It’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of open source software, after all, I use software like WordPress and Drupal a lot. I have also been a strong believer in ActiveCollab, an open source project management software, and so it came as a big surprise when they decided to close their open source model and go to a pay-per-use model.
The open source community that was supporting ActiveCollab was furious. After dedicating time and money to develop mods, themes and plugins for the software many left mad. The people behind ActiveCollab did another 180 and completely changed their pricing model to a much more affordable $399 with added features. Most of the community built around the software is still pissed and will probably turn to other solutions. Here’s what huge hosting service Dreamhost has to say
“WELL IT’S TOO LATE FOR SORRY!!!
We’ve ALREADY dropped activeCollab as one of our one-clicks we offer.”
There are plans to move into Basecamp’s market with the software. With only the slight advantage of running ActiveCollab on your own server rather than Basecamp’s hosting model will only win hardcore programmer types. Basecamp is the leader in the online project management market and will barely feel the pressure. This definitely illustrates the adage of “great programmers don’t make great business people”
Now that ActiveCollab is leaving the world of open source the playing field is pretty much wide open for a comprehensive open source project management framework. There’s an early Rails clone out there called RailsCollab that doesn’t seem to be moving very quickly. There’s also Dot project which I don’t feel is very usable software as of yet. Possible a good user interface overhaul would help bring it up to see. Hey, a new project idea!