The last days covered two news where some big companies cooperated with Open Source projects to improve their software. This is nothing special anymore in these days, but it is a pleasure every time when I see that the Open Source development model simply works.
One of the examples was the “Phonon/Solid Sprint” mentioned in Commit Digest Issue 55. The Phonon and Solid developers sat down together with several developers from Trolltech to improve the code and the APIs of both KDE projects. So for an entire week Trolltech invested quite a lot of man power into KDE 4. It is reported that they analyzed almost every line – try to imagine how much money this is worth!
Another example is Google. The company released a set of MySQL patches some days ago to “enhance the manageability and reliability”. I haven’t read any response from the MySQL guys yet but that might be due to the fact that the patches were released at the same day as the MySQL Conference&Expo 2007 started.
Of course, both companies only did this because they expect certain benefits from these moves – but that’s the point which is so important! Open Source, or FLOSS if you prefer, is not anymore only developed by people out of ethical or technical reasons, but out of pure business reasons as well.
Sure, this also adds an entire range of new problems, but that’s something the Community has to learn to handle. And the community will handle it, because the business driven developers and also the companies behind them are also part of the community.
I’m looking forward to more and more cooperations of this kind.