Twitter's strategy: As much open source as possible

Twitter is a great model citizen for open source, both adopting it intelligently and contributing back extensively.

On Tuesday, Twitter acknowledged what much of the Web 2.0 world has discovered but doesn't discuss nearly enough: it is a huge open-source beneficiary. However, Twitter isn't content to simply use the fruits of others' work. Twitter is also a significant open-source contributor:

When we plan new engineering projects at Twitter, we measure our requirements against the capabilities of open source offerings, and prefer to use open source whenever it makes sense. By this approach, much of Twitter is now built on open-source software.

In some cases, our requirements--in particular, the scalability requirements of our service--lead us to develop projects from the ground up. We develop these projects with an eye toward open source, and are pleased to contribute our projects back to the open-source community when there is a clear benefit.

Interesting, and probably a very good strategy for any company looking to shave costs and boost productivity, as well as ensure that open source remains a renewable resource. Twitter is setting a very positive standard for corporate adoption of and contributions to open source.

Now I just need to get them speaking at the Open Source Business Conference.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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