Okay, I’ll admit it — I love playing World of Warcraft. Not that it’s an unusual thing to admit — there are 9 million people paying US$15 each month to participate in this multi-player online gaming universe. (Do the math and you’ll realise what a money-spinner it is for Blizzard!)
And now, I’ve got one more reason to play due to Atlassian’s support of an Open Source project used by many of those 9 million players.
Norganna, maker of the popular Auctioneer and Gatherer add-ons to World of Warcraft that specialise in the gathering, study and selling of in-game items, recently started using Atlassian JIRA for issue tracking, Atlassian Fisheye for monitoring their source code repositories and Atlassian Crucible for managing code reviews.
Here’s some extracts from their announcement to users:
With JIRA we get an issue tracker that is really really powerful, configurable, extensible and usable.
Crucible has source code review capabilities, which means that we can ensure every single line of code that has been committed to our projects has been double checked by someone else on the team. As an end user, this should excite you as well, because not only does this mean less bugs in the end product, but also less chance of a rogue coder placing some malicious code in the addon that could do some nasty things like delete your purples, or mail off all your gold to a random user somewhere.
Fisheye takes all that Trac did superbly, and takes it up another notch again, giving you high level overview of the repository that you never dreamed possible. Branch visualization, Directory filters, Advanced searching, Annotation views, Changelogs, RSS feeds, Activity graphs… It’s all very enticing!
These licenses were provided free to Norganna as part of Atlassian’s Community License program, where we “give back to the community”. This is because Atlassian’s products actually take advantage of a lot of open-source code — sometimes up to two thirds of the code base — which lets us deliver quality code faster than doing it all ourselves. Thus, we want to return the favour by helping non-profit open-source and community groups.
Try a quick Google search and you’ll get an idea of the types of organisations that use these free licenses (hint: look at their URLs).
There is, of course, an additional benefit to Atlassian for providing these licenses. People who participate in open-source or community projects are usually also involved in very technical jobs — and those jobs often need development and collaboration tools. So, the community licenses are actually a means of advertising Atlassian’s products to gain great word-of-mouth. If you’ve used our products before and enjoyed the experience, you’ll use us again!
A recent 37signals blog post put it thus:
The people who buy our products are the people who use our products.
I couldn’t agree more.
Which makes me wonder — does this mean I’ll be allowed to play World of Warcraft at work, too?