Open Source is what basically makes the internet run these days. 90%+ of the servers running websites out there are using Linux, a super-powerful, yet free operating system developed by people around the world, simply working to make a better system. Maneno is running on it as well as PHP, MySQL, MooTools, and a number of other items that are created by people and released to use for free just to make the world a better place.
Somewhere far down the road, doing this with Maneno is in the cards, but the system really needs to be at the right spot because once you open up the source (the code driving a system), it’s there for everyone to see. I generally see this as a good thing, since other peoples’ opinions and contributions to your work are going to make a better product for everyone. But, it’s really a matter of waiting for that right moment not just for the project but for the individual as well.
Ushahidi announced that they were going open source some time ago, but with their Open Beta, it appears that people are digging in to it more. Erik put up a post a few days ago about having an Open Source community around a project. His post is quite honest (he actually said he was “pissed off” which I still can’t visualize) and a good read for anyone who is looking to go this way with their work. He also showed that you need to have an open mind and really be on your game to make it all happen from the start.
Seeing that, I’m seeing a hundred different ways that we could stumble with a Maneno release some day. We’re already in Open Beta, but that was needed because of how Maneno works with people joining and entering the community. Of course now I’m wondering if the better path is to be an Open Source project from the start or to create a release/branch when it appears everything is solid. I think about this because if you’re worth your salt as a developer, then in reality, your project is never completely solid. This either drives you insane or drives you to release it to a (hopefully) large and waiting audience who are willing to help make your project better and hopefully benefit the greater internet good. I guess at the end of it all in a perfect worlds, all paths should head to Open Source.
The Open Source birthing pains