CHRIS DIBONA WAS worried everything would end up in one place.
This was a decade ago, before the idea of open source software flipped the tech world upside-down. The open source Linux operating system was already running an enormous number of machines on Wall Street and beyond, proving you can generate big value—and big money—by freely sharing software code with the world at large. But the open source community was still relatively small. When coders started new open source projects, they typically did so on a rather geeky and sometimes unreliable internet site called SourceForge.
DiBona, the long-haired open source guru inside Google, was worried that all of the world’s open source software would end up in that one basket. “There was only one, and that was SourceForge,” he says.
So, like many other companies, Google created its own site where people could host open source projects. It was called Google Code. The company had built its online empire on top of Linux and other open source software, and in providing an alternative to SourceForce, it was trying to ensure open source would continue to evolve, trying to spread this religion across the net.
But then GitHub came along and spread it faster.