Brian's Waste of Time

Wed, 22 Aug 2007

Google and OSS

I am continually not surprised by the FUD spread by outsiders about Google and open source. This morning it was triggered by an article in el reg claiming:

Beyond that, Google hardly stands as a model open source company - a point noted by Hilf. Google has become the poster child for the software as a service (SaaS) abuse of open source software. The ad broker uses copious amounts of open code but gets around returning changes to "the community" by claiming it does not redistribute the code. Instead, Google simply places the software on servers and ships a service to consumers.

The fascinating part about this is that it does not jibe at all with my personal observations. "Google" contributes craploads -- "they" just do it as individuals to a large degree. Of course "they" tend to use the Apache License, not the GPL, for new projects so maybe it is more conflating of Libre with Open on the part of people watching the industry but not actually participating?

anti-disclaimer: I do not work for Google, I have never worked for Google, I have never tried to work for Google, I do not own any Google stock, my last interaction with a Google employee was me bitching over IM about their interpretation of Jabber/XMPP in GTalk which makes it close to useless for federation purposes. I know a large number of people who do work there -- most of them being core contributors to open source projects you probably use.

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