Can Commercial Software Companies Collaborate with Open Source Developer Communities?

The answer is definitely ‘Yes!’, and today’s announcement of the release of Spyder 4 is a great example. The Spyder project announced the release of the latest version of their popular integrated development environment [IDE] for scientific and data science Python programming, which includes the integration of Kite code completion technology. Beyond being great news for Spyder users, this integration is a good example of how Quansight can connect companies with open source communities.

Kite’s innovative technology, which provides smarter code completion using machine learning techniques, has been integrated into several commercially distributed IDEs, but they knew they had many potential users in the data science and scientific computing industry which favors Python and open source IDEs like Spyder.

With commercially distributed software, business motivations and business deals can facilitate the integration of complementary technologies like Kite’s autocompletion improvements. However, with open source projects, these mechanisms don’t really exist. Getting third party technologies integrated into an open source project can be difficult.

With deep experience and connections in open source communities, Quansight is able to facilitate such projects through our Community Work Orders. A Community Work Order allows companies like Kite to fund the development of specific features in an open source project. Quansight Labs employs experienced open source contributors, often community leaders to lead such efforts. Our relationships and understanding of the community process allows us to deploy new features in open source projects in a way that improves the project and is welcomed by the community.

In the case of Kite, Quansight’s Community Work Order covered the development necessary to modify Spyder’s code completion infrastructure to interface with Kite’s API. It was not necessary to modify Kite’s software or compromise their proprietary technology. With the release of Spyder 4, users are able to use Kite’s code completion practically out of the box.

Whether a company wants to integrate their technology with an open source project like Kite, or if they simply have features they would like to add, a Quansight Community Work Order can facilitate achieving their goals.