The Joomla! Project was founded on August 2005 and some people in the Community might have joined a few years later, not knowing which were the emotions felt or the challenges that were faced by the founders of the project. After 15 years and countless releases of Joomla, we're happy to take a moment to collect the memories of those people who started this Project and founded our amazing Community.
In this edition of the Joomla Community Magazine, we had the chance to ask a couple of questions to Brian Teeman, one of the foundersof Joomla.
Our aim is to include memories from other founders as soon as they come in, in the next editions of the JCM.
A month ago we were celebrating the 15th birthday of Joomla. You were there on August 17, 2005. What do you remember about that day?
It is strange but it both feels like yesterday and a very long time ago. That day was the culmination of a very intense few weeks. The team was split between Australia, Europe and the USA so I was kind of in the middle and acted as a conduit keeping everyone up to date. I slept in my office for quite a few nights as I had fast internet and free international phone calls. You have to remember that at this time most of us were still using dialup, ADSL was only about 1mb and a mobile phone was just for making calls.
It was a very stressful time for us as we were operating on little sleep and trying to do something no one had done before. Even 15 years later Joomla is one of just a handful of successful open source project forks. Because of the threat/promise of legal action against some of us we were advised that we couldn’t talk about anything outside of our small group. That was incredibly difficult as obviously there were a large number of people, both users and media, who were in constant contact wanting to know what was going on and we couldn’t say anything.
So when the button was pressed to go public I am not sure I can say it was a celebration. I think the overriding emotions were of relief and fear. Relief that we were now public with our plans. Fear that it would all go wrong.
15 years ago, did you think that Joomla could have such a long future?
If I am really honest I can’t say that wasn’t even something we discussed. Open-source software wasn’t yet the defacto option for software on the internet and we were competing against companies with seemingly unlimited resources. All we had was a hosting account, donated domain names and a small financial loan from one of the founders.
If we had sat down and realistically evaluated our prospects then I’m sure we would have concluded that creating Joomla was a massive gamble and that was likely to fail.
Despite our marketing that Joomla was a rebranding of Mambo, it was, of course, a fork and Mambo still existed and for a time still thrived. We really had no idea if the users would follow us to Joomla and maybe we didn’t really care. The software was our baby and we were going to do our best to see it grow up.
The Joomla Community Magazine would like to thank Brian Teeman for sharing his exciting memories about the early days of Joomla. Stay tuned to read other founders' memories and celebrate with us the long-lasting success of Joomla.