Wikia – a leading provider of community resources for building and organizing free content on every topic – unveiled major next steps in its work to build a new search platform founded on open-source search protocols and human collaboration at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON).
In a morning keynote address, Wikia co-founder Jimmy Wales discussed business models and his vision for building the LAMP stack for search, which can be done by assembling open-source technologies.
Wales announced that Wikia has acquired Grub, the original visionary distributed search project, from LookSmart and released it under an open source license for the first time in four years.
Grub operates under a model of users donating their personal computing resources towards a common goal.
“We’ve had a tremendous response from very interesting commercial players in the search space,” said Jimmy Wales, co-founder and chairman, Wikia, Inc.
“The desire to collaborate and support a transparent and open platform for search is clearly deeply exciting to both open source and businesses. Look for other exciting announcements in the coming months as we collectively work to free the judgment of information from invisible rules inside an algorithmic black box.”
Grub, now open source, is designed with modularity so that developers can quickly and easily extend and add functionality, improving the quality and performance of the entire system.
By combining Grub, which is building a massive, distributed user-contributed processing network, with the power of a wiki to form social consensus, the open source Search Wikia project has taken the next major step towards a future where search is open and transparent.
“In looking at the overarching industry, it has become clear that open is the business model of the future,” said Michael Grubb, Senior Vice President, Technology, and Chief Technology Officer, LookSmart.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Wikia and believe that Grub will thrive under an open source license. We are happy to be able to assist in the movement to make search a more open proposition and look forward to seeing things progress from here.”