Yahoo Opens Up Mail Source Code

Yahoo said over the weekend that it was opening up its market-leading mail service technology in order to allow developers to innovate on top of the service and build new applications. The move is called one of the largest code giveaways ever.

By doing so, the Sunnyvale, Calif. company hopes to spur a host of applications built around Yahoo Mail. The service is accessed by more than a quarter of a billion Internet users worldwide, Yahoo says.


What is being given way is the browser-based authentication scheme for Yahoo Mail. This would allow developers to build new user interfaces or methods to display a user's incoming mail. Yahoo says it cannot create all the applications users want; thus, opening up the code was a logical move.

The code will be made available to developers by the end of the year, and Yahoo executives hoped that other e-mail providers would do the same. Other companies have opened up their code, including, eBay and Google, but for uses other than e-mail.

The announcement came as part of the company's "Yahoo Hack Day," a 24-hour long event where more than 500 young programmers were invited to the company's headquarters. There, the programmers were asked to build new applications based on Yahoo technologies.

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