The Future of Mambo?

Now that it’s been about a year since the last Mambo release (June 24th, 2008) it’s time to wonder about the future of the project. At one point it was hailed as the best open source project in the world, but now it seems to be dying a rather quiet death.

A Little Mambo History

The project started back in 2003 when Miro released an open source version of it’s commercial CMS, also known as Mambo. Many people have theorized they were just looking for coding ideas for their commercial CMS and seeing their actions a couple years ago it really wouldn’t surprise me. For a couple of years after being released Mambo was the most popular CMS available and beat our Firefox for the 2005 LinuxWorld Best Open Source Solution award. That was certainly a major feat.

Some time in 2006 Miro decided that the project had enough exposure that they wanted back in. A highly political (and apparently not very well liked) Mambo Steering Committee and Mambo Foundation was formed. This consisted of core developers, Miro staffers and Mambo community members. It was shortly after this that all core developers decided as a group to leave the project and start Joomla.

Fast forward to 2008 and there is a lot of work being done by the new developer group at Mambo. But the politics must have gotten to this group as well because they left and formed another new project, MiaCMS. Core developer Chad Auld wrote on his blog “We felt that the policies, processes, and priorities of the official Mambo Foundation were having a negative impact on the code and the community. Innovation, creativity, and team spirit have all but been eliminated. Trolling the internal forums has become depressing and de-motivating to say the least. Trying to push new code or even fixes to existing code into the core results in nothing except for long drawn out fights.” MiaCMS now appears to have a good future backed by very strong developers especially with their recently announced merger with Aliro.

Where Does Mambo Appear to be Headed?

There are still 6 people who appear to have write access to the Mambo core project on their file repository, so I guess it’s not officially dead. That being said I doubt we’ll see another Mambo release. I’d like to see it revived, but politics and code rarely mix.

Full Disclosure

In the sake of giving a little context to who I am, I have served as a Mambo core team member on the 3rd Party Standards and Guidelines team. I also started mambo-hosting.com almost 6 years ago and it was the first company in the world dedicated to hosting Mambo sites. I have had components I’ve written in the top 5 most popular downloads at the old MamboServer site. I have a lot of personal history tied into this project and really am saddened to see it come to an end like this. The good news is Joomla and MiaCMS are both going strong and appear to have bright futures.

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