One of signs of maturity is that you start getting responses from unexpected quarters. The open source community has given a mixed reaction when they came to know that New York Times likes open source. While embracing the online world, New York Times are developing a web development team of their own and want to use the open source community to better themselves.
XSL Cache is a PHP extension the Times is using to cache stylesheets on its Web site. DBSlayer is a tool the team developed to overcome LAMP scaling limitations that caused database replication processes to overwhelm the DB connection limits.
New York Times senior software architects Jacob Harris and Derek Gottfrid say they’ve received a mixed reception from the community, because some people just can’t understand why a print media company would jump feet first into the open source philosophy. But open source software use isn’t new to the Times, says Gottfrid. “I’ve been here a number of years, and open source has always played an integral part in everything we do.”
The community has not jumped on the news or on the software. A good thing is that the team has realized that this is part of creating a community. There are various reasons, I think, for the mixed reaction. New York Times has not been in the news regarding open source issues earlier, so it has been out of sight for many of us. The skepticism is also because many companies are jumping into open source for marketing reasons. Or some are doing it half-heartedly.
However, this effort seems genuine, the products have good amount of information. This is first of the media companies which has shown such interest in the open source world. It will be interesting to see how this progresses, it can perhaps create a trend. The site has enough credibility to make the tools valuable. I think it will be a win-win situation.