When one launches a product or service, one knows they’ll never sleep again 4 hours in a row.
Apocryphal, but probably muttered by our founder Diego Rodríguez-Losada any time during the biicode’s two-year existence.
Especially when your product tries to address a common problem to almost 4 million of C and C++ developers – probably the largest development community by language – that however lacks what in other languages is a basic and a widespread tool: a dependency manager. It is true that several initiatives exist, as RYPPL, Meson, Repobuild, CPMCPP, but unfortunately none of them seem to have a large adoption.
We are proud of where we came from and confident of what we have achieved. We have worked hard to build it, developing and iterating a lot: for example we changed our full codebase from java to python in the process, or rebuilt more than 50% of our codebase in 1,5 months to release v1.0. So we didn’t even consider about making biicode open source. Until today.
The perks of open source
We strongly believe in open source. We use it every day as most of our loved dev tools are open source, and we have realized that we always wanted our tool to be open sourced. Moreover, most of the feedback we are getting from the C/C++ community is that biicode has to be open source.
The fear of being open source as a business risk, was at least in our investors’ mind, then again, until today. We have told them that we were going open source. They agreed, but with a small request: we have to reach 10K users first. And we accepted, so here we go: join us our quest to become open source. Please join our forces in enough number to show our investors that opening the source code is the right thing to do.
There are many reasons to believe you’ll join our mission. First, you will now know what you are installing in your computer, without any lock-in to the company and the possibility to adapt it to your needs. Another reason is simply that you feel the pain, and you would like to have a deps manager for C/C++ you can be part of. And last reason but not least, is to win a Darth Vader++ t-shirt and finally mock your fellow devs that program in inferior (at least not in the dark side :D) languages.
Besides, as recent Nobel Prize winner Jean Tirole concludes in his paper The Simple Economics of Open Source, contributors to open source projects do not guide themselves by meer economic value but rather by their own professional growth developing a great tool the community appreciates. It’s a matter of reputation and skills. It’s also a matter of relevant tools that provide comfort and save time to devs. Opening our source code will only push the community together, engage the C/C++ community in solving the pain that originated the development of a C/C++ dependency manager like biicode. Initially… because from now on we will walk this path side by side.
The mechanics of the open source quest
Our investors need to know the demand is as real as we have promised. We know you guys want biicode to be open source but we need you to take action now and join us in this mission. We need to reach 10.000 users and then we will start to open our source code. We will immediately release the client then, as soon as possible the servers (they are highly coupled to our backend, we need to clean a little bit things first) so in-house hosting is also possible.
There are three simple steps to become a Master of biicode, try them now!
The first step, becoming an explorer is the way to endorse us going open source. It can be completed in a matter of a few minutes, and is as simple as running the getting started guide. Don’t forget to run first
$ bii user your_username
this way biicode knows you’re the one winning the badge!
Then, if you want to become a contributor and get a free sticker, simply publish some code. It can be just any program (Need some inspiration? Just check the examples or read our blog). Don’t forget to check that you got the contributor badge in your profile, and then send us an email with a link to your block to email@example.com, with subject “Bii a hero” and postal address.
Want your C/C++ master T-shirt? Get reused by other users. Share with your colleagues, promote your code in social networks or in our forum. When other user publishes code that depends on yours, you will get the master badge and you can send us an email with a link to your block to firstname.lastname@example.org, with subject “Bii a hero” ,and your postal address and size on the body.