Google Docs, Zoho, Or ... DIY? Meet OpenGoo - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
9/5/2008
03:06 PM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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Google Docs, Zoho, Or ... DIY? Meet OpenGoo

With all the worries people have about the stability, safety, and privacy of Web-based apps and cloud computing in general, why not do it yourself? "It", in this case, meaning hosting your own Web apps via an open source package that you install and manage on your own.

With all the worries people have about the stability, safety, and privacy of Web-based apps and cloud computing in general, why not do it yourself? "It", in this case, meaning hosting your own Web apps via an open source package that you install and manage on your own.

Yes, I know this sounds strange coming hot on the heels of my last blog post. I was not exactly subtle about my distaste for the way every application in the world is being moved onto to the Web whether we (read: I) like it or not. Dislike it as I might, it's probably inevitable that at least some of the things we do on our desktops are going to move to the Web, and already have. And I'd be doubly foolish to not cover such things when open source is involved.


OpenGoo screenshot
(click image for larger view)


Despite only being an 0.8 release, OpenGoo sports a polished interface and an open source license that forbids hoarding changes.

OpenGoo, version 0.8, crossed my desk this week -- albeit while I was still shaking off a horrific case of the flu -- and falls right into the above category. It's an open source Web-based office suite, with documents, e-mail, presentations, calendaring, contact management, and a slew of similar applications. Give it a whirl, either locally or through their demo server -- the interface is pretty polished and the feature set quite decent, even at this stage. There's no self-contained version along the lines of a BitNami stack, but you can always grab a standalone AMP stack (whether it be XAMP, WAMP, LAMP, MAMP, or SAMP) and get rolling without too much trouble.

The most significant part of OpenGoo, for me, is the licensing. The suite's been licensed under the Honest Public License -- meaning that it can't be picked up by some enterprising Web startup and reworked to their ends without any changes being released to the community. It makes sense: why create something like this for the sake of liberating people from a given Web service, and then put it out under licensing that would allow it to be caged back up again?

It all makes for a fourth choice for what people can run in their day-to-day application mix: local closed-source apps, local open-source apps, Web apps, and HPL-licensed (maybe we could call them "uncageable"?) Web apps. I suspect more people are going to care about the feature mix in their app of choice rather than the licensing, but let's see where this set of choices takes us.

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