I was asked on Twitter the other day why we decided to re-license ExpressionEngine as free and open source software (FOSS). My two sentence response was this:
Open source has won. It’s not even a contest anymore.
Although open source was a viable licensing model when we launched our first CMS back in 2002, it was not apparent then just how dominant open source would become on the web. It wasn’t until Eric Raymond wrote The Cathedral & The Bazaar that open source would even begin to enter the general public’s consciousness. Since then we’ve watched the open source market grow rapidly and continuously.
Today, over 90% of the CMS market is open source. In fact, it’s nearly the de-facto license model for all-things web. Stunningly, the market is expected to triple in revenue within the next five to ten years, and it’s estimated that over 70% of businesses worldwide rely on open-source software. To say that the internet is open source would not be an exaggeration. It’s that dominant.
At EllisLab we’ve been talking about migrating to open source for a very long time, but until recently we had not found the right strategic and financial partner to enable the full vision of what we hope to achieve.
For us, the question was never whether we could build a successful services model–we’ve always believed we could. But rather, could we secure the resources to go after key global market opportunities and build technologies into ExpressionEngine that might help define the future of the web. We’re thrilled that we are now able to affirmatively answer that question.
A house must be built on a solid foundation, so the first order of business for EllisLab is to build a successful services model. That’s no small task and we are ready for the challenge. But our business plan doesn’t end there. We have other phases planned that will take advantage of tremendous opportunities in this space and bring features and capability to ExpressionEngine that will put it in a league of its own. With our visionary partners, the future looks very bright indeed.
We’ll have much more to talk about in the coming months, but today we are thrilled at our new direction. And based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback, the ExpressionEngine community is too.