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Twitter joins Linux foundation

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A week after it rocked its developer base with a new set of API rules, Twitter has become a Silver-level member of the Linux foundation, assuring the open source world that it’s “fundamental” to Twitter’s success.

The microblog already had a keynote slot at the upcoming LinuxCon in San Diego, with its open source manager Chris Aniszczyk to take the stage and describe the company’s use of open source technology.

In explaining its sponsorship decision, Twitter rolled out a nostrum about how Linux’s capacity to be “extensively tweaked” made it important to the microblogging service – without somehow mentioning that the extent of “tweaking” allowable via Twitter’s API is progressively shrinking.

Developers had taken exception to the API changes, which demand that third party applications be authenticated using OAuth for each request to the API, and put rate limits on third-party app requests.

With LinuxCon kicking off on Wednesday (August 29), most commentators are willing to give Twitter the benefit of the doubt, and attribute the timing of the announcement to a conference-related media strategy rather than a soothe-the-developers crisis management strategy.

The $US15,000 price tag on Twitter’s sponsorship won’t make the Linux Foundation rich nor Twitter poor, if it successfully buys some developer goodwill, it’ll probably be money well spent. ®

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