Google Sheds Light on Open Source Projects, Internal Processes

Home Practices Software

by | March 30, 2017

Google’s new open source site provides a variety of resources, ranging from easier discovery of projects to help individual developers, to a peek under the hood at its internal processes that can serve as guidance for enterprises looking to further their own initiatives.

The site, Google Open Source, was just launched with the mission of “bringing better technology to the world by promoting open source.”

It contains sections focusing on the company’s own contributions to the community — numbering in the thousands — along with information on community outreach and affiliations, documentation about its own internal processes and a blog providing updates on open source happenings at the company.

In other words, according to exec Will Norris, who yesterday penned a blog post announcing the site, it “ties together all of our initiatives with information on how we use, release and support open source.”

The Projects site helps developers peruse the company’s 2,000 or so open source projects, either through: a dynamic, spinning graphic that pops up information on projects ranging from Android and Angular, to TensorFlow and Zopfli; or a more conventional grid presentation that provides brief links of projects and a link to individual project sites.

There, developers can quickly find information such as project descriptions, what programming languages are supported, how Google uses the technology, links to source code, license information, related projects and more.
While the projects site may be more attractive to individual developers, large enterprises and other organizations might be interested in the Docs, section, which is basically a copy of the company’s own internal open source documentation, minus some information that can’t be shared.

The Docs site includes three main sections, described by Google thusly:

Creating covers how Googlers release code that they’ve written, either in the form of a new standalone project or as a patch to an external project. The same process is used for small 20 percent projects and full-blown Google projects.
Using explains how Google brings in open source code and use it to help build products. Google carefully catalog thousands of packages to help maintain license compliance.
Growing describes some of the programs Google runs inside and outside the company to support open source communities.


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