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July 25, 2006 / jnolen

SocialText fulfills its open-source promises, and telegraphs plans for an commercial, installed version

Well, I'm sure that SocialText and JotSpot would have preferred not to announce the same big news on the same day, but that's just how it worked out. At OSCON yesterday, ST released the details of the open-sourcing of their wiki.

The application itself is now free for download, use and redistribution under a Mozilla-style license. And, like JotSpot (and Atlassian before them), SocialText hard at work on a behind-the-firewall, installable version. They've code-named it Palladium and here is the three-month (supposedly) roadmap that will take them there. Ross writes:

Socialtext also shared its Public Roadmap to help guide the developer community for the next three months. The roadmap includes a source code repository, Debian, Red Hat, SOAP and REST APIs, usability enhancements, and additional DBMS management beyond Postgres, starting with MySQL. The release at the end of this period, code-named Palladium, will mark the open availability of the first enterprise grade, corporate backed, Wiki to enthusiasts and commercial users alike.

It sounds from that last sentence as though they're going to be selling this version as well. I'm guessing that they'll be doing a traditional source-code-for-free, pay-for-support model. (Which is why the phrase "corporate-backed" is in that sentence, I think.) Likewise, it's no accident that SocialText is announcing their professional services in the same blog post. That's the other traditional way to make money off open-source code. However, the fact that the source code will be open makes installed SocialText a more compelling proposition than it would be otherwise.

It happened about a year later than I predicted, but both of the hosted, software-as-a-service, enterprise wiki providers have responded to their corporate customers' demands and are producing a installable software. It's not an easy task. It takes many more resources to build and support installable software on a variety of platforms. (Which explains, in part, SocialText's decision to go open-source. They wisely hope to spread that cost among the community.) But if they can fulfill those promisesas well, the enterprise wiki market will be a very different place when both of these companies get their installed versions out of beta.


  1. Zoli Erdos / Jul 26 2006 1:06 am

    Well, I am sure Socialtext did not want to announce the same day, not so sure about JotSpot though. Ross let the entire world know several times that he’d make the announcement at OSCON, so I think Joe and co. just wanted to rain on Ross’s parade… :-)

  2. Steve George / Aug 15 2006 9:51 am

    Hmm…am I confused. It doesn’t seem like JotSpot is announcing the Open Sourcing of it’s code. Just that there will be an installable, enterprise version. Or did I miss something?
    Very nice to see Socialtext releasing something that is commercially ready under and Open Source license. And I won’t even nitpick about the MPL license.

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