Open Source Portals

By Robin Andeer. This article was published on September 2, 2014.

Open sourcing a software project is like owning a pet. Even though it involves a lot of work and responsibilities the benefits speak for themselves:

  • You learn to collaborate with and enlist the help of other developers (for free).
  • You feel motivated to follow best practices like continuous and automated testing to alleviate said collaboration.
  • It forces you to think about how to document your code and its usage.

Inspiration

They guys over at LayerVault have certainly understood the value of Open Source. One glowing example of this is Cosmos; a collection of internally developed open source projects. Such a simple idea, but still something I'd never seen realized before with such finess and ambition.

LayerVault Cosmos

Our open source portal

The concept stuck with me as I picked up my first real pay check at my current employer (SciLifeLab). By mid 2014 I finally pitched the first draft of our very own Open Source Portal to a few developer colleagues. I might still have some people to convince but the joint initial effort has been really positive.

SciLifeLab as well as the portal is heavily influenced by bioinformatics but should also leave room for the odd general purpose Python utility. You are most welcome to check out what we have to offer!

http://opensource.scilifelab.se/

SciLifeLab Open Source screenshot

Motivation

A site to collect projects like this can:

  • acknowledge developers taking the plunge to open source their projects,
  • build good will for the company,
  • motivate more time spent on producing high quality project documentation,
  • allow people in- and outside of a company to explore its internal open source portfolio.

List of similar projects:

  • Cosmos by LayerVault
  • Open Source by Thoughtbot