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Atlassian Embraces Open Source with BlueJimp Acquisition

April 22, 2015

Atlassian is a company known for its development of collaboration tools such as HipChat – a Web-based service for private individual and group chat and instant messaging. Now, it may become known as a proponent of open source with its acquisition of the video conferencing service BlueJimp.

BlueJimp has its headquarters in France and is known in the area for its Jitsi open-source chat and video conferencing software. Jitsi contains the Videobridge video router that allows developers to build video chat services through WebRTC. According to analysis at TechCrunch, it is Videobridge which is likely of most interest to Atlassian. What's more is that all things BlueJimp come with the added benefit of being open source, so there is a community of independent contributors that back those technologies. Bernardo de Albergaria, the vice president of Atlassian, spoke to those points in his statement regarding the acquisition.

“Supporting the Jitsi open source project will allow great minds from around the world to advance video for the workplace faster than we would be able to on our own,” Albergaria said. “This is an exciting new venture for Atlassian that will enrich HipChat in ways that haven’t yet been imagined.”

The Jitsi project will not end with Atlassian's takeover of BlueJimp. The company says it will continue supporting the project and leaving the code open source. The most immediate benefit users will likely see in HipChat is support for multi-party video chat whereas users were previously limited to one-to-one chats. TechCrunch notes that this will be made possible through Videobridge's focus on relaying, rather than mixing, video content; that way a single server can support communications between thousands of participants at once.

The distant future of HipChat could entail support for mixing and recording video on a number of platforms including Apple Watch. For now, though, it is likely that Atlassian will continue to monitor how the community continues to support development of BlueJimp overall. Albergaria said the community could help advance the product in ways Atlassian has not yet imagined. That noted, it will take an effort on Atlassian's part to find out what it has imagined and notice the differences between those two possible futures. Only that way will the company be able to enhance its proprietary products with the collective mind already dedicated to making BlueJimp better.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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