Collab.Net is providing Web-based development life-cycle management services including code versioning, bug tracking, and email discussion forums that are key to a well-run Open Source software community. HP contributed the content, including the e-speak source code, to be augmented with contributions from the broader e-speak user and developer community. Collab.Net is also providing development and hosting services for the www.e-speak.net Web site, and will play a role in helping HP and the rest of the e-speak user base to grow as an Open Source development community. HP has also developed an e-speak commercial developer site (http://espeak.hp.com) focused on the training, development, and support needs of developers using e-speak to create and deploy e-services.
The e-speak services platform hosted on the e-speak site consists of a universal services interface (a set of APIs) and a run-time deployment engine (e-speak engine). The core e-speak software was released under a combination of the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the GNU LGPL (Lesser General Public License) on December 8, 1999. These licenses have a long history with the Open Source community, and are effective tools for reaching broad acceptance and achieving successful integration with other Open Source platforms and applications.
"HP believes the Open Source community is the ideal environment for creating a truly open standard," said Arindam Banerji, e-speak development manager for HP's E-speak Operation. "But, it takes more than simply releasing code as Open Source software for download to achieve the far-reaching benefits of Open Source software and open development. Rather, careful steps must be taken to host, nurture, and grow a community around the software that will carry the technology forward and establish it as a de facto standard. Through our work with Collab.Net, we will be able to bring an effective combination of tools, services and Open Source development processes into the e-speak community."
As a part of this effort, Collab.Net is providing a hosting platform consisting of several major, well-known packages of Open Source software combined into a cohesive offering:
- Code Version System (CVS) repositories
- Bug tracking using the BugZilla software from the Mozilla Project
- Mailing lists, archived and searchable
- Source code browsing tools
- An administrative interface for "admins" from the e-speak community
In addition, Collab.Net will provide an initial, proposed set of bylaws for the e-speak community.
The e-speak Open Source site also contains news items, community and licensing information, on-line demos and tutorials. The site seamlessly integrates with Collab.Net's hosting services, as well as Collab.Net's sourceXchange marketplace (www.sourcexchange.com), an Internet based marketplace matching Open Source project sponsors with Open Source developers. Brian Behlendorf, Collab.Net's CTO stated, "Collab.Net and HP have built an Open Source portal and community development site specifically for developers interested in using, developing with, and contributing to e-speak. The best way new Internet technologies can be introduced and gain traction is if they are collaboratively built from day one, with an essential element being the freedom for developers to use and improve those technologies."
As the founding member of the e-speak Open Source community, HP funded the site and hosting capabilities, and provided a wealth of e-speak and e-services content. HP is actively recruiting participation by industry partners and Open Source developers to assume joint ownership of the e-speak services platform and development environment. Collab.Net will continue to collaborate with HP and the community to develop and refine the by-laws, and help build the community that will, over time, develop and maintain the e-speak services platform.
Collab.Net is distilling the essential processes of the open source community and providing tools and services that facilitate predictable, well-organized, high value open source development. The company's first service, sourceXchange, is a marketplace where open source developers match their expertise to committed buyers with well defined, financially backed open source projects. Collab.Net also provides an infrastructure of hosting services and productivity tools to facilitate collaborative software development among a worldwide community of developers. In addition, Collab.Net provides an extensive array of consulting services that help guide companies into open source markets. Collab.Net was founded by Brian Behlendorf, co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation, and O'Reilly & Associates in July 1999. For more information, see www.collab.net.
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