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The Best Open Source Software of 2023

Jason Li
Sr. Software Development Engineer
Skilled Angular and .NET developer, team leader for a healthcare insurance company.
December 01, 2023

Introduction: Open Source Software

With Open Source Software, one can inspect, modify, and enhance its source code, which makes it easier for computer programmers to work on it. The programmers enhance the source code by improving the software by adding several features or fixing parts that cause trouble in proper software functioning. Unlike other software, Open Source Software (OSS) is different as its authors make its source code available to all computer programmers and all those who like to view and improve the code by modifying it or learning from/with it. The users must accept the terms of a license when they use OSS. However, the legal terms of open source licenses differ from those of other proprietary-licenses. 

With open source licenses, users and computer programmers can use, study, modify, and distribute the Open Source Software. Copyleft, some open source licenses, stipulate that those who release a modified open source program must also release the source code for that program. Other open source licenses stipulate that those who alter a computer program and share it with others must also share the source code without charging the licensing fee. Thus, open source software licenses are designed to promote collaboration and sharing as they permit other people to modify source code while incorporating the changes into computer programming projects. These licenses encourage computer programmers to access, view, and modify OSS whenever they like as long as they share their work and the source code. 

Benefits of Open Source Software

The users and computer programmers mostly prefer Open Source Software to work with as it has many handy advantages. These include proper control over software, training, robust security, stability, and a community of users that can help you modify the computer program for a specific project by altering the source code. The best Open Source Software (OSS) simplifies everyday business tasks done with a computer without the cost of licensing fees. Currently, IT technology revolves around Open Source Software, and most IT companies release their software for free with access to their source code. Some examples include LibreOffice, Linux, VLC, GIMP, Shotcut, Brave, KeePass, FileZilla, and Internxt, among many others. 

The Best Open Source Software of 2023

To recognize the best Open Source Software of 2023, InfoWorld, an American information-technology media business firm, collects nominations to award the Best Open Source Software Awards or BOSSIES. The BOSSIES recognize the best OSS for both business and professional users. The central mission of InfoWorld is to identify the most innovative software products or Open Source Software available to IT organizations and computer developers. These OSS products range from Application Development Tools to various platforms. Also, they include IT infrastructure software, Big Data Analytics, and Machine-Learning Tools. The editors and reviewers of InfoWorld choose the BOSSIE winners from several nominations. 

Leading OSS tools for Software Development, Data Management, analytics, AI, and Machine-Learning in 2023

The nominations for the best Open Source Software tools are an eclectic mix of technologies. These include computer programming languages, runtimes, App frameworks, databases, data analytics engines, machine-learning libraries, Large Language Models (LLMs), tools for deploying LLMs, and those IT projects that outstrip such descriptions. Significant software problems and issues get solved through these Open Source Software or projects.

Apache Hudi

Designing an Open Data Lake or Data Lakehouse requires industries and business organizations to need a more evolving and mutable platform. Apache Hudi provides a fast data format, tables, and SQL, and one can enable them from low-latency and real-time analytics. The OSS integrates with Apache Spark, Apache Flink, and other tools like Presto, StarRocks, and Amazon Athena. 

Apache Iceberg

The Apache Iceberg works with Hive. It also directly works with other tools like Apache Spark, Apache Flink, Dremio, ClickHouse, and StarRocks. The OSS provides a high-performance table format for all the systems it works with while enabling a full-schema evolution, data compaction, and version rollback. The Apache Iceberg is a vital component that forms the foundation of many modern open data lakes. 

Apache Superset

The OSS Apache Superset is a great data visualization tool. It is almost the only choice for those who want to deploy self-serve, customer-facing, or user-facing analytics at scale. Apache Superset provides data visualization for any analytics scenario, which includes pie charts and complex geospatial charts. The OSS works with most SQL databases and provides a drag-and-drop builder and an SQL IDE. 


Bun puts everything required for a server-side JavaScript (JS). It includes runtime, bundler, package, and manager in one-single tool. The OSS is a drop-in replacement for Node.js and NPM and radically faster than Node. 

Claude 2

Claude 2, the OSS developed by Anthropic, can accept up to 70,000 words or 100K tokens in a single prompt. Also, it generates up to a few thousand-tokens by itself. The OSS Claude can edit, rewrite, summarize, classify, and extract structured data. Although it has the most training in English, it performs well in a range of other common languages like computer programming. While developing, Claude got constitutionally trained to be honest, helpful, and harmless (HHH). It does not train on the data or consult the internet for answers and gets adopted by commercial partners like AWS, Jasper, and Sourcegraph. 


The OSS CockroachDB is a distributed SQL database. It enables strongly consistent ACID transactions. The SQL database got designed to solve the vital scalability problem for high performance of transaction-heavy applications. It does this by enabling horizontal scalability of database reads and writes. Also, the OSS supports multi-region and multi-cloud deployments to reduce latency while complying with data regulations. 


The OSS CPython is an upgraded version of Python programming language and implements the Python interpreter. The runtime has become faster for everyone with CPython. 


DuckDB simplifies the big OLAP databases with just enough OLAP. The analytics database runs embedded and in-process systems with no external dependencies. The OSS DuckDB is an analytical database built in the spirit of tiny and powerful projects like SQLite. Here, DuckDB provides all the familiar RDBMS features including SQL queries, ACID transactions, and secondary indexes while adding analytics features like joins, which aggregate over large datasets.

HTMX and Hyperscript

The OSS HTMX takes the HTML and extends it with enhancements, which make it easier to write modern web applications. Hyperscript uses a HyperCard-like syntax to simplify the JavaScript tasks, which include asynchronous operations and DOM manipulations. 


Istio simplifies the networking and communications for container-based Microservices applications. It is a service mesh, which provides traffic routing, logging, monitoring, and observations. The OSS enhances security with encryption, authentication, and authorization capabilities while separating communications and security functions from applications and infrastructure systems. Thus, it enables a secure and consistent configuration. The Istio architecture has a control plane or panel deployed in Kubernetes clusters and a data plane that controls communication policies. 

Kata Containers

The Kata containers combine the speed of containers and the isolation of virtual machines to establish a secure container runtime. It uses Intel Clear Containers with runV, a hypervisor-based runtime. The OSS works with Kubernetes and Docker while supporting multiple hardware architectures. 


The OSS LangChain is a modular framework, which eases the development of applications that get powered by language models. The off-the-shelf chains are structured assemblies of components that accomplish specific high-level tasks.  

Language Model Evaluation Harness

The Open Source Software got created by EleutherAI, a distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute. The language evaluation model contains over 180 to 200 benchmarks, and these are easily extendable. 

Llama 2

The OSS Llama 2 is the next generation of Meta AI’s large language model. It is trained on 40% more data than Llama 1 and has double the context length. Llama 2 is an auto-regressive language model, which uses the optimized transformer architecture. Code Llama, trained by fine-tuning Llama 2 on code-specific datasets generates code and natural language about code from source codes or natural language prompts. 


Another OSS based on Llama 2 is Ollama, which is a command-line utility that runs Llama 2 and Code Llama. Here, the higher the quantization level is, the more accurate the language model becomes. However, in this case, it starts running slowly and consumes more memory. 


The OSS works with Python as it is a dataframe-wrangling library, which is 10x faster than Pandas using half the memory required by Pandas. The Polars API works faster while dealing with large amounts of data. 

Other List of OSS in 2023

The other nominees include PostgreSQL, QLoRA, RAPIDS, Spark NLP, StarRocks, TensorFlow.js, vLLM, Weaviate, and Zig. 


The discussion is on the best Open Source Software of 2023, and all the ones listed here deserve to be looked into. InfoWorld is putting the spotlight on these nominees through highlighting their benefits and uses. The users and computer programmers can now pick and choose which ones they like to work on based on their unique needs and requirements.