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Kickstarter Wrapup

I want to say this first: Thank You. From the bottom of my heart, I'm thankful for every single person who was willing to support this project. As you probably know by now, we did not succeed in raising the funds we were aiming for. But, that does in no way diminish the gratitude I have for everyone who believed in what I was trying to do and who helped to spread the word. Again, thank you.

Assuaging Your Fears

Now, on to the second point...please hear this loud and clear: Durandal is alive and well. Some have been afraid that if the Kickstarter failed that the project would die. That is not going to happen and there was never any chance of that. There have been some unsavory folks out among the interwebs who have actively spread this rumor in an attempt to damage Durandal's reputation as well as that of me and my company. If you weren’t born yesterday then you know that this type of person exists in every community. Please pay them no heed. It's important that we foster a community of creative ideas, hard work and constructive criticism.

Hidden Gems

Though the funding for this project was not successful, there are some great things that have already come about as a result:

  • We connected with people. People and relationships matter and the Kickstarter helped to strengthen existing relationships and begin new ones.
  • We got the word out. Kickstarter isn't just about raising funds, but also about raising awareness. Now, more developers than ever know about Durandal.
  • We cast a vision. We were able to dedicate time to building the NextGen prototype to a stable enough point that we could demonstrate how elegant and simple JS app development can be. Whether it is released or not, I believe the developer experience demonstrated in this video sets a bar that all other frameworks will have to rise to.
  • Doors have been opened. I've been contacted by a number of companies who have presented several intriguing opportunities, many of which would have a positive effect on Durandal. We shall see what happens…

Moving Ahead

So, you might be wondering "What is the plan now?" Let me break that down into three categories: 

What Will Happen

Our top priority is to prepare the 2.1 release of Durandal. That will hopefully happen in the next month or two. After that release, we will be expanding the core Durandal team by adding some additional official committers. There's a strategic reason I haven't done this yet, but after the 2.1 release, the time will be right. Along with or immediately after the 2.1 release, we will do a 1.1 release of Wayland, to fix some of its issues and add a few new features related to additional build scenarios. Docs will be added/updated correspondent with these releases.

What Might Happen

We've got a start on the Grunt-based tooling. So, I may be able to get that out after the Weyland tooling is released. Once we add more official committers, I think this is a likely task for someone on that team.

I'd really like to get at least one video training series published this year. It requires a lot of time to put something like that together. We've got the "Help Desk" sample app ready to go, so I'm hopeful that I can carve out time to put the videos for that together.

What Probably Will Not Happen

We hope we'll be able to create one video training series, but it's highly unlikely that we'll be able to create three. The amount of time that it would require simply won't fit into the schedule without dedicated funding. Additionally, the "Live Views" tooling will probably not get developed. If I have a committer that is passionate about that, I can lay out a couple of strategies for accomplishing it, but if not, it's going to have to be shelved for now. 

Finally, the big thing that isn't likely to happen is the NextGen implementation. It's a tremendous time investment to build a framework like this. The NextGen, being built on future web standards, means keeping up with all those specs and pollyfills as they change and taking an extremely active role engaging the standards groups. The time investment is massive. This alone is easily a full-time job for a year by itself. I'll continue to work on it when I can squeeze in an hour or two, but it's not likely to see the light of day and I'm afraid to release it to the public too early due to the maintenance cost it would incur on my company. This particular point is probably the biggest disappointment for me personally. But, maybe we'll figure something out. I’m still investigating options here…

Business

There are many business models for open source. Most successful projects use a variety of models in combination. Currently, Durandal is funded by donations, commercial support, corporate sponsorship, training and consulting. Crowd Funding is a relatively new business model for open source. I thought I would give it a shot. While it didn't work out this time around, I'm not completely ruling it out as a possibility for the future. I suspect that we'll see more crowd funded open source in the coming years.

Final Thoughts

Consider that Durandal was officially released less than a year ago. Amazing things happened in 2013. The community exploded. Tons of apps went into production on every device and platform. We had multiple releases, created new tools and put together some great documentation. I'd say 2013 was a great success.

It was March 15, 2010 when I first had the idea to build Durandal, after presenting a similar framework designed for Xaml runtimes. Some crazy friends of mine put the idea in my head right after the talk. Since then I've been brainstorming and prototyping all sorts of ideas. What you see as Durandal today is only the tip of the iceberg. Even though our Kickstarter wasn't funded, I'm still excited about the future of Durandal and anxious to see what we can do in 2014.


Posted 01-13-2014 12:07 PM by Rob Eisenberg

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