Reddit Goes Open Source


Sites like Digg and Reddit offer a kind of open source news, whereby anyone can contribute stories – who needs wastes of skin like reporters? - which are then voted up by the collective wisdom of the crowd. Ironically, none of this stuff has been open source – until now:

Today we're excited to announce that we're open sourcing reddit. We've always strived to be as open and transparent with our users as possible, and this is the next logical step. When we say 'open-source' we mean specifically that the code behind reddit is available to the public for download, and we're inviting the public to submit code to help improve the site.


Since reddit's beginning, we have stood on the shoulders of giants in the open source world. Every library, tool and platform we depend on is open. ... In no particular order, here's a quick list of the open source products that reddit is built and runs upon:

Debian, lighttpd, HAProxy, PostgreSQL, Slony-I, various python libraries, Psychopg, pylons, Solr, Tomcat, Ganglia, Mercurial, Git, gettext (translation), daemontools, and memcached.

I guess this means we can now add reddit to the list.

It uses the slightly deprecated Common Public Attribution Licence:

basically the Mozilla license with a handful of changes. Specifically, the CPAL stipulates that when running reddit's code publicly, any changes to the code must be made available publicly and the site must make clear that it is running reddit code.

but it's better than nothing. Kudos to reddit (and Condé Nast, its parent) for making the move.

It will be interesting to see who starts using this code – and for what: enterprise reddits, anyone?