Great article by my coworker Daniel Bachhuber on how Automattic can open source more of its work.
I liked this comment by Mark Jaquith, which summarizes pretty well how I feel about it personally:
“What I’d like is for more future Automattic projects to be designed to be Open Source. Even if not completely. There are ways of designing things so that the base code (the framework) is Open Source, but the things you privately build on top of it don’t have to be. Doing things this way will likely lead you to design better frameworks that will not only be externally useful, but will serve the company better. Underscores is a great example.”
I’d like to identify ways in which Automattic can release more code as open source by default.
In the WordPress.com repository, there’s a fair amount of code in use that’s never seen the light of day. Bits and pieces of this code would probably be useful to other people, and subsequently be improved as more developers read, implemented, and found new uses for it.
Open source is a unique and tremendously important phenomenon because it enables people to create more economic value than they could with previous collaborative frameworks. It’s “one of the most important ideas of our generation.” Automattic as a company believes this too; on the first page of our internal company documentation, Matt Mullenweg says, “I’m fine with releasing basically any code on WordPress.com that isn’t our password files.”
However, we don’t release as much code as we could be releasing, nor do we go about many…
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