31 October 2007

Curling Up with Open Source

One of the heartening signs in the software industry is the continuing flow of donations to the free software commons. The latest to see the light is interesting because it's in a domain where open source code is fairly thin on the ground: Rich Internet Applications.

Curl, Inc. today announced its plans to release a significant body of code for the Curl Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform to the open source community. As the first step in its open source strategy, Curl will broaden its development platform and empower the Curl developer community by establishing a common repository of open source component libraries. As a result, developers will have all of the components required to support rapid development of enterprise-class RIAs. Curl's Open Source projects are provided under the Apache V2.0 License and hosted by SourceForge.

For tools like this, the benefits of open source are clear: people are able to try out your products much more easily, and the code can be freely passed around, growing the size of the user base for practically no cost. Indeed, the power of this kind of viral distribution is so great it's surprising there aren't more such releases. (Via 451 CAOS Theory.)

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