December 23, 2012, 7:24 AM — Every day 10,000 new users sign up for GitHub, an online repository for open source projects that already has 2.8 million members.
Those users create 25,000 new repositories each day, adding to the 4.6 million already on the site.
Founded in 2008, the site saw a 133% growth in users in 2012 and a 171% increase in repositories.
The meteoric growth of GitHub, some say, points to the vibrancy of the open source world in technology right now. Once seen as a series of pet projects, now open source is not just big money for big businesses -- Red Hat is the first billion-dollar open source company -- but it has gained the credibility of enterprises, causing what some call a shift in attitudes toward open source, both by business leaders and developers.
"Interest in open source software has in many respects need been higher," says Stephen O'Grady, founder and analyst at research firm RedMonk.
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GitHub has expanded this process, by making coding social. "It's better to work together than to work alone," GitHub wrote in a blog post announcing the year-end numbers. By developing software on GitHub, you're making it easy for 2.8MM people to help you out."
Alan Shimel, co-founder and managing partner at The CISO Group and a Network World blogger, says he sees a "second golden age" of open source right now. A first burst, driven by Linux, MySQL and other technologies broke open source on to the enterprise radar in the 1990s. Now, open source projects have just exploded -- from Android to OpenStack, Hadoop, MongoBD and others. "There's this second batch of monster, huge open source projects," he says.