Reddit is about one of few tech-related social news sites that I read regularly (especially programming.reddit.com). The others are Slashdot and Hacker News. The big news is — they have gone Open Source!
Since reddit’s beginning, we have stood on the shoulders of giants in the open source world. Every library, tool and platform we depend on is open. Until now, the only portion of reddit that wasn’t freely available is reddit itself. We are proud and excited that we’re finally giving back to the community that has given us so much.
Reddit started with Lisp back in the Y Combinator days. Then moved to web.py, and recently moved again to Pylons — it is one of the biggest Python-based website based on open sourced web framework, and now it is open sourced itself! Its git repository is now available online for everyone to see — delicious! It is certainly going to be a great resource for all Python developers to peek into the “how” of scaling a Pylons site.
Of course, to most SV journalists covering Web 2.0, “code” is nothing more than what is powering their profit-less website so they can raise venture funds, and “free software” merely means you don’t have to pay for it.
Reddit, the news voting site that was bought by Conde Nast in 2006, is making the code behind its site open source… That means anyone can now make their own Digg-like site. Not that there has been any lack of Digg clones in the past. Reddit’s move to open-source its software is merely an acknowledgment that it is already a commodity.
There are many other push-button products that are far easier to set up than open sourced Reddit, so that makes this recent announcement redundant? By no means. The source code of an actual website is the best way for any developer to learn — far better than any tutorial out there. It is all about empowering the programmers. It is like you are a car mechanics, an Aston Martin DB9 drives into the garage, and you are free to inspect any aspect of this beautiful craft… And people on the outside said, “oh, only because it is slower than the Ferrari”. Huh?!