Monday, March 18, 2013

Activiti forked

I'm feeling a bit sad this morning with the fork of Activiti by Camunda. As you all know Camunda has been a community member of the Activiti project almost since the beginning and they made quite a number of good contributions over the years.

There are a couple of reasons that make me sad, one is that we didn't have any discussions recently and we didn't have any argument with each other. So we were very surprised when a couple of weeks ago we did a Skype call to hear that they decided to leave the Activiti community and start their own open source project (which is basically Activiti).

The second reason is from an open source standpoint, what's the gain to get here? The additional application server components would have fitted with the Activiti project also very well. So now we have two projects with the same codebase, which have to be maintained and futher developed. So twice the work without any real benefit for the open source BPM community.

The third and last reason is on a personal level. The Camunda developers are great people to work with and to have in the Activiti community. And it's sad to see them leaving for reasons I don't know or understand.

But enough said about that. Where does this leave the Activiti project? Well, as you saw in the recent 5.12 release we are more alive then ever before. We have a great community and a good number of contributors. New features for the 5.13, like a feature-complete REST API, a Javascript SDK, easier setup and administration are already under development and we'll release the Activiti Designer 5.12 very soon. So we'll keep on going strong and keep improving the Activiti components for our great community.


  1. This article is the first mention I have seen of a Javascript SDK. If I trace the arc of recent developments, and add a javascript SDK + complete REST API, I get to a place which I find extremely compelling.

    I'm with you.

  2. This is so bad in my opinion, Open Source history teach that often divisions rappresents critic points for the project itself. We hope that the activiti engine development will be continue in strong and affidable as we could see in the last year. I would like to wish long success to activiti and In my short experience I can say, withoud doubt that activiti rappresent one of the best opensource product supported by a very professional community.
    Thanks Activiti community, thanks Tijs, there are no reason to be sad.

  3. Camunda showing lots of class here....they should name their project "Forkabiliti".

  4. @KTM, Thanks! Yes the Javascript SDK is not mentioned a lot yet, but it's one of the main parts we'll be working on for the 5.13 release and therefore the REST API is very important as well of course.

    @Gaetano Thanks, you have my word that we'll keep on going strong ;-)

    Forkabiliti is a very nice name indeed ;-)

  5. I'm using Activiti since version 5.1 and I think they do a great job, making abhor Comunda because appropriates a community effort in.

    Greetings and strength!

  6. I am also very sad about the fork, but see optimistic in the future. I think that the community will honor the great work done from the early days of jBPM to Activiti 5.12. My optinon is that the Activiti Team should be proud of its child (and its forkworthiness). My standpoint is clear i am with the activiti communitiy and try to report as many bugs and feature requests our company has to improve activiti further.

    Birger Zimmermann

  7. Thanks Birger, we are also very optimistic about the future of Activiti! We look forward to work with you to improve Activiti.

  8. Forks happen. The Apache License may even mean that forks can disappear behind the kimono of trade secrecy. That's the nature of this beast. As long as software patents and similar rent-seeking stupidities are not on the table, this doesn't mean anything and may actually be good, leading to differing ideas, new approaches and richer tools. Let's not fall into the trap of protectionist marketing talk predicting doom & gloom through "customer confusion", "fragmentation of the market" and "unwarranted competition".

    GO GO GO.

  9. As an outsider it seems like the fork is not necessarily a bad thing as perhaps the two projects will be steered in different directions. On that note, I wondered how developmennt decision get made in either Activiti or Camunda BPM, it seems that whoever pays the core developer salaries gets to decide (makes sense).