Glyn Moody tweeted an analysis by Zonker of Twitter’s recent publication of the open source projects to which the company contribute. In short, Twitter may have done so more as a marketing move and to attract potential developers than as a signal of any deep commitment to being open. Unlike StatusNet, a comparable micro-blogging project and the code that runs Identi.ca, Twitter’s core platform remains closed.
Evan and the fine folks at StatusNet, which is also a for-profit company not just a free software project, set an even higher bar than merely being open. The code is licensed under the Affero GPL license which closes the so-called web service loophole. There are other differentiator’s between the two, most importantly that StatusNet much more actively solicits input from and listens to the criticisms of its users. The commitment to open-ness and this responsiveness probably stem from a deeper set of principles around delivering the most useful and compelling social messaging system possible.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I am an active user of the StatusNet powered Identi.ca and am currently one of its featured users. My admiration of Evan, his team, and the project predates my nomination to that listing, however.)