Over on the .org blog, we published an article about contributing to our mobile apps. The ownCloud Android app has been open source since its inception and we made the source code of the ownCloud iOS app available under the GPL this past November.
Having the source of these apps open for contributions leads to a more demand-driven development model, allowing users who need specific features to bring them in. More eyes on the code also brings more testing and a chance to spot and fix bugs and problems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
With the Android app open for a while, it might be interesting to see the impact of the ‘open development’ in graphs. Below, you can see the number of authors that contribute to the app each month over time.
The number grows over time, reaching a peak of 11 in 2014. Looking at the top-10 of contributors in the last year, the three ownCloud employees take the top spot, but in terms of commits, the contributions from community members in the top ten add up to a third spot, marking a significant contribution.
The over 30 authors who contributed code over the last years to the Android app have not only brought in code but also joined conversations about the right approach to implementing new functionality and helped test and give feedback on existing and new code. The value of these contributions are hard to put in numbers but make a big difference.
What does this mean to the .com user? More needed innovation, faster. And more eyes on it means it can come at a higher quality. And what IT team could ask for more than that?