Yesterday, news broke that Yahoo has made most of the source code for its e-mail service available as open source. The company will keep the code for usernames and passwords behind lock and key, according to a Playfuls.com piece, but users and open source developers will be able to get their hands on nearly everything else.
The move is part of an effort to encourage new e-mail-based applications, and giving customers input could result in tens of thousands of new apps -- most of which company developers would never have time to get to anyway.
And based on what we already know about Yahoo's approach to open source contributions, we think this move is a well-thought-out one, and that the company is probably not taking for granted the extra buzz it will create, nor the goodwill it hopes will be generated among its colleagues in the open source world.
It wasn't that long ago, remember, that Alfresco Software's Matt Asay took Yahoo and Google to task for not giving back to the community that had given them so much.