OSCON 2005: Google & Open Source
As an interesting follow-up to my post about giving back to the open-source community, the same subject came up during Chris’ session about Google and their approach to open-source software.
As you may know, Google’s got a great track record with open-source, particularly with their current Summer of Code program. Normally, I’m glad we’re not huge like Google – I like being small. But I have to admit that they have a wonderful opportunity to help the open-source community in many ways, not just financially. Looks like they’re doing well with it, too.
Interesting to hear, though, that they have some of the same thoughts and qualms about so-called “bounty” programs for open-source that I have. I’ve worried that, should we make cash contributions to certain projects, it might backfire on us. It’s pretty easy to imagine some sort of fight or, at the very least, feelings being hurt among developers as they figure out how to use the contribution. I think their approach is a sound one with Summer of Code and all of their other open-source participation, but similar things would be very hard for a tiny operation like us.
Anyway, Chris’ session was both informative and warm-and-fuzzy: Google’s doing well contributing their own code, enhancing and using existing projects, and in general, supporting open-source.