CodePlex Foundation Rebrands As Outercurve Foundation
Back in August, in our post "CodePlex is Heading for Increasing Independence from Microsoft," we noted that many people were misunderstanding the CodePlex effort, and assuming that because it's Microsoft-funded, it doesn't behave in truly independent ways. This misunderstanding is easy to understand, and as we noted in that post, Paula Hunter, Executive Director of the CodePlex Foundation, also wrote into OStatic noting that the CodePlex Foundation is in fact an independent entity. This week, at the Open World Forum meeting in Paris, the foundation went the extra step and renamed itself the Outercurve Foundation. The renaming and rebranding are good moves.
CodePlex has always been relatively difficult to understand because it was in fact two efforts. There has been a commercial CodePlex effort to create a repository for open source projects, but the CodePlex Foundation has had leadership that is independent. Hunter made this clear in an interview with ZDNet:
"People thought we owned Codeplex and we never had a legal relationship. It’s Microsoft’s forge. The foundation was a separate entity whose mission was enabling the exchange of code and creating open source communities. We’re not a forge, our projects can use any forge."
Hunter also notes that the Outercurve Foundation will be both license- and platform-independent. This rebranding of the CodePlex Foundation's effort is a good one. It was simply too difficult to differentiate between the foundation and Microsoft's forge when they both shared the same name.
I also like the Outercurve Foundation's approach in adopting a museum-like organizational model where project curators will be "gallery managers," and the like. And, Sam Ramji, who was Microsoft's open source chief and helped launch the CodePlex effort, is no longer with Microsoft and on the Outercurve Foundation's board. It sounds like some good thought went into this decision, and the foundation's open source efforts will be worth watching.