How they do it: Pebble released an SDK for developers to publish their own apps on the Pebble Watch, called PebbleKit. After being acquired by fitbit in 2015, parts of the source code for Pebble’s firmware was published to GitHub. This sparked a community of developers aiming to create an open source alternative to the discontinued PebbleOS, called Rebble.
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How they do it: IBM is one of the pioneers of open source development and showed how open source projects can be successful e.g. with the operating system Linux, which follows the open source approach. IBM runs a platform for open source projects and has released some of its technologies under open source licenses. The platform enables developers and researchers to collaboratively develop solutions.
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How they do it: Google has set up a separate portal for open source projects. This allows 3rd parties to use and further develop Google technologies. One important feature is the community, which allows discussion around the open source projects and collaboration on their development. Projects range from apps for their smartphone operating system Android to various web tools and computer science technology.
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How they do it: Wikipedia started almost entirely open, anyone could create articles, and any Wikipedia article could be edited by any reader, even those who did not have a Wikipedia account. Modifications to all articles would be published immediately. Governance mechanisms were introduced when vandalism and manipulation of its content became a problem. In 2018, Wikipedia’s open source content database consisted of 2,5 billion individual edits to 50 million articles by 80 million users.
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How they do it: Mozilla engages in multiple open source projects such as its operating system Firefox OS and its cross-platform email and news client Thunderbird. The source code for these projects is publicly available and developers can contribute to functions and the development of the software on a platform. The open source software approach is also anchored in the company values.
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