As we know, Google creates a lot o open-source software. Some even say that this is probably the reason it stays on top of its game and that without things like Linux, there would be no Google. They both use and create open-source code pretty much every single day. In the last three months alone, Google has open-sourced Chrome for iOS; Upspin file-sharing; E2EMail, experimental end-to-end email encryption; and the Guetzli JPEG encoder. The only problem was how and where to find these projects, and Google has finally delivered the solution by creating Google Open Source Projects.
“Free and open-source software has been part of our technical and organizational foundation since Google’s early beginnings. From servers running the Linux kernel to an internal culture of being able to patch any other team’s code, open source is part of everything we do. In return, we’ve released millions of lines of open-source code, run programs like Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in, and sponsor open-source projects and communities through organizations like Software Freedom Conservancy, the Apache Software Foundation, and many others,” said Will Norris, Google’s Open Source Programs Office software engineer.
Google has even given a reason for doing this, by saying that “Google believes that open source is good for everyone. By being open and freely available, it enables and encourages collaboration and the development of technology, solving real-world problems.”
Since they don’t know which of their projects is going to find an audience, they’ve decided to create a master directory to pretty much all of their projects. Teams are releasing codes whenever possible, and thousands of projects are now released and available, from big ones like Kubernetes, TensorFlow or Go, to smaller ones like Light My Piano, Periph.io, and Neuroglancer.
Many of these are still experimental, and some are just for fun, but there are also many that are fully supported. Norris has also stated that there’s even more to the project because by doing this, Google has provided an insight into the way they “do” open source. This is now available in order to bring this kind of software development to its full potential.
There are documents that explain the process that Google employees follow for releasing new open source projects, submitting patches to others’ projects and even how the open source code is being managed and used. This and many other things are explained, including the reasons for doing these things the way they do them.
Norris states that these documents are an essential reading for everyone who is working with open source.
The Linux Foundation’s executive director, Jim Zemlin, has stated that more that 80% of technology will be coming from open-source software development. He was right, and by 2015, 78% of companies were running open source software.