Black Duck has announced its fifth annual Open Source Rookies of the Year, revealing that JavaScript and mobile dominated the focus of the Top 10 open-source projects last year.

“As we look at all these projects, they span the gamut of different parts of the industry,” said Dave Gruber, director of developer marketing at Black Duck. “We don’t actually set out to pick the project; we set out to pick the Top 10 projects that represent the most traction and momentum in the open-source community—and also the people who are addressing interesting and important topics that are taking place at the same time.”

Black Duck reviewed thousands of open-source projects started in 2012 to select this year’s Rookies, which are (in alphabetical order) Ansible, Chaplin js, GPUImage, Hammer.js, InaSAFE, Sidekiq, Syte, Twitter Bower, TypeScript and Yahoo Mojito. An Honorable Mention goes to DCPUToolChain.

This year’s list was dominated by projects that focused on evolving development frameworks, platforms and tooling around JavaScript. “While JavaScript, in its base form, provides a lot of the basic capabilities that’re required, it wasn’t really built for any sort of large-scale, scalable application design and development,” Gruber said.

“And so there’s a big need for people to build on top of JavaScript to fill lots of the gaps that exist in JavaScript. There were really a huge number of projects associated with JavaScript that we looked at. The ones we highlighted were the ones gaining the most traction,” he said, noting that Chaplin js, Hammer.js, TypeScript, Twitter Bower and Yahoo Mojito all target JavaScript.

This year’s list was also dominated by projects that had a mobile focus—from development frameworks to real-time video filtering to multi-touch gestures. Black Duck also discovered that JavaScript, Python and Ruby were the most popular languages this year.

Gruber said that much of Black Duck’s analysis is driven by data captured on its community site. He said this is where it tracks when projects start, when they start to get a lot of contributors and committers, and when the commit stream starts to accelerate. They also track how much buzz and excitement is going around in the community about these projects.

“Because we rely on Ohloh to assess and compare growth, including project activity, commit pace, project team attributes and other factors, all projects being considered for a Rookies award must be in Ohloh,” Gruber added.

He said some of the other elements of the discussion include how well-connected individual projects are to other important technology trends that are going on in the industry. “We synthesize all this data together and then sift through really thousands of projects until we boil it down to what are the top ones across all those elements of data,” he said.

“Then, beyond that, we actually interview the project leaders for all of the projects to get a sense of why the projects started, what problems they were attempting to solve, how and why the projects got traction right out of the gates, and then we pull the pieces all together.”

Gruber said Black Duck also pulled some specific metadata in from its KnowledgeBase. Using a weighted scoring system, points were awarded based on project activity, commit pace and project team attributes. Black Duck then determined the Top 10 projects following an audit of its findings and project scores.