Netflix is taking steps to make its collaboration with open source developers easier by overhauling the Netflix Open Source program. Among other changes, the company will now release open products as Docker containers to simplify access.
Netflix began aggressively open-sourcing certain parts of its code base and related products in 2012. It has also offered prizes to developers who create new open source code that is useful for Netflix, particularly in the cloud.
Now, the company has announced an overhaul of its open source initiative. That’s not because open source hasn’t served it well. On the contrary, according to Netflix—the changes reflect new challenges that have arisen as the number of open source projects that Netflix supports has grown very large.
To make it easier for developers to find projects of interest, the company has updated its GitHub portal for open source projects. Projects are now categorized according to type, with clearer explanations of how projects relate to one another.
In addition, Netflix will make most of its open source projects available as Docker containers. It intends with that change to make it easier for developers to get code running quickly. “We have found that it is far easier to help our users’ setup of our projects by running pre-built, runnable Docker containers rather than publish source code, build and setup instructions in prose on a Wiki,” the company explained.
That’s not all. There are more changes to come in Netflix’s open source endeavors, it says, including more transparency about development activity on projects, as well as documentation. It did not announce a time line for implementing those changes.