Twitter Builds Reputation With Developers By Joining Linux Foundation
August 27, 2012

Twitter Builds Reputation With Developers By Joining Linux Foundation

Lawrence LeBlond for - Your Universe Online

The Linux Foundation plays host to an overwhelming majority of companies that rely on open-source software. The foundation provides a neutral ground for companies and users to discuss and collaborate on Linux´s development, with companies such as IBM, Google, HP, Oracle, and a long list of other well-known techs involved.

And now, Twitter is joining the Linux foray, making its commitment to open source a little more official. Like many other high-traffic websites, Twitter relies on open source throughout its data centers, with Linux servers hosting workloads and software projects that make it easier to handle loads of data and web content.

Linux´s development is funded largely in part by many prominent IT companies that use the software. Twitter joined as a silver member, paying $15,000. Twitter´s membership was announced today by the Linux Foundation. The microblogging site joins the team a week before the annual LinuxCon conference, held in San Diego.

Twitter has been a big-time user of Linux for some time, so it makes sense to step up and become an official paying member to support the foundation, which is run by Linux inventor Linus Torvalds.

While companies do not need to become paying members to use the software, there are many benefits in doing so. Sponsors of Linux get a bigger say in the kinds of technologies that are included in Linux and also have more pull on specific projects the foundation is working on. It is safe to say that by going silver, Twitter will want to put in its two cents on what they would like to see in Linux. With 140 million active users and more than 400 million tweets a day, it makes even more sense.

Being a paying sponsor also has another benefit. It will give Twitter a level of respect with developers. Many open-source developers feel quite strongly about corporations that use open-source projects being good Samaritans and contributing both code and money.

“Linux and its ability to be heavily tweaked is fundamental to our technology infrastructure,” Chris Aniszczyk, Manager of Open Source at Twitter, told TechCrunch. “By joining The Linux Foundation we can support an organization that is important to us and collaborate with a community that is advancing Linux as fast as we are improving Twitter.”

Aniszczyk is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the upcoming LinuxCon next week. He will headline with his presentation: “The Open Source Technology Behind a Tweet.”

Twitter joining the Linux Foundation shows “just how important Linux is becoming to so many of these large scale-out Internet companies that essentially run on Linux and are working to build their infrastructure almost entirely on open source software,” Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin told Ars Technica.

One of Linux´s top contributors is Google. But notably missing from the foray is top social network Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg´s flagship social company runs on Linux and Zemlin. The foundation said “would love to have them as a member.”

“They do participate in our events around the Open Compute Project so that´s a good thing,” he said.

Also joining the Linux Foundation are InkTank, a development and support company for the Ceph distributed file system; and Servergy, manufacturers of a line of efficient business-class Linux computers.