Ask HN: What are some excellent pieces of software written by a single person?

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on

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  • Cap'n Proto

    Cap'n Proto serialization/RPC system - core tools and C++ library

    Capnproto by Kenton Varda <>.

    There have certainly been other contributors <>, but Kenton does most of the development and maintenance on his own.

    There are few things I lament more than having to spin up on a new serialization / file format and it isn't using Capnproto or Protobufs or some similar invention. Capnproto has truly spoiled me in terms of how consistent and feature rich it is for what seems like a "simple" task.

  • kitty

    Cross-platform, fast, feature-rich, GPU based terminal

    TIL that my favorite terminal[1] was written by the author of Calibre.


  • InfluxDB

    Collect and Analyze Billions of Data Points in Real Time. Manage all types of time series data in a single, purpose-built database. Run at any scale in any environment in the cloud, on-premises, or at the edge.

  • doomemacs

    An Emacs framework for the stubborn martian hacker

  • libcurl

    A command line tool and library for transferring data with URL syntax, supporting DICT, FILE, FTP, FTPS, GOPHER, GOPHERS, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, IMAPS, LDAP, LDAPS, MQTT, POP3, POP3S, RTMP, RTMPS, RTSP, SCP, SFTP, SMB, SMBS, SMTP, SMTPS, TELNET, TFTP, WS and WSS. libcurl offers a myriad of powerful features

    Surprised nobody mentioned

    and it's author:

  • issue-tracker

    Issue and feature requests tracker for MultiViewer for F1 (by f1multiviewer)

  • harfbuzz

    HarfBuzz text shaping engine

    I'm not sure if it truly fits this category, but HarfBuzz[0], maintained primarily by Behdad Esfahbod, comes to mind.


  • rnote

    Sketch and take handwritten notes.

    Rnote - Sketch and take handwritten notes.

    Use it daily to take notes in lessons, never had any issues with it and he fixes stuff really fast compared to other similar sized projects (in my experience).

    Before that i used xournal++ but rnote feels more stable/modern but lacks some features that xournal++ has

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    Analyze your C and C++ projects with just one click.. SonarCloud, a cloud-based static analysis tool for your CI/CD workflows, offers a one-click automatic analysis of C and C++ projects hosted on GitHub. Zero configuration and free for open-source projects! Analyze free.

  • coreutils

    upstream mirror (by coreutils)

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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