Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) server and cloud hosting provider Linode declared its library of guides and tutorials "open source" this week, inviting the community to peruse and contribute to the documentation for deploying cloud applications on the company's open source-friendly platform.
The guides and tutorials, which the company calls the Linode Library, has been around for five years. But they're now available in full on GitHub, where anyone can access and modify them, as well as add new content.
Linode has also reformatted the templates for its documentation in ways it said will make them more user-friendly by providing easier-to-read labels and clickable tables of contents.
The company, which originally focused on Linux-based cloud hosting but has since expanded to a more diversified platform, expects the decision to open source its document library to enhance community engagement and build a stronger documentation base.
Linode CEO Christopher S. Aker said, "We needed to do this for our customers and our employees. Because it's now completely open source, the cloud community can easily contribute to its development. This revamp is a small but essential upgrade that continues our effort to offer the best cloud-hosting services for the buck."
The company described the move as part of a "continuing effort to present its customer base with value propositions." The initiative follows other major changes that Linode made earlier this year, including a switch to a $10/month SSD-based pricing plan for cloud hosting and investment in high-performance hosting hardware.
To be sure, Linode is hardly the first company to allow the public to modify its documentation freely. Lots of organizations—especially in the open source world, where money to pay people to write documentation can be tight—would not have rich bodies of guides and tutorials at all if not for the "open source" documentation model. But this approach does help to differentiate Linode from the larger cloud hosts, which don't offer rich opportunities like this for users to engage with the platform on a technical level.