February 11, 2013

Perforce Joins The Linux Foundation

Version Control

linux foundation logoMichael Lopp, better known to blog readers as Rands, once wrote, "With each passing year, the size of the engineering teams contributing to my products has steadily shrunk. What's going on? Are we getting collectively smarter as developers? Nope, we're just distributing the load."

In the software industry, we see that every day. Instead of deciding "build or buy", every software project has a third option, which Yochai Benkler calls peer production. People from different organizations and with different goals are working together on software projects.

Linux is by now the best-known example. This one project, run from a sometimes-contentious mailing list, now powers everything from supercomputers to the new generation of LEGO Mindstorms.

The problem of connecting in-house software development to collaborative projects such as Linux is still unsolved. Even software development efforts that try their best to release code in an open-source-friendly way can run into trouble trying to integrate with larger projects. Perforce, which provides versioning to large and successful software projects, is in a position to help, but we still don't have all the answers. The first step is Perforce Git Fusion, which connects the Perforce versioning service to Git developers—who don't have to install any Perforce software or learn any Perforce skills to participate. (And yes, Perforce and Git users can make changes to the same file, and have those changes show up in the same version history. I'm using Git to push this blog item into Perforce right now, and it will show up in Perforce Commons for the rest of the team.)

Here's the announcement at the Linux Foundation: Linux Foundation Announces New Members and at Perforce: Perforce Joins Linux Foundation, Increases Commitment to Open Source Collaboration.

I'll be making plans to attend the Linux Foundation Summit this spring, and I hope to see you there.