biicode is an open source C and C++ dependency manager that basically consists of two parts: a client installed in the user’s machine and a cloud populated with the best and most popular C and C++ libs and frameworks. To make one’s source code dependent on any of them, just use #includes. Today biicode is releasing the source code of the client and the common services as part of a programmatic, comprehensive, full-on open source roadmap.
One of the biggest aims of biicode’s founders was to provide a useful and modern tool for the C and C++ communities. Because some of us believe that, despite the wonderful adoption and usage numbers of both programming languages, the current programming environment is not the best to address the challenges the software industry needs. We are trying to improve this landscape by providing a multi-language, cross-platform dependency manager that incorporates CMake as build system. A transversal, multipurpose, open source tool.
Fortunately for us, there is a vast community of open source advocates amongst the C and C++ developers. Thus our step forward by welcoming the C and C++ communities to our development efforts. We have now on our side a whole army of developers and thus we feel stronger. Much stronger.
The challenges ahead: biicode as an open source project
Open sourcing software developed by a small start-up like us is not easy. Evidence says that, regardless of community adoption, it does not guarantee success at all. Just today, TechCrunch raises awareness on this regards. It is not only an important decision on which to reflect deeply but neither an easy path to tread on. For example, once the client is released we need to provide the appropriate structure for our community to collaborate and contribute conveniently; not an easy task for a small team overloaded with work.
We are however committed to do so. We said it in Opensource.com and we say it here now again: we will release progressively every part of biicode’s codebase. Step by step, steadily and comprehensively. We know this bold move will provide us with a broader more supportive and collaborative community, an invaluable asset we can enrich with our know-how in dependency management, in software support and software consultancy.
We had already a steady user growth since mid 2014 but the announcement in Opensource.com boosted the pace as you can see below:
However, not only our user base has grown, in fact the use of the tool has raised considerably. People are experimenting with the workflows and are eventually finding biicode useful to manage their dependencies.
This is just part of a larger open source strategy that will include every part of biicode’s code base and in a broader, more horizontal level we would like to follow Buffer‘s path and be completely transparent.
Because from now on and even before releasing the code, biicode belongs to its users. They have developed projects of many different kinds, providing such a quality feedback we cannot be grateful enough. There are game developers coding 3D engines, C++ devs trying new technologies, coders interested in deps and package management, keeping libs up-to-date etc.
Open source client and common services
Everything you need to know about biicode’s client release is in the GitHub page we have built to host all of our open source project. We welcome you on board and hope to see every single bug captured and fixed, any possible security issue reported and solved and great features and improvements being PR’ed!
biicode is now a public project. We seek not only collaboration but also guidance. Please let us know where you want the tool to aim. Tell us about your issues when coding and how biicode could come in handy. Join us to provide C and C++ with a better programming environment.
The future is yours
These are just some of the things we believe a better C and C++ dependency manager should have and that we are already working on (check our roadmap to know more about them):
- Connect and host directly to git, zip and other origins
- Support for bigger files
- Better support for binary artifacts
- Social, communication, popularity indices, etc
- Android and other toolchains (Emscripten) support
- Release of an open source in-house server
- AND MANY MORE!
But the future of this tool is intimately connected to the communities’ will. We want to hear your opinions, lead the way, suggest features and make biicode evolve with you as developers. We are here to serve C and C++.