So today marks a pretty special day, the day I launched the Poseidon open source publishing engine with some friends. There's even a Bountysource fundraiser project underway. So what's this all about?
In a nutshell, It's been more than six years since I walked away from my beloved Joomla. I had to, as there were just too many personal attacks, politics, beaurocracy, and things better left unsaid. I chose the peaceful route, and picked up my toys and looked for a new place on the playground to hang out.
That gave me time to focus on my career, which managed to enable me to relocate my family to Turin, Italy where we live today. For that I'm truly blessed and feel just about as fortunate as a spacemonkey could ever be.
However throughout the entire time there was a pulling inside of me, a tugging that wanted me to get busy with open source projects again. I dabbled here and there, managed to issue a couple meager merge requests and even emailed some folks code just to get stuff done; but throughout there just was not the project that was for me.
It actually took the folks at Bountysource to convince me that I wasn't insane (at least regarding my dream of a modern publishing platform that was dead simple to use) and Poseidon was born. We just pushed up the fundraiser, which will make it possible for a relatively small team of really great people to get Poseidon 1.0 up and among the land of the living.
So why did we do this? We're not trying to take away from any of the existing projects out there; and hope in fact that we might have something to contribute to them by pushing the envelope and finding better ways to manage websites for people. Freed from years of legacy luggage and unencumbered by compatibility with earlier, more-primitive implementations, Poseidon is able to boldly attempt what was considered unthinkable.
One thing is the project organization itself, which is a breath of fresh air. We are not going to write a line of code, we are first engaging the creative and design folks to walk through what Poseidon should be, regardless of how it is built. This freedom for the UI/UX efforts is a major factor in what makes Poseidon unique amongst open source projects, as we all have been guilty of coding first and worrying about the interface later (me too, we all have done this right?).
Another major difference for Poseidon is testing. Poseidon takes testing for granted, and if your plugin code fails the tests it will not install. If you cheat and only cover a couple methods in a controller (and pretend the model isn't needing tests), the test harness will tattle on you, and tell you what lines of what files are not covered - and again it will not install.
For site owners, this is a major win, as they can install plugins without fear. For developers, this is also a major win, as they can launch products in the marketplace and know that they will work. This is a win-win for both groups, which are the key parts of the community behind Poseidon.
Lastly, there will be juju charms for Poseidon, AWS AMI images, and hopefully many more packaged ways for us to deploy our websites to the cloud. For the little guy this means lower costs and predictable performance; and for the big guns this means real scale without a massive customization job to make it happen.
I‘ll be writing about the march to 1.0 here, and will get more into detail when things start to become more finalized. I’m thrilled and terrified at the same time to be making such a huge commitment to an open source project again, and openly invite you to join me on this really cool journey with some great, talented people.