Six big projects that went open-source

A six-pack of major new open-source projects.

open source 1
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More code, more projects

Making big software and hardware projects open-source is an increasingly popular thing to do, whether you’re a big company, a small company, or even the government. Here’s a sampling of the latest major projects to hit the open-source realm. Enjoy.

Facebook’s Voyager
Credit: Facebook
Facebook’s Voyager

Facebook’s already made some major open-source inroads with React.js, the Open Compute Project and many others. Earlier this month, the social network did it again with Voyager, an open design for an optical switch meant to carry traffic between distant data centers.

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Precursor

A collaborative design tool with a minimalist aesthetic and an emphasis on prototyping, Precursor went open-source late last month, letting users riff on what the developers have created with the underlying ClojureScript, WebRTC and React technology.

Microsoft’s Olympus
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Microsoft’s Olympus

At the end of last month, Microsoft released another major open-source project: Olympus, a set of reference designs for cloud-focused infrastructure hardware, similar to what the company uses for its own Azure public cloud.

Airbnb Knowledge Repository
Credit: GitHub
Airbnb Knowledge Repository

Because the results of sophisticated data analysis are too important to leave to “a mixed bag of presentations, emails and Google Docs,” Airbnb released its own internal Knowledge Repo as an open-source beta, providing Markdown templates for reporting and git version control.

Code.gov
Code.gov

The U.S. government is getting in on the act, too, having recently released Code.gov. It’s a central hub where anybody can access the underlying code for many of the executive branch’s more recent digital initiatives, like Data.gov and We the People petitions.

The City of Boston
Credit: Boston.gov
The City of Boston

Perhaps following the federal government’s lead, the City of Boston revamped its official website and released its source code to the public under an open-source license. The idea is to help spur innovation in public-sector IT and let outside contributors like local universities create new features for the city’s website.

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