So, the deal with HTC isn’t the only partnership Microsoft entered into today. The Joomla! project has announced that Microsoft has signed the Joomla! Contributor Agreement, meaning the Redmond company is now a contributor to this GPL project. Microsoft code has already found its way into the upcoming Joomla! 1.6 release, and closer cooperation between Joomla! and Microsoft will follow.
The news was announced by Open Source Matters, Inc., the not-for-profit organisation behind Joomla!. The fruits of the closer cooperation between them are already finding their way into the code base; Joomla! will be better optimised for running on Microsoft’s IIS, while it will also be delivered through the Web Platform Installer.
“Microsoft signing the JCA is big news for the Joomla! community. Not only is this the largest organization to ever contribute code and to agree to the terms of our contributor agreement, but this means Joomla! users will get improved performance and usability of Joomla! on Microsoft’s IIS,” said Ryan Ozimek, president of Open Source Matters.
“We’ve always had a portion of our community that has been IIS-based, yet we haven’t been able to offer the ideal level of IIS support and integration,” Ozimek added, “With the new agreement in place, Joomla! will not only offer tighter ties with IIS, but our community can better work with Microsoft to make improvements or address future engineering issues. We’re very happy to have Microsoft as part of our GPL development community.”
So, what exactly does it mean when they say they’ll be working closer with Microsoft? “Microsoft has helped here by providing test environments (with a lot of us being Mac users, IIS testing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind or the easiest thing to do),” explains Joomla! developer Sam Moffatt, “With the release of 1.5.16, we’ll have solved some long term bugs with IIS compatibility and be able to provide support for IIS on the same level as we have for Apache.”
This is good news for Joomla! users. While contributions from Microsoft will almost certainly annoy armchair internet lurkers, they will provide a better user experience for those that actually use Joomla!, and improve the overall product’s quality, while at the same time, the GPL will ensure the continuing benefit of these contributions.