Google has announced that GWT 1.3 RC is now completely open source under the Apache 2.0 licence.
This coming right after Yahoo released their User Interface Library and Tibco their General Interface AJAX Library under an open source BSD licence (though GI does have a commercial licence too) seems to indicate an interesting trend in the industry. That's three big names in rich web application development choosing to go open source in the last year.
Of course, there is open source and open source. One kind has a community contributing to it (scriptaculous, dojo), the other does not. The question is how far toward the community model are each of these projects prepared to go and if they see any value in making such a move.
A quick look at the GI website showed no obvious links for those interested in contributing. Yahoo and Google are rather more 'open' as their source is available for checkout from their Subversion repositories on Sourceforge and Google Code respectively, with very clear directions on how to do so (well, actually the instructions are from Sourceforge and Google Code but whatever). They however cannot yet be categorized as community projects. Indeed in contrast to, say, scriptaculous' large and lively community of contributors and clear instructions on their wiki on how to contribute, the most active community participation on the others seems to be in the user groups.
I took a look at YUI's patch submissions on sourceforge and there were a measly dozen or so patches contributed. GWT is way too new - we'll have to wait and watch. And like I said, there seems to be no obvious way to contribute to GI, though Tibco does have a developer network where they ask users to contribute to the discussions and feedback.
Update: 20061215, 0905
As Kevin Hakman from Tibco points out, GI is being rolled out in three phases, the last of which allows contributors to submit their code. I suppose this puts GI in the same 'wait and watch' category as GWT.
Update: 20061220, 1930
I'm not posting past 3am again when I'm too knackered to research effectively. Read this page at the GWT site on how to contribute, among other things. Now I guess it's just a question of which one (or more than one) of these projects the community picks up and runs with and how much this benefits the project over and above the obvious one of bugs being spotted early.