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Twiki Open Source Project Implodes

  • Thursday, October 30 2008

A few years ago when I first became enamored with wikis I looked around and found Twiki.  It was a great tool and since then I've occasionally checked on its progress.   Once again I'm looking for a wiki for work and while we are considering purchasing a copy of Confluence, Twiki has been my second choice if funding doesn't come through.

Today however I was shocked to see the Twiki community has imploded.  It appears Peter Thoeny (Twiki's creator) has created a new company with the hopes of selling a commercial version of Twiki and in the process has completely fractured the Twiki community. Slashdot has a great post about it here: Kicks Out All TWiki Contributors. The comments as always are great.

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out in the open souce community.  Without a developer base I can't see how the new company will survive unless it has money to hire people to write code.   Luckily it IS open source and the community is already working on a fork tentatively titled NextWiki and they have a lot of news and links on their site.

Will people leave Twiki for the new fork?  Will people pay for a commercial version of Twiki with so many other free wiki products (Mediawiki) flooding the market?

A few years ago the Mambo (CMS) project broke down in a similar fashion and Joomla was created which has gone on to become a very successful project so there is the possibility this could end positively as well. Only time will tell.

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