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What are some notable dead open source projects
24 points by briztol on July 16, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments
Question for the group: What are the most notable, largest open source communities that have subsequently died? Which communities grew largest before failing?

I know some people will disagree with this one but: Diaspora. Last I heard they were recoding the entire thing which is never a good sign. Oh and I just did a search for them - they're not even first in the Google results anymore (for me, at least), unless https://joindiaspora.com/ belongs to the project too (doesn't seem to).

They're in YCS12, which means we probably wont see anything for a while. I have a feeling people aren't going to be impressed with what they see.

I feel pretty dumb asking but, what's YCS12? The google results don't turn up much.

ycombinator, summer 2012 group/class.

it means Y Combinator, Summer 2012 class.

I'd have to go with what I consider to be the cautionary tale of FreeBSD, which was far more popular before Apple decided to use it for their OS X kernel without giving anything back, and now seems to have no modern relevance at all. I think it's a pretty good anecdotal argument in favor of the GPL on consequentialist grounds.

FreeBSD is still used! In fact, it's one of the more innovative OSes. There are tonnes of features in FreeBSD that just aren't available in any other OS. I highly doubt Apple had anything to do with its diminishing popularity, however. In fact, I would say it's due more to the increase in virtualisation (which FreeBSD does not perform well at in comparison to Linux) and the increase in user-friendly Linux distributions (FreeBSD is trickier to set up; that was ok when Linux was tricky too).

Non-GPL licenses such as MIT and BSD are very popular in realms such as iOS programming.

FreeBSD is also still very popular. The decline in popularity of FreeBSD would be more so to do with the rise in popularity and maturity of Linux and packaged Linux distributions.

ReiserFS. After Reiser was convicted for murder.

Does someone remember opensolaris ??

It didn't die under its own steam so much as be killed by its parent, though.

Chandler (http://chandlerproject.org/) had a rather fantastic amount of money spent on it as an open-source project to no avail.


Procmail hasn't updated in over ten years. Maybe it's done.

The BSDs are always dying. They do seem to be less influential than they were ten or fifteen years ago.

Enlightenment was popular before Gnome and KDE got better but it relied too much on one programmer and stopped updating.

Amaya was supposed to be the web's standard browser. It's still being produced, but last I checked it was a decade behind anything else in features.

I don't know how big the developer communities for any of them got.

Amaya was a "standard browser" in the sense that it was intended to showcase web standards:

"Work on Amaya started at W3C in 1996 to showcase Web technologies in a fully-featured Web client. The main motivation for developing Amaya was to provide a framework that can integrate as many W3C technologies as possible. It is used to demonstrate these technologies in action while taking advantage of their combination in a single, consistent environment." - http://www.w3.org/Amaya/

I don't think it was ever intended to compete with Mosaic or Netscape or Nexus or whatever was popular at the time.

Amaya is a reference implementation.

enlightenment is currently gearing up to release e17

w3c site says amaya is an editor

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