Reddit Closing Doors to Open Source

Sep 06, 2017

The peanut gallery of the Internet is closing its open source repository.

Reddit, the peanut gallery of the Internet, reported in a blog post that it is shutting down their open source repository on GitHub: “We're archiving reddit/reddit and reddit/reddit-mobile which are playing an increasingly small role in day to day development at Reddit. We'd like to thank everyone who has been involved in this over the years.”

Reddit was open source in 2008, roughly 10 years ago, when it was a new company, because they wanted the source code of their product to be available as open source.

However, as the company grew, they found it difficult to keep up with their open source code, and their GitHub repo had not been updated for a long time. The company provided many reasons behind “doing a bad job of keeping their open-source product repos up to date.”

Some reasons are legit and many others not. One such reason given by the company is that “Open-source makes it hard for us to develop some features ‘in the clear’ (like our recent video launch) without leaking our plans too far in advance. As Reddit is now a larger player on the web, it is hard for us to be strategic in our planning when everyone can see what code we are committing.”

Companies like Red Hat, SUSE, Google, CoreOS, Docker, and others continue to innovate, yet all of their code is available as open source. The company has given many other reasons, but all fall flat compared with the way the larger open source world functions. Reddit will continue to open source some of their tools.

The good news is that Reddit is not a platform that’s used by others to build their Reddit-like services, so Reddit source code might not be missed by the larger open source communities.

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