Palm leads on open source development, iPhone gaining

The number of open source projects targeting mobile platforms increased at a compound annual growth rate of 55 percent between 2005 and the end of 2008 according to a new study released by open-source software management services provider Black Duck Software. After reviewing more than 185,000 projects collected from 4,000 Internet sites, Black Duck reports 2,300 of them target mobile--while 1,850 total project releases were developed expressly for the Palm platform, only 113 were created for Palm in 2008. Instead, iPhone captured the majority of open-source focus last year, with 266 project releases in 2008--Android followed with 191, trailed by Windows Mobile with 174.

"The growth in open source for mobile includes projects specifically targeted at mobile platforms, as well as existing projects that are now incorporating support for mobile devices," said Black Duck director of product marketing Eran Strod in a prepared statement. "It is interesting that iPhone has garnered enthusiasm within the open source world. Android project numbers are also significant, especially since the platform was released in October 2008. Although LiMo, Symbian, Palm and RIM ranked under the top three in our 2008 analysis, we are seeing signs of robust developer support for these platforms going forward."

The Black Duck study adds that open source developers creating mobile apps expressed a strong preference for certain source code repositories--74 percent of all project releases are hosted on, with coming in a distant second with 12 percent of releases. CPAN was third with three percent of all releases.

For more on the Black Duck study:
- read this release

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