Reddit opens everything plus the kitchen sink to the OSS community
With giants in the social networking field opening up their APIs to developers, social news sharing site Reddit is going a big step further today, opening its site's entire source code to the open source community.
Reddit competes with Digg, Newspond, Mixx, and similar news aggregation sites. Its Web site was built using an open source platform and open source tools, but now the site's source code will be freely available to everyone, downloadable from this address.
"We know Reddit's success has less to do with our technology than it does with you, our community, and now we want to let our community improve our technology," reads a post from developers of the Reddit Web site said today. They added only five people work on the Reddit team, though the site has always had a large following of developers within the open source community.
Available under the Common Public Attribution License (CPAL), the Reddit code may now be freely used by anyone, though any modifications they may make must then be made open to the community, and the use of Reddit code must be publicly acknowledged. Only anti-cheating and spam protection code will not be open-sourced under the CPAL.
The public unveiling of Reddit's infrastructure code will offer a unique glimpse behind the scenes of the kind of Web site that has traditionally remained behind closed doors. For example, some of the articles that make it to the front page on Digg occasionally baffle users as to how that site's algorithms work.
The unveiling may also enable the community to make select changes to the site that they feel developers were too sluggish to have implemented themselves.
Even though Reddit is nowhere near the size of Digg, the site is now growing faster than the most popular user-submitted news site. Reddit now has 4.5 million unique visitors per month, and has grown almost 1,000% after its acquisition by Vanity Fair and Wired publisher Conde Nast.