Since its origins many years ago, the internet has been a collaboration between computer scientists around the world, made possible by the open, non-proprietary nature of the technology on which it’s built.
The same open philosophy and shared technology standards have driven the development of many of the web’s applications, which are increasingly developed on ‘open source’.
At Google, we love open source for a few reasons. First, it speeds innovation. Open source lowers the barrier to entry for users, website owners, and application developers. It means there can be another Google, or another Yahoo!, started from someone’s garage in Auckland or Arhus with very little capital required, because the building blocks for success are freely available.
It also reduces inefficiency. In the past, developers wasted time and resources to write web code to cover basic functions common to most websites-like registration pages.
Nowadays, thanks to open code-sharing initiatives, developers don’t need to waste time reinventing the wheel. Moreover, as more sharing of code occurs, weaker solutions are weeded out in favor of more robust models.
And finally, it makes economic sense. Although it may sound counterintuitive to give something away for free, the resulting popularity and innovation pays off.
This was an awesome read – and while the focus is Why open source is good for Google, I think it can also be translated into why open source is good for EVERYONE