Open for Business

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Want to write OSS this summer? Talk to Google.

Apparently Google is still trying to come up with a strategy for OSS. They are growing the number of open source projects (about 9 projects today). This said, intentionally (or not) their OSS projects are still very much under the radar. The statistics on sourceforge.net show very low activity across the board. Given Orbeon's interest in XML technologies and AJAX, I am particularly interested in following the AJAXSLT project (freshly posted on 6/8/05).

This summer Google is promoting the summer of code Program, their latest open source initiative which consists of giving out a $4,500 prize to students who successfully complete an OSS project with a sponsoring organization. This program displays quite a few prestigious sponsoring organizations from the OSS world such as The Apache Software Foundation, mozdev.org or FreeBSD.

This is a smart initiative for Google, it will cost Google peanuts while giving them a wonderful recruiting tool and who knows (I don't think this is their primary objective given their already talented/creative staff) new ideas? In addition to being a lethal magnet for talented students wanting to work for the "coolest" company of the moment, this initiative will also help promote Google as an OSS friendly company. Plus, who doesn't want to be associated with OSS these days?

For more information check the program's FAQ.

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