Can you think of examples of large or important software systems built with well-known open source components? I could use them in the introduction of a paper that I'm writing.
I'm trying to write an paper on "opportunistic software development." (For what it's worth, I didn't coin the term. There was a recent call for articles from IEEE Software
magazine on this topic.) It would help bolster my case if I could give some impressive examples.
Opportunistic software development involves grabbing a bunch of components and writing glue or wrapper code to cobble them together, rather than writing everything from scratch. While few systems have been built purely from scratch-- there were function libraries even in the "old" days-- the claim is that this is occurring on a scale not seen before, due in part the availability of open source code. Intuitively, I think this is true, because it's common practice among the graduate students that I see around me. Do you know of any commercial, production systems that either does something interesting, is big, or important that was built using open source code as components.
Bonus points, if there's an article about the system. Don't worry if there isn't, just point me in the right direction and I'll track down a citation. Thanks, Mefites!