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Linux.SYS-CON.com Q&A with Lead Developer of Joomla!, Andrew Eddie

A Fork in the Project

In September, core developers of Mambo, the popular open source content management system, announced a fork of the project, called Joomla!, with virtually all active participants following the fork.

I caught up with Andrew Eddie, lead developer of the new Joomla!, to find out more about the decision to fork the Mambo project, and to find out how things are going so far.

LWM: I'll start with the hard question first: What led you to the decision to fork Mambo?

Andrew Eddie: Forking is a very serious decision to make and one that I and the team did not take lightly. In the words of Danny Devito in the "War of the Roses," "There are no winners in a divorce, only degrees of losing."

Ultimately our decision to separate from Miro was made on the basis that Miro had no respect for the decisions made by the Mambo Steering Committee (MSC), the body that consisted of elected representatives from Mambo and appointments from Miro. They reneged on several key decisions and did not allow for what we considered to be appropriate consultation with the stakeholders. We were quite disappointed when the new arrangements for the Mambo Foundation were presented to us as "take it or leave it."

LWM: How is the new project organized?

AE: In terms of Joomla! development, we have kept a few things the same and made some changes and additions in other areas. We have teams for development, stability, documentation, advocacy, and translation. We have new teams covering the areas of usability and accessibility, coding standards, infrastructure, and also legals.

We've also resolved to include more committed members of the community in semi-formal positions. We've created a structure for several workgroups that will support most of our core teams, for example, for usability, NPO/NGO interactions, standards, etc.

Overarching this structure is Open Source Matters (OSM), which will be the founding stone for a non-profit organization. LWM: What do you hope to accomplish with the new organization? AE: Concerning OSM, the exact structure of this is yet to be formalized and we are seeking advice on the best models. Its primary aim is to provide continuity for the project and ensure its assets cannot be held for ransom ever again.

Concerning Joomla!, we have certainly learned a few things over the past few months. Some of the new teams indicate what we are keen to achieve. Giving Joomla! the ability to comply with standards for people with disabilities is high on our agenda and it is an area that will allow the project to penetrate deeply into the government arena.

LWM: Will the development roadmap change as a result of the fork?

AE: The term fork probably best describes our situation although the word certainly has that awful "negative" connotation about it. Mambo and Joomla! are quite literally going to travel down two different paths. Some may argue the Joomla! is more a trunk and Mambo an offshoot because we carry the team that created the better part of the Mambo you see today.

At any rate, yes, our roadmap will change slightly. We have decided to put more emphasis on increasing the stablity of the current release. Joomla! 1.0 is an improvement on the latest equivalent version of Mambo and Joomla! 1.0.1 shows we are committed to keeping our products up to date. We are going to look carefully at Joomla! 1.1 (equivalent to Mambo 4.5.3) and see how we can improve our design standards and bring forward some desperately needed features. Joomla! 2.0 is going to be an exciting new rewrite from the ground up that allows us to move forward in areas that are currently hindered by legacy issues and backward compatibility.

LWM: What has the user response been?

AE: From my point of view we have received overwhelming support from users in our own community and have also received unanimous support from other prominent CMS projects. We certainly respect the fact that there is still a lot of confusion out there, but I think over a long period of time we have garnered a lot of trust from the community because we consider them an important part of the project. We are certainly not perfect and have made our fair share of mistakes, but I think overall the community trusts we will be good stewards for Joomla!.

LWM: What about the third-party market?

AE: I think this is the most powerful area of Mambo and will continue to be for Joomla! Whether you love it or hate it, somehow we have struck on a formula that allows people to easily develop extensions and this is a testament to our growth and popularity. It's easy to develop for Joomla! and we want to continue this heritage, if not make it even easier.

LWM: How do you feel things are going so far?

AE: While it has been a hard road, and there are certainly more challenges to face, I am satisfied that I lead a team of dedicated individuals that would be the envy of any open source project on the planet. Joomla! would be nothing without teamwork and it's a community - this is a fact we must never, ever forget. With our new and unique name, we finally get to print our own shirts!

More Stories By Maria Winslow

Maria Winslow is the author of The Practical Manager's Guide to Open Source, available at http://www.lulu.com/practicalGuide and can be contacted at maria.winslow@windows-linux.com.

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Most Recent Comments
Darwin 07/31/06 11:28:33 PM EDT

ANDREW RESIGN!
Joomla! core team member Andrew Eddie has resigned from the project. Andrew, who has been project leader and a long-time contributor, recently announced his intentions to the team.

Baz Web Development: Ajax, Fast CGI, phpBB, SMF, Joomla 11/19/05 09:27:35 PM EST

Trackback Added: Q&A With Joomla Development Leader; LinuxWorld Q&A with Lead Developer of Joomla!, Andrew Eddie
— In September, core developers of Mambo, the popular open source content management system, announced a fork of the project, called Joomla!, with virtually all active participants fol...

Michelle Bisson 11/01/05 06:27:58 PM EST

Thank you Andrew!!!

LinuxWorld News Desk 10/31/05 06:21:31 PM EST

LinuxWorld Q&A with Lead Developer of Joomla!, Andrew Eddie. In September, core developers of Mambo, the popular open source content management system, announced a fork of the project, called Joomla!, with virtually all active participants following the fork.

LinuxWorld News Desk 10/31/05 05:17:09 PM EST

In September, core developers of Mambo, the popular open source content management system, announced a fork of the project, called Joomla!, with virtually all active participants following the fork.

LinuxWorld News Desk 10/31/05 04:56:38 PM EST

In September, core developers of Mambo, the popular open source content management system, announced a fork of the project, called Joomla!, with virtually all active participants following the fork.

GOLLYw 10/31/05 04:07:16 PM EST

good interview