SocialText Open


With OSCON happening last week, there were some important open-source announcements. One I wanted to highlight was SocialText Open. SocialText is a very capable commercial wiki. Now, you can download the code at SourceForge.

SocialText Open isn't SocialText's first play in the open source space. They've been a big supporter of Kwiki, a wiki system written in Perl that is highly modular and customizable.

Ross Mayfield, SocialText's CEO commented on the change on his blog.

Socialtext Open changes everything. Including the way we are going to communicate, with nothing to hide and sharing our Public Roadmap. While Open is still in Beta and we don't know the full impact this release will have, my hope is it fulfills our goal of wikis everywhere and cultivates a broader developer community.
From Ross Mayfield's Weblog
Referenced Fri Jul 28 2006 12:58:12 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Later, he said he wasn't sure how this changes his own job. But, of course, it will change.

This move has the potential to improve the SocialText product in significant ways. The problem for small development shops is having he bandwidth to get to all the things that need to be done. I've been in that situation numerous times and there's never enough time. Open sourcing the code base could add features with little or no cost to SocialText. Of course, there's always the chance no one will care enough to add code.

Ross reports that there were 500 downloads in the first 24 hours. SocialText is competing with some other very good open source wikis, including MediaWiki. SocialText will have the advantage of having commercial support, which will appeal to companies wanting to use the wiki in mission crucial situations.

I've known Ross for years now and wish him well. SocialText is one of the innovators in the social software space and I look forward to seeing what comes of this.