Twitter has been on a roll recently. They are becoming one of the friendliest companies to developers, innovators and open source evangelists. Their latest move may just bump them up to god-like status.
Twitter announced today that they are now an official sponsor of the Apache Software Foundation. For those who don't know what that is, it's a "non-profit and volunteer run open source foundation." While Twitter's explanation is satisfactory, it doesn't do them justice. The Apache Foundation is a community led development group that's been around since 1999. They've had a hand in developing many of the technologies we take for granted today including HTTP Servers, XML graphics and OpenOffice.
That's why it's super cool that Twitter is now giving back to the group. Twitter has long been a proponent of open source software and its ability to revolutionize the way we approach computing. It just goes to show you that there is still some good in this world.
Of course, Twitter has a personal stake in this as well. They are working with ASF to complete work on Mesos, an application that's currently going through the Incubation period at ASF. Twitter is already using Mesos on "hundreds of production machines and makes it easier to execute clustered jobs that do everything from running services to handling [their] analytics workload."
This is only the beginning as well. As Twitter becomes a larger part of the Internet consciousness, their spreading of the open source goodwill will surely rub off onto others. They certainly have enough clout right now as it is, but working with the ASF will only make them stronger.
It's worth mentioning that is the second time this week that Twitter has shown itself to be one of the classiest acts in the tech sector. The company recently announced its Innovator's Patent Agreement. This lets the developer within their companies own the patent for their creations. While it may be in response to the ridiculous patent slinging by Yahoo, it's still a great move that inspires confidence in employees.