As promised last week. Here is the Pixie 2.0 plan:
At the end of last week I submitted an application to the 10k Apart competition. The competition aims to explore what is possible with just 10k of code and the latest bleeding edge web standards (HTML5). My entry is nanoPixie (votes are appreciated), an application that makes use of the HTML5 feature contentEditable. nanoPixie is basic but it occurred to me that this finally brings true WYSIWYG editing to the web. I saw the future.
It's easy to accept what has come before as "the way to do it" but things change and on the Internet they change quickly. When I started Pixie it made sense to separate the backend tools from the content. I think those days are over. It makes more sense to work through the front of a website, to see your changes in context instantly, to not have to constantly jump back and forth between forms and a website. contentEditable makes this possible and I am really excited about.
How will Pixie 2.0 work and behave?
- Pixie 2.0 will allow editing of any existing HTML or PHP website.
- Pixie 2.0 will write/save directly to files.
- Pixie 2.0 will live in one folder and as a result be fast and small.
- Pixie 2.0 will not use a database (at least not to start with).
- Pixie 2.0 will allow direct editing and saving of content - true WYSIWYG.
- Pixie 2.0 will have a built in file manager that integrates with FTP, YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Google Docs etc.
- Pixie 2.0 will not really have a backend.
- Pixie 2.0 will manage users.
- Pixie 2.0 will support mobile and touchscreen devices (if they support the standard).
- Pixie 2.0 will run as a service and stand alone tool.
- Pixie 2.0 will be Open Source and free for non-commercial use.
- Pixie 2.0 will be supported by a community and by professionals.
Why the change of direction? Well there are plenty of full blown CMS products available and some of them are actually very good. There is however a deficit of simple, lightweight tools that make it a pleasure to update a site. This is something Pixie has always aimed to deliver and with a change in approach I think we can. Essentially this idea is a mash up of nanoPixie and a Pixie 2.0 concept I posted at the start of the year.
I will need your to help pull this off.
One thing this project has always lacked is a team. Sure we have been lucky to have different people come and go but we really need a small team that is dedicated to pulling this off. I am not going to work on Pixie on my own from this point forward. I need your help. I am looking for three people who have the following skills/responsibilities:
- PHP guru - You will be taking the leading role in scripting a large amount of the code that powers Pixie. We will make use of existing open source tools and classes as well as building our own. You should be able to handle object orientated programming and have a working knowledge of regular expressions.
- Community manager - you will be looking after the tools and users of Pixie 2.0. You will need to have a good understanding of all of the code and be prepared to answer questions from Pixie users. During the development of the project you will have other responsibilities including setting up and choosing other open source software for the community.
All applicants will need to have some experience of code collaboration (GIT or SVN), be confident enough to make suggestions and solve some of the big challenges we will face.
To some extent this is a paid position. Successful applicants will be given a share of the revenue generated by Pixie 2.0. We will provide you with more information on this if you are successful in your application. To help generate revenue now (and make sure everyone begins to earn something ASAP) we are also making changes to the way we deal with licences in the very near future (more below).
How to apply?
The simple way is to get in touch via the toggle site. The more creative your application, the more chance you will have of being successful.
As of Pixie 1.05 (the next release) Pixie will no longer be free for commercial use. We will define the exact terms of this as soon as we can. The general idea is that individuals, students, charities and non-profit organisations can continue to use Pixie for free. Anyone can still download Pixie and trial it for free and Pixie will still be open source. If Pixie is deployed in a commercial environment (that includes sites with adverts) then a cheap one time commercial licence needs to be purchased. At the moment we are thinking this will be around £5 for Pixie 1.05 (and above) and this will rise slightly with the release of Pixie 2.0.
We have also began selling a few of our themes. All the money raised will fund development time on the new project.
It is also worth mentioning that the commercial licence fee does not include any additional support.
For now we will continue to offer community support via Google Groups. Pixie 2.0 will have two levels of support. The first will be free community support (we will also leave Google Groups at this time). The second is a paid for priority support. We will have more details on this at a much later date.
A rough timeline for Pixie 2.0:
- 15th September 2010 - All applications to have been submitted to toggle.
- 30th September 2010 - Team assembled and notified.
- October 2010 - Set up of team wiki and collaborate on specification/features.
- November 2010 - Design finalised and shared with community.
- February 2011 - Alpha preview.
- April 2011 - Beta preview.
- 1st May 2011 - New website and Pixie 2.0 launch (projects third birthday).
So that is the plan! I cannot do it alone so please consider applying and I look forward to your feedback.