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2018 marked the 20th anniversary of open source and one could argue that it really came into its own this year. Whether it was exciting new projects being released, older projects hitting milestones or ascending to become foundational pieces of software, the welcoming of new eras within the sphere of open source (hello, serverless) or the huge evolutionary strides that reshaped the open source community, 2018 was undoubtedly a year for the books. As we head into 2019, where open source will no doubt continue to showcase its massive utility and potential, let’s bid adieu to 2018 by recapping the top 10 most notable open source blogs of the past year.

  1. VMware Releases Dispatch, an Open Source Serverless Framework

VMware kicked off 2018 in style with the release of Project Dispatch, an open source serverless framework. Built on Kubernetes, Dispatch provides tools and services to deploy and manage production-ready, function-backed serverless applications. Dispatch expands beyond just function execution to provide a “batteries included” serverless framework for any environment running Kubernetes, providing a flexible, secure and multi-tenant FaaS. Read the release blog around Dispatch to learn even more about the project and how you can join the team.

  1. Meet Project Concord: An Open Source Decentralized Trust Infrastructure

Project Concord is a lesson in hard work and patience paying off big time. After more than two years of internal development, Concord—an open source distributed trust infrastructure—was released this summer at VMworld to much fanfare. With Concord, VMware joined the robust and thriving open source blockchain community and seeks to deepen and broaden a shared blockchain vision focused on true trust decentralization. Learn how our team hopes to uphold this goal with Project Concord by reading our comprehensive blog above.

  1. VMware CodeHouse: A Great Insight into the Future of Software Engineering

Diversity and inclusion has been a hot topic throughout the tech world and in 2018, the open source community took an even more active role in pushing forward this important initiative. At VMware specifically, we held our annual CodeHouse event, which gathered 20 technical Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. female students from a wide variety of backgrounds together for a weekend of coding, networking and fun. Get a recap of VMware CodeHouse and see the impressive projects and solutions these young women developed, all with an eye on giving back to the community.

  1. Why Tern? The Case for an Open Source Tool to Help with Container Compliance

Another notable open source project launched this year was Tern, a tool for analyzing Docker containers to find the software packages installed and help developers identify changes to the Dockerfile to make more compliant containers. Container compliance is a common problem within the open source community, and Tern serves as an attempt to remedy this chronic problem and help the community as a whole better understand the complexities of container compliance and how they can go about building more compliant containers. In fact, Tern is doing such a great job that it was recently accepted into the Linux Foundation’s ACT Initiative. Read all about that here.

  1. The Challenge of Measuring Progress in Open Source — Parts One & Two

While open source has come an impressively long way in just two decades, there are still a few kinks that need to be worked out. Case in point: the difficulty that comes with accurately measuring the progress and success of open source projects. Our two-part series from Alex Courouble and John Hawley, who gave a stirring presentation on this topic at this year’s CHAOSScon, takes a look at the existing challenges facing the creation of solid progress metrics for open source development and explores how we might start to make things better. Read up on this lingering issue and dive into Email2git, an emerging open source metric for Git code reviews that could be the solution to the problem at hand.

  1. If Software Is Change, Then Well-Written Commit Messages Are the Key

Our approach to software is a bit different than most. From our perspective, the heart of software is change. After all, everything we do as developers can be boiled down to creating some kind of change. And the software components that most of us work with are changes, not files. With that said, this blog posits that perhaps the most important things we can do as software engineers is craft independent changes and write clear, illuminating commit messages. Darren Hart, long-time Linux kernel maintainer and software change expert, created a handy seven-step guide for developing well-written commit messages that drive software change forward.

  1. Congrats: Project Harbor Graduates to Incubate

This post is a culmination of the exemplary year open source Project Harbor experienced. For those that don’t know, Project Harbor stores, signs and scans container images for vulnerabilities. It solves common challenges by delivering trust, compliance, performance and interoperability. Project Harbor started out 2018 with a bang thanks to the release of Helm Chart, which allows users to quickly deploy a Harbor Docker registry in a Kubernetes cluster. This summer, Harbor was just the third VMware-originated project to be adopted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation as a Sandbox-level project. Finally, four months later, Harbor graduated to Incubate thanks to the growing community support and adoption of the project.

  1. Kubernetes 1.12 Release Lead Retrospective

Our own Tim Pepper had the distinguished honor of serving as the release lead for Kubernetes 1.12 earlier this year. In fact, his contributions and dedication to the project earned him the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s “Chop Wood and Carry Water” community award at KubeCon this month. Earlier this summer, Tim worked tirelessly on this version of Kubernetes and learned much about contributing to open source projects in the process. His comprehensive retrospective is full of great insights and tidbits for any person looking to contribute to open source, but especially those looking to volunteer as the release lead (aka “The Worrier in Chief”) for a large, high velocity project like Kubernetes.

  1. The State of Serverless Technology in the Cloud Native Space

If you ask our stable of open source experts and software engineers, a good majority of them will testify to 2018 being the year of serverless technology. Between Dispatch and OpenFaaS, whose founder Alex Ellis joined VMware’s OSTC early this year, VMware was all aboard the serverless train in 2018. Given the work being done in open source, we embraced and extended our serverless work with other open source communities due to its growing prominence in the cloud native space. Discover why our official stance on serverless in 2018 and moving forward is that you should start investing in it for the long haul.

  1. The Future of Service Mesh — Parts One & Two

When Istio 1.0, an open source service mesh solution was released in 2018, TechCrunch called it “probably one of the most important new open source projects out there right now.” Such a lofty statement brought massive amounts of attention and fervor to the development of service mesh architectures. In our two-part series from Venil Noronha and Stephen McPolin, we made the case for why service mesh architectures were inevitable, why they’re set to grow in importance and their bright future after the milestone of Istio 1.0. Watch this space, because service mesh will only become bigger and better in 2019.

It’s been quite a remarkable year for open source and we can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store. As always, be sure to get the latest breaking news, updates and in-depth features on all things open source by visiting our Open Source Blog and following us on Twitter (@vmwopensource). See you in the new year!