Today is a big day for Laszlo.
Until today, we were a software company selling a commercial
platform for developing rich Internet applications. Meaning: you could
license our software, install it on your servers, and develop and serve
an advanced user experience using our server and application framework.
This made a lot of sense in the context of the old software
industry model: per-CPU licensing, enterprise sales contracts, vendor
lock-in, closed, proprietary code, limited interoperability, source
code escrow, and more.
But since the late '90s, things have changed in the software
business. It's become clear that open source platforms have a very
strong appeal for developers; that technical buyers are very conscious
of lock-in, and that the open source development model really works —
especially for platforms and infrastructure (software for developers).
The world has changed, and we've taken notice.
As of now, the entire Laszlo platform is open source software.
You can download, install and deploy it for free. The source code is
released under the Common Public License (CPL). You can even build
proprietary, commercial solutions on top of the open source Laszlo
platform. Laszlo itself has shifted its business model from platform
licensing to professional services, support, and commercial application
But it's not just the software industry that's changing. The Web itself is changing.
What was originally designed as a system for linking
hypertext documents (pages of content) has become a platform for
data-driven, server-based applications. Most new applications are no
longer written for Windows; they're written for the Web. And over the
last few years, it's become clear that the Web's page-based foundation
can't live up to the needs that applications require.
What's less clear is how to address this problem. There are a
variety of ways to work around the Web's limitations as an interactive
application medium, but they've all suffered from one or more problems:
- They are not cross-browser or cross-platform
- They rely on additional software that must be installed on the end-user's computer
- They require unfamiliar development processes
- They don't support rich media
- They're expensive
- They're proprietary
With Laszlo's move to open source, there is now a platform
that solves these problems. It enables a rich, productive user
experience, without compromising on customization or look and feel,
while at the same time offering a standards-based (XML, J2EE,
Internet applications in general and for the Laszlo platform in
particular. We expect to hear quite a bit from you over the next few
months — and we look forward to working with you to move the platform
Laszlo stands at the intersection of two of the most exciting
trends in software today: open source and rich Internet applications.
We hope that the open source community is as excited as we are about
the new applications enabled by the Laszlo platform, and that we can
work together to better integrate Laszlo with other open source
software — server platforms, development tools (IDEs), browsers, and
new client runtimes.
Let a thousand Laszlo applications bloom. We can't wait.