March Madness Comes to GitHub

Cheer on your favorite repositories as they go for the win

Few things in the world of programming are as universal as GitHub. Boasting over 4 million users, the code-sharing site prides itself on being the largest code host in the world. With over 8 million repositories and counting, it’s a point that’s hard to argue against.

One of the popular features of GitHub is the top trending repositories on the platform. Running a top repository on GitHub and getting the recognition from the open source community is hard work. Staying on top is even more difficult and requires some serious dedication.

Reducing Enterprise Application Security Risks:

More Work Needs to Be Done

As true fans of open source and college basketball, Team WhiteSource decided this year to apply some of our enthusiasm from the tournament into our passion for great open source projects. Like the March Madness tournament, it's impossible to predict who will come out on top every week. On the way there could be major upsets and we could see unknown projects become the top dog on GitHub.

Week One

Since the start of the college basketball tournament, we followed GitHub’s top eight trending repositories, updating the stats daily to see who would reign supreme.


In the first week, a true dark horse that that highlights many different independent projects by Chinese developers rode in from the far East called Chinese-independent-developer by Cheng Zheng (4,703 stargazers), taking the first seed.


Not far behind as the second seed was Rough by pshihn (3,267 stargazers), a lightweight (~8k), Canvas-based library that lets you draw in a sketchy, hand-drawn-like, style by defining primitives to draw lines, curves, arcs, polygons, circles, and ellipses. It also supports drawing SVG paths.


Topping off the top three, as the third seed was driver.js by kamranahmedse (3,105 stargazers), a light-weight, no-dependency, vanilla JavaScript engine aimed at driving the user's focus across the page.


After the top three seeds, there was a major drop in popularity when it came to the remaining elite eight repositories of the first week.


Jared Reich’s pell (2,058 stargazers) followed up as the fourth seed, with his WYSIWYG no dependencies text editor for web. Following with the fifth seed was tui.chart by NHN Entertainment (2,036 Stargazers), a data visualization chart that caught the eye of GitHub’s finest. Fkill-cli by Sindre Sorhus (1,995 stargazers), a cross platform repository that helps kill heavy processes, nicely filled in as the sixth seed.


Despite being the king of GitHub contributions, Microsoft's service-fabric (1,660 stargazers), a distributed systems platform for packaging, deploying, and managing stateless and stateful distributed applications and containers at large scale, entered the contest as the seventh seed. The final spot in week one’s tournament went to models by the Tensorflow repository (1,072 stargrazers) for its models and examples built with Tensorflow.

Week 2

After an exciting first week of flip flopping in the ranking, week two kicked off with some major upsets, seeing the majority of the top repositories lose their spots on the list to some real Cinderella stories that came from behind with enough spunk and vinegar to take over the competition.

Despite changes throughout the elite eight, the top spot stood tall. Week two reminded us that sometimes even though we are looking to see the top seed take a fall from grace, that’s just not how the cookie crumbles. Week one top seed, Chinese-independent-developer  (2,907 stargazers) continued his eye catching ways with Week two top spot.

Riding high into the second seed was dejavu by appbaseio (2,171 stargazers), a repository that provides the missing UI for ELasticsearch. Despite getting a late start to the tournament, Dejavu is making headways by grabbing the second seed. Finalizing the second week’s top three is UnityCsReference by Unity Technologies ( 2,020 stargazers.), which provides source code for Unity C#.

Coming in at the fourth seed of week two is one of the most popular repositories of the past month, Interview-Notebook by CyC2018 (1,686 stargazers). This far east educational repository provides technical interviews for GitHub users. We’ve noticed a significant trend that education related projects usually pick up a pretty decent following, an important point for those out there putting money down for next year’s tournament.

Grabbing the fifth seed is qr-filetransfer by Claudioangelis (2,073 stargazers), which transfers files over WiFi from your computer to your mobile device by scanning a QR code, all without leaving the terminal. Blocklists by jmdugan ( 1,827 stargazers), which missed last week’s top eight by a few slots, showed their value this week with the sixth seed. Blocklist provides a shared list of problem domains people may want to block with hosts files.

Week two provided us with a nice jump by an unknown contender to grab the last spot. A fast, simple and clean video downloader known as annie ( 1,617 stargrazers), grabbed some headlines despite being a bit too late to upstage the higher seeds. Finalizing week two’s field, brain.js (1,559 stargazers), a repository of neural networks for JavaScript.

Over the past two weeks, we learned you can’t get too comfortable on the trendy list. Just when you think you made it, suddenly you will see a decrease in popularity and after time you will be removed from the list. Poof!

The Winner

Despite wanting to see a major upset from week two to week one, there was a clear winner who stood tall throughout the two weeks. While the different repositories went back and forth to see who would move up to make the final, Chinese-independent-developer and Rough met in the championship of trendiest repositories and the dark horse from the far east continued his winning ways.

Thus, we crown Chinese-independent-developer the winner of WhiteSource March Madness repository tournament. Enjoy the moment, because it won’t be long before you will see a new contender pull off the upset and take over the trendiest repository of GitHub.

See you again next year!