Google Launches as an Introduction to Open Source

Google has launched a new educational site at that offers a succinct and approachable introduction to open source software and licensing. WordPress is cited as one of the more well-known examples in the opening paragraphs:

It’s in your phone, your car, your TV, and your wifi-connected light bulbs. Open source components enable engineers to build on the work of a global community of developers to deliver better products faster and at lower cost. Linux, the Apache web server, Android, Firefox, and WordPress are examples of open source projects you may have heard of.

Google relies heavily on open source for both internal tools and consumer-facing products. A few of the company’s more widely used open source projects include Android, Chromium, Chromium OS, Go, and Material Design icons, but there are also many smaller projects. Google has created more than 2,000 open source projects in the last decade, which you can browse through using a fun, interactive explorer.

The new site gives an important nod to Open Source Initiative (OSI) as the maintainer of the Open Source Definition (OSD) and the globally-recognized authority on open source licensing.

Google and many other OSI sponsors and affiliates recognize the OSD as the definition of open source and OSI’s authority as the maintainer of the OSD. Licenses which do not comply with the OSD might still provide access to the source code, but they’re not “open source”.

The site ends with a solid list of curated links to important open source organizations, foundations, and other resources for further exploration. Overall, provides a nice summary that answers the question, “What is open source?” It’s a resource agencies and freelancers might consider sharing with clients who are new to the concept.


6 responses to “Google Launches as an Introduction to Open Source”

  1. well, now I know where local dev domain went… Wondered why Google upset the world of local devs …

  2. I’m curious as to when Google will start letting individuals register dot Dev domains. Many registrars have a ‘date to be decided’ next to the release for the gTLD but there seems to be no further word on when.

    It’s nice to see it being used though and promoting open source. All things considered, open source just doesn’t feel very well known and if this can give people a better understanding of what it is, maybe it’ll gain even more support from businesses.

  3. Can’t access the site, since I’ve still got .dev mapping rules in my local hosts file. I’m getting a “connection refused” error. Somehow I doubt I’m the only one.

    • Can’t access the site, since I’ve still got .dev mapping rules in my local hosts file.

      Came to leave this exact comment. You aren’t the only one!

  4. Very nice little introduction, with some good links, to get started. But very little interactivity and/or links to communities/forums, for you to make the next step. Start connecting with “similar minded” people.


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