Google has launched a new educational site at opensource.dev 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.

google-launches-opensource-dev-as-an-introduction-to-open-source Google Launches Opensource.dev as an Introduction to Open Source

The new Opensource.dev 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, opensource.dev 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.

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