I For One Welcome My New BT Overlords
I’m delighted to announce that the mighty BT has acquired my tiny little company Osmosoft Limited. I’m joining BT as Head of Open Source Innovation, and I’ll be building a crack open source web development team called BT Osmosoft. To say the least, this is big news for me personally, and I hope will have a positive and lasting impact on the future of TiddlyWiki.
BT is becoming a remarkable thing: a truly internet-scale consumer company that doesn’t rely on owning “secret sauce” software for it’s business. At the most senior levels, there’s an appetite to embrace open source that wouldn’t disgrace a web 2.0 startup. I’ll be working with a great many talented and interesting people, and I’m looking forward to it immensely.
Meanwhile, TiddlyWiki has benefited from something rather magical: a global community of eager people who have gathered around it and generously contributed to it, striving to make it better in a spirit of good-natured sharing. I’m regularly astonished by the inventiveness and resourcefulness of this community; I feel a part of something much bigger and more significant than I could ever manage on my own.
I’ve always kept TiddlyWiki fiercely independent — for instance, not carrying advertising (or indeed accepting venture capital investments). I feel that to do anything else would be disrespectful to the grass roots users and enthusiasts who make TiddlyWiki so useful and intriguing. Now that I’m taking up a commercial position it’s necessary to take certain steps to enshrine that independence more formally.
I have therefore legally assigned my copyrights in TiddlyWiki to an open, non-profit foundation called UnaMesa. I think that TiddlyWiki is at once too fragile and too important to be wholly owned by any one player in the ecosystem; common ownership allows everyone to work together on a level-playing field. There’s a lot more to say about UnaMesa, and I’ll return to it in a later post.
I’m looking forward to being able to improve some areas of TiddlyWiki that have not received enough attention in the past – like a better plugin catalogue, automated testing, better accessibility, and easier security. This won’t be by BT taking over the project, but rather by supporting the open source process and helping out with resources when and where it can.
I hope BT’s endorsement of TiddlyWiki will open up new applications that we haven’t thought of yet. To meet the challenges that they bring, I’ll continue to strive to keep the core of TiddlyWiki true to it’s origins as a lean, efficient non-linear personal web notebook.