Breaking my silence

11:29 am freesoftware, openwengo, wengo, work

For the past few weeks (actually, the past couple of months) I’ve been holding my tongue waiting for things to clear up a bit in relation to work. I now have a pretty good idea of where I’m at, and so the time has come to break silence and reveal all.

Along with a number of my ex-colleagues, I was laid off by Wengo last November. Recently, that was noticed by a journalist who follows the OpenWengo project and got announced on the community mailing list.

At the time of the lay-off, a number of us had planned to take over maintainership of the project, move the hosting somewhere else, redo a web-site, and create a company around the project (with the business model of providing customisation services and support). Unfortunately, for a number of reasons I won’t go into, after 5 weeks of work on the new company, that fell through. And so, at the beginning of last month, I started looking around for an alternative solution that I could announce to the OpenWengo community, and to companies building offerings on top of the software.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing explicit I can say yet – the people concerned are still in discussions – but it’s looking like the OpenWengo project will not remain without a maintainer for long. As well as a lot of interest from a number of different companies, there are a number of people in the community who have proposed to pull in the slack, if needs be. That is the great thing about free software – AbiWord didn’t die with Abisource, Mozilla didn’t die with AOL’s withdrawl, and OpenWengo will survive without Wengo.

And so what about me? Well, I still plan to be involved in OpenWengo, in some way. I’m waiting, in some sense, for the battle lines to be redrawn and for procedural questions to be worked out, but I am still interested in working with companies who want OpenWengo customisations, and I plan on helping the project towards its next stable release (2.2) and beyond, on helping the community overcome the tricky step of whether or not to move to the new data model and engine CoIP Manager.

Aside from that, I now have to make a living somehow. And I’ll tell you more about that in a little while.

10 Responses

  1. dave Says:

    Good luck – i really hope development can carry on, wengo seems to be the best linux voip client right now.
    Please blog again if you open for community donations.

  2. Thilo Pfennig Says:

    Hi Dave, sad news – would it be possible to incorporate that code and ideas into the Ekiga project instead? I wish you all best for the future.

  3. Dave Neary Says:

    Hi Thilo,

    There’s nothing preventing that from happening at any stage…

    In fact, one of the most active Ekiga hackers was first an OpenWengo hacker (Matthias Schneider) – unfortunately, due to some difficulties handling community contributions, we lost Matthias to Ekiga, where he’s gone on to do great work.

    Let me reiterate, though – OpenWengo is not dead, and I hope to be able to say more about that very soon.


  4. Antoine Says:

    Glad to see some news (although I already had them in private :-)). Do you plan to come to Paris?

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  6. behdad Says:

    Ah.. Hope you end up in a very GNOME-friendly place.

  7. behdad Says:

    And Good Luck obviously.

  8. Abe Says:

    Good luck! =)

  9. fabien penso Says:


    I feel like I warned you 🙂

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