Reasons for starting open source project

Well I dont know how to write a good english essay, let alone write an inspiring one. But the story I want to present below is quite related to start a good and decent open source project that will definitely pay off.

Take a lesson from the Matchbox project which was published on Newsforge a couple of days ago. The project only started as innocent attempt by some guy name Matthew Allum, trying to use windows manager in devices which use small display screen. The main reason he created Matchbox was that there are no windows manager that can work on small display (240×320), FYI, the KDE window manager barely works in 640×480 display.

Matchbox screenshot

He later made a practice of publicizing the project on; he published the project on his page there and was well-known in the Linux on handhelds community. He garnered several speaking positions at big conferences like FOSDEM, Usenix, and Python, where he worked to dispel what he called the “myth of slow X.”

Months and months passed, his work unsuspectedly got recognized by one of the phone maker giants. His work on Matchbox caught Nokia eyes which offers him funding to continue his research on producing windows manager on their handheld device. So he did accept his offer and founded OpenedHand, a company whose sole purpose was to help Nokia to build windows manager for N770 Internet Table.

Matchbox window manager

Now, the relationship between Nokia and Allum extends beyond his work on the window manager. “It got to the point where I could suggest new modules and they’d say, ‘go for it.'” Nokia has provided enough work to OpenedHand that it now employs four full-time developers, and it is hiring more.

There are other inspiring works that have been huge success, yet started at a humble open source project. Works that just first started as “scratching an itch” by developers.

For examples of other open source works which was hugely recognize is the infamous Linus Tovarlds and it’s Linux Kernel, Phil Katz with pkzip, Bram Cohen with BitTorrent and many more!

How about you? when will you start your own open source project?

One Reply to “Reasons for starting open source project”

Comments are closed.