That tool did not exist, so Rambeau built one: bestof.js.org. The web app is based on Rambeau’s idea of using the number of stars a project garners on from users on GitHub as a way to check both current popularity and long-term staying power. After all, an obsolete project can have a boatload of legacy stars that outshine the total better newcomer solutions have yet to accrue. Bestof.js is built to take a daily snapshot of GitHub stars on more than 300 projects, and use that information to demonstrate trends and identify rising-star projects.
The app features two categories: the 20 most popular projects, ranked by the total number of stars on GitHub, and the 20 hottest projects — ranked by the number of stars awarded in the past 24 hours. The results are further broken out into more than 50 categories, from broad (frameworks, testing tools) to narrow (React UI components, game engines).
The big winners of 2016? By the numbers, Vue.js — the progressive, incrementally-adoptable JS framework — was the runaway winner, with 26,400 stars. React garnered three top-ten entries; React itself at number two, with 23,000 stars, and Create React App and React Native at numbers four and five, respectively. The containerization trend showed up at number six, with Redux (15,300 GitHub stars in 2016), and venerable Bootstrap continued chugging along at number 7. Microsoft’s open-source entry project — Visual Studio Code — punched in at number nine. Closing out the top ten is everybody’s favorite little-JS-runtime-engine-that-could, Node.js.
That top ten is strict by-the-numbers GitHub star ratings; nine more breakout categories dig into the details of various web platform-related projects. Rambeau’s accompanying cogent commentary and analysis with each segment shows that he has truly dedicated himself to studying, comprehending, and articulating all these data points for us, his lucky readers.
Rambeau also has nice things to say about the evolution of all things Node.js, from how the latest releases of Node itself jive effectively with ES6 to up-and-coming satellite projects, like the Now hosting solution, render Node.js micro-services a snap to deploy.
Feature image: The Triangulum Galaxy, credit: NASA/Swift Science Team/Stefan Immler.