Facebook backs open source in Corvallis

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

By Ilie Mitaru

Facebook has awarded a $50,000 grant to Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab. The lab was established in Corvallis in 2005 as a nonprofit, and is currently sponsored by the likes of IBM and Google.

The Facebook grant will allow the lab to provide infrastructure testing to open source projects—many of which have the potential to turn into commercial enterprises.

Testing is a critical part of software development, and while companies generally have dedicated resources available for this task, the same isn't always true for open source projects, which are often staffed by volunteers. Now Supercell—the project’s name—offers this testing free of charge.

“Open source has played an important role in the development of Facebook really from the beginning,” says Scott MacVicar, open source developer advocate for Facebook, who has worked with the OSU lab. “As we work with startups, a common theme is their need for solid infrastructure and development tools so that they can focus more energy on building really compelling social products.”

Portland-based Puppet Labs provides a persuasive testament to the possibilities of open source: founded in 2005 by Luke Kanies as an open source project, the company has grown quickly to 34 employees at a new office.  Puppet's management software is available free online. The company makes money by helping its clients train new users or upgrade to new versions.

It is these kinds of projects—and their well-paying jobs—that city officials hope to foster through Portland’s Economic Development Strategy. The strategy identifies four key areas, or clusters for growth. The “software cluster” stresses the potential of open source for the region’s economic growth.

“I think open source development has continued steadily in Oregon but it’s seeing a real resurgence right now.” Leslie Hawthorn, open source outreach manager for the OSU lab, predicts, "We'll see even more of these open source focused companies in the future.”

Ilie Mitaru is an associate writer for Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

Greenpeace (temporarily) prevents Shell oil ship from leaving Portland

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
hangersBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge in an attempt to prevent a ship from heading to the Arctic.


Read more...

Store Bought

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened a third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; a Bend outpost broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.


Read more...

The 10 most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
081915-crowdfundingmainBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.


Read more...

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

The Private 150: From Strength to Strength

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS