom/code-server and ShiqiYu/libfacedetection met in the championship of trendiest repositories and despite a nail-biting result, codercom/code-server continued its winning ways to the championship.

Congratulations to codercom/code-server, the winner of WhiteSource’s 2019 March Madness repository tournament. Until next year’s tournament, cherish this win as the other GitHub repos set their sights on you for the 2020 championships.

See you again next year!