As of today, the Laszlo platform for building rich internet applications is open source. This includes everything: the server software, the client software, the examples, the documentation, the language — the whole platform. Like Mozilla, this is open source with a corporate sponsor; and like Mozilla, it’s honest-to-goodness open source — no dual licensing, no poison pill. It uses the Common Public License, listed on OpenSource.org.

OpenLaszlo.org has the source distribution for our new release, LPS 2.2, which also includes support for SOAP and XML-RPC, and over 500 new pages of documentation. For developing Laszlo applications, as opposed to hacking on the source to the Laszlo compiler and runtime, I recommend the binary distribution instead, which comes with installers for MacOS, Linux, and Windows. (You don’t have to actually write any code to see some neat stuff in the standard installation.) If you want to see some examples of the kinds of applications you can write, take a look at the customer showcase, the demos, and at MyLaszlo.com. If you want to dive into the source code, look at Laszlo Explorer and the Developers Guide.

Today is part one: the source code is available, the license is free. Part two is to open up our development process, including our source repository and bug tracking systems, so that you don’t have to be at Laszlo Systems (the company) to see what’s going with Laszlo (the open source project). Currently we’re in send-mail-to-the-dev-list mode for questions, and send-us-a-patch mode for contributions — about on a par with some of my other open source projects, but we can use those corporate sponsorship  to do better.

I’ve worked on open source projects before, and I’ve worked for companies before. One of these gets your software into the hands of those with the time to figure it out without training, and lets you work with great people who are able to find an excuse to use it in their work or free time. The other pays the rent, backs your product up with training and support, and lets you work with great people who need to pay their rent. I’m looking forward to doing both at the same time.

(By the way, if you want to work on Laszlo and fit the first category, sign up for the dev list. If you fit the second, send us a resume.)