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Zephyr Developer Summit: IoT Projects in FLOSS Foundations: A Report Based on Community Data (Video)

By September 20, 2022September 23rd, 2022No Comments

More than 380 people registered for the 2nd Annual Zephyr Developer Summit, which took place on June 8-9 in-person in Mountain View, CA and virtually for attendees around the world, to learn more about the fastest growing RTOS. We hosted a “Zephyr Intro Day” on June 7 and had 4 tracks, 2 mini-conferences, 2 tutorials, 54 sessions and 58 speakers who presented engaging technical content, best practices, use cases and more. We’ll be adding event videos each week to the Zephyr Youtube Channel.

Today, we’re highlighting the keynote presentation, “IoT Projects in FLOSS Foundations: A Report Based on Community Data,” by Matt Cantu, Communications and DEI Expert at Bitergia. Watch the below video or click on the session title for the link to the presentation.

Effect of the Pandemic on IoT Open-Source Projects

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, we’ve all experienced significant effects in our daily lives, industries, and IoT open-source projects. The graph below depicts the decrease in contributions to IoT projects during the pandemic. As you can see, there was a measurable decline in open-source projects after 2019.   

Contributions to IoT open-source projects is not the only one affected. We’ve also seen a decrease in the number of contributors and authors during the past couple of years. As shown in the image below, the number of contributors has decreased by approximately 13 percent since 2018.   

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Looking at other indicators besides the pandemic, we can nevertheless conclude that IoT open-source projects are thriving because the pandemic’s impact is only temporary. Below are several other indicators.

Categories Context (Top Projects Contributed to by Categories)

To aid in the discovery of some key findings, we divided the IoT open-source projects into categories. The project categories are as follows: 

Below you can see which categories the top projects contributed to, including operation systems and virtualization, processing, and so on.

Foundations

The significant foundations were Linux, Eclipse, FIWARE, and others, which include other open-source projects that are not affiliated with the aforementioned ones. In the image below, you can see the proportion of Git contributions to each foundation.

Foundation Niches (How Each Foundation Interacts with the Categories)

The key findings of this investigation were that each foundation has at least one IoT open-source category that it can call its own and that some foundations have larger communities than others. 

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Foundation and Organizations

The key findings in terms of foundations and their work are as follows: 

  • Each organization focuses on one foundation at a time.
  • This practice strengthens the bonds between partners.
  • However, it has the unintended consequence of impeding cross-collaboration.

When it comes to cross-collaboration, the relationship between the top four foundations and the top forty-five organizations was also investigated. The squared rectangles in the image below represent the top organizations, while circles represent the foundations. As you can see, there is little cross-collaboration between foundations in contributions to IoT open-source projects. So, there’s plenty more room for improvement.

Contribution Trends with Foundations

As you can see in the image below, IoT open-source projects with foundation support have been more stable and resilient over the years, even during the pandemic, than other projects that did not have foundation support.   

Projects

Speaking of projects, according to the number of contributions (commits), the Zephyr Project is the most active IoT repository, followed by Apache Camel, Nuxtt, and so on. 

The Zephyr Project

Here are the key findings from the Zephyr Project. 

  • Zephyr is leading its category (OS and Virtualizations).
  • It has many active organizations.
  • There has been a steady stream of commits.
  • It has enjoyed substantial growth over two years.

Despite the pandemic, what’s fascinating about Zephyr is its evolution over time. As you can see in the image below, the number of contributions to Zephyr has increased over time. This was true even during the pandemic when contributions in general declined.  

In terms of contributors, the Zephyr Project has grown by approximately 49 percent during the past couple of years, as you can see in the image below.   

This post was written by Ibrahim Ogunbiyi. Ibrahim is a data scientist and an IT support specialist. He loves writing anything about  data and IT operations.