Torbjorn Zetterlund

Fri 31 2017

Google launches site for its open-source projects and processes

by bernt & torsten

Google has over the years accumulated and has been involved in many open source projects, there never been one place where you could visit to see an overview of all Google’s open-source projects.

That has changed, Google recently launched a new site that brings all of Google’s open-source projects under one centrally organized directory site.

Free and Open-source software

Free and open-source software has been part of Google’s technical and organizational foundation since the beginning. The code of these projects will still live on GitHub and Google’s self-hosted git service.

While this new site will showcase Google’s open-source projects, the new site will provide “a look under the hood” of how Google “does” open source.

How Google “does”

How Google “does” open source, showcase a number of its documents about how it does open source internally. Google is showcasing policies and procedures that have been developed from many years of experience and lessons learned along the way.

Google’s new site, is a great resource to get an understanding of Google’s approach to open source, you need to be cautious, Google’s approach may not be right for everyone. You can do open source in many different ways, the Google documents should not be read as ‘how-to’ guide.

What do Google’s documents explain

Google’s documents explain the process Google follows for releasing new open source projects, submitting patches to others’ projects, and how Google manages the open-source code that Google brings into the company and uses itself.

But in addition to the how, it outlines why Google does things the way they do, such as why Google only uses code under certain licenses or why Google requires contributor license agreements for all patches Google receives.


It companies have not always been eager to be transparent on how they do things, I think this is a great initiative, and the Google documents are worth a closer look, especially for other companies that want to release some of their internal code as open source.

You should check out my open source projects Yggdrasil, I’m not yet following all the Google recommendations in their Google documents.

Any questions, feel free to ask and if you have any comments, please do so below.