We at Everlaw love open-source software. We build off of open-source tools for our application server, database, search engine, front-end framework, and more. What that means is that we don’t reinvent the wheel each time we write a new feature. Just as attorneys start a contract with an existing template and then customize it for each client and situation, we use tools produced by the open-source community as starting points for the software we build for our users.
Every time a user accesses a page on the Everlaw ediscovery platform, thousands of lines of open-source code are executed. Our company and litigation product would not be anywhere near where they are today without open-source software, and we’re very grateful both for the concept itself, and for the wonderful communities of open-source programmers and advocates that nourish each of the tools we use.
One of the best parts of using open-source software is that it is constantly evolving. For instance, we’ve submitted numerous bug reports and code patches to the various open-source projects that we use. Our contributions, along with those of many others, drive an increase in the stability and performance of these projects, from which we all benefit.
I’m happy to announce that we are furthering our commitment to open source by releasing our own open-source software packages. We’re starting with a project spearheaded by our Lead Software Engineer, Brandon: a utility library for handling utf8, a standard encoding that’s essential for working with foreign language documents. We hope that others will be able to benefit from the lessons we’ve learned and expertise we’ve acquired in working with utf8.
We have several more open-source releases planned as well. We hope that our modest contributions will help repay the vast benefits we’ve reaped from embracing open-source.