Unavoidable Fork Happened. How and Why ?

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

In the last month I had a few blog post about the “possible outcomes of Open Source projects in turmoil”. Indeed, all those messages were referring to Mambo CMS project, and the very Mambo Foundation. After refraining myself from all the Mambo Foundation duties (Core Team Lead, Translation etc.) in April 2008, I wasn’t planning to get my hands dirty with the core Mambo code for a while, but instead we (Chad and I) tried to revive the project externally by adding cool features like REST interface, Bridget the RESTful Yahoo Widget and such. Unfortunately, those didn’t fly well with the existing Mambo structure.

Seeing all our recent efforts go down in flames was one thing, and seeing a collective effort exceeding 10 years Mambo experience is another. The latter hurts more. So happened MiaCMS fork on May 11th, 2008.

mia cms logo

Mambo’s most recent release 4.6.3 was on December 25th, 2007, and a few important bugs were immediately reported a few days after the release. Mambo Team fixed those in a short time, and Mambo 4.6.4 had been “release ready” since January 2008. And the Mambo wheels spun and spun and spun. The code has been in a stand still since than. Don’t ask me, I still don’t get it; and I was a part of that team. I am sad to admit, I was not able to make a difference with in Mambo Foundation. Too many battles to fight to make the product better. Unfortunately, I personally don’t have the time and patience for it. Plus, what’s the point?

Some insider information on how the fork happened. After Chad and I split from the Mambo Foundation, we’ve been going back and forth with the idea of the “fork“. Everytime one of us brought it up – after getting fired up on something happened in the Foundation- the other one shotting it down. The main reason for being indecisive about the fork was that; it is a pretty big thing to bite. During one of those discussions at the end of April, somehow we got on the same page, titled “let’s fork this thing”. Convenient timing indeed; Al Warren resigns from his new Mambo Core Team Lead position and Richard Peter Ong hops on our fork train. Rest is yet to be history.

April 29, 2008, we grab a snapshot of Mambo 4.6 from Mambo SVN (rev. 1688), roll our sleeves and start coding inside out. In 10 days, we have 200 commits in our SVN:fixed numerous issues, bundled the REST API, added a Sitemap Component and a Social Bookmarking module, revamp the entire Administration console based on Y! UI, (yes it validates almost in all Admin pages), added a new validating template based on Y! UI Grids, a brand new WYSIWYG Editor, probably many more that I don’t remember now. All those needed to be done for ages, too bad we just couldn’t do it with Mambo. At some point, we were so fired up on the outstanding silly validation issues, we even fixed the Installer.

Here we are on May 11, 2008, and I am a proud participant of the MiaCMS project. I already upgraded all my personal sites to Mia, and didn’t bi^%@#!ch about any problems back to the developers (I personally know the dudes who worked on it). Anyways, I love it. And I hope, Mia will grow into a big project with a loving and caring community.

You can find more information about MiaCMS at http://miacms.org (you’ll see the documentation, screenshots, forum links over there

*Chad also has his musings on http://OpenSourcePenguin.net

Retiring Mambo

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

It’s been about 9 months since the first release of MiaCMS and since then we had four public releases. MiaCMS 4.6.4, MiaCMS 4.6.5, MiaCMS 4.6.5 SP1 and finally MiaCMS 4.8 .

We’ve been sticking to our roadmap and working hard to get those in one by one, as our time allows. We have almost 500 commits in our svn. That should be an indicator for some level of activity on the MiaCMS front.

So, what’s been happening over at the Mambo world?

The following line is from the 4.6 branch of Mambo.

r1752 | elpie | 2008-10-01 23:42:57 -0700 (Wed, 01 Oct 2008) | 1 line

Two interesting things about this SVN log line. It is pretty old (as of January 20th, 2009), and the committer. We all thought, elpie left the Mambo world to not to come again.

Another fact is the 4.7 branch of Mambo. It’s still closed to public. When we forked MiaCMS in May, 2008, we pretty much forked what Mambo 4.7 was at that point in time. If that source is still in the works by the Mambo Team, what possibly they might be adding??? Or, perhaps they gave up on Mambo 4.6, and Mambo 4.7. Perhaps, they are working on the Mambo 5.0, which Chad initiated long long time ago – I doubt it. Ah!, not a single commit in that branch! I guess, Mambo Team is not developing Mambo 5.0 either.

Once in a while, I go over to Mambo Forums and check out what’s going on. Not much ! Just a few survey posts,  a graphics competition which keeps getting extended, and some dummie chat stuff. There a few help requests too.

No mention of elections, board of directors or certain legalities. As far as I know, their election deadline set by Australian Government passed months ago. Are they not an illegal non-profit organization yet?

For me, it’s very difficult to grasp, why would anyone go for Mambo at this point. Old & non-maintained code, bad publicity, bad management, no roadmap, no future, lots of legal issues etc. You name the negativity, Mambo has it.

You can leave all the hardcore architectural stuff MiaCMS went through, since the fork. Just look at the brand new goodies; Content Revisioning, OpenID, RESTful API, RSS Enhancements, AKismet Comments, Enhanced Charting,  MOSTlyCE upgrades and more…

See it folks! Mambo project is old, outdated, it’s not maintained, it’s essentially dead. If you want a Mambo like CMS, with the “power in simplicity” motto, go MiaCMS, which is still very actively developed and maintained by the same team that once brought glory to Mambo.

MiaCMS will have some very interesting news coming up in the following weeks. I tell you now; next-gen MiaCMS will be one kick-ass project.

Save Mambo from her misery, and switch over to MiaCMS.