5 Cool Corporate Open Source Contributors You Never Thought Of

I had the idea for this post after accidentally stumbling across KrakenJS and realising its a Paypal open source project.

OK so its pretty obvious companies like Google, RedHat, Oracle, etc all contribute to the open source community and even stand on its shoulders to a great extent. But after finding Paypal’s contributions I did some digging to find some lesser known coroporate open source contributors. And some cool projects popped up.

There was a time when I’d do a lot of coding using Google API’s and open source libraries but over the years I’d become dissillusioned with them and as a result subconciously steered clear of any future corporately sponsored projects.

Quick KrakenJS intro before the main list

Not only is KrakenJS a much beefed up version of the Node framework ExpressJS with lads of extras including:

  • Application Security
  • NPM Proxy
  • Dust I18N
  • Dust Context

It’s also a way to structure your project. It is like Sinatra’s Padrino of the Ruby world.

1. Paypal

As I’ve already mentioned Paypal’s greatest contribution (IMHO) KrakenJS here’s Paypals GitHub page with all their projects:

2. Netflix

First it was a major banking organisation. Now we’ve the darling of media streaming services to the public and paraiah to US ISPs.

The Netflix open source contribution is no less impressive than PayPals - maybe even more so which is why its criminal its not more widely known. So here’s a heads up on their:

Some of their notable projects:

  • Asgard - Web interface for application deployments and cloud management in Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Scumblr - cool custom search engine. Check the page for full info.
  • SimianArmy - Tools for keeping your cloud operating in top form.

3. Spotify

Some of their projects:

Check out the developer blog for all their API’s and SDKs.

4. UK Government

What? That stuffy old wood and leather palace with its yays and nays? Yep - ineed they have such a prolific open source collection on Github (19 pages of repos!) It was hard to dig out the gems. Its worth checking them all and there’s some that are criminally under-appreciated. Here’s a few:

  • Magna Charter - Accessible, useful, beautiful barcharts from HTML tables.
  • Gov.UK Styleguides - Good to see the government have style guides in place.
  • Router - Just, erm. Wow. Check the readme - maybe you’ll make more sense of it than me. Seems built on Go and handles routing for the main Gov.uk site.

One thing I have noticed is the UK Government does seem to like it’s Ruby, esp. Ruby on Rails.

Check out the full 19 page monster list at AlphaGov.

5. The Guardian

The UK newspaper currently has a list of repos to rival the Government’s but the potential for cool finds does seem a bit higher. Here’s a few I managed to dig out:

Of course the Guardian wouldn’t be much of a newspaper without its own developer blog now would it:

If you think I’ve missed off any great projects let me know: doug (at) tintophat (dot) com