Me: Oh, @penpot sounds good, let me see what it’s like…

*goes on site*

“Login with Google”

*alarm bells*

Hmm, who funded this?


Venture capital firm (Kaleidos Ventures SL)… how interesting that their site never once mentions an exit even though that’s how venture capitalists make their money…

So, yeah…

Don’t you just love “open source?”

(And how it doesn’t mean “free as in freedom?”)

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So I just tried @penpot with a very basic task that was frustrating in Krita*: namely, marking up photos of the windows in my new office with measurements to have blinds fitted.

And they are building a really nice tool. Shame about it being venture-capital funded but, idea for interested folks: keep an eye on it and fork if you smell an exit.

* Before anyone asks: I can’t use Inkscape or Gimp as they still don’t display correctly on my HiDPI screen so it’s a no-go from the start.

(It’s still very early. On Firefox, at least, I couldn’t get it to make shapes black for example or properly display shades; there was something wrong with the colour picker. But looks like a solid foundation.)

@aral @penpot Honestly the MPL, Apache license, or the Eclipse license are becoming tells to me on how open a project is and how the project will look in 2-5 years.

(and before someone starts saying "but what about [MIT|BSD|Favorite license]?" this is a specific tell that I've noticed. I haven't noticed the same of other licenses)

@craigmaloney @penpot You know, you want to indicate your desire to try and protect the freedom of your hosted app, release it under AGPL.

@aral @craigmaloney What do you think of using the AGPL for not just server software, but all software? AGPL was actually going to be the main GPL, but FSF kind of made a compromise. Also, look how afraid Google is <> regarding the use of AGPL licensed software in their servers.

@Pixificial @craigmaloney Yeah, I basically do unless it’s something so simple, vanilla or low-down in the stack that I’m comfortable releasing it under MIT/BSD just so someone else doesn’t waste part of their life recreating it and doing so.

@aral until today, I thought you're one of the Open Source people. I'm really glad I see you care about "freedom". Followed.

@arh I started out with open source but realised it didn’t mean what I thought I did after a while.

Something I wrote on the subject about six years ago:

@craigmaloney @aral @penpot I have a bit of the same tingle with Apache/MPL licensed stuff. Somewhat MIT/BSD alone do not trigger it for me, probably because they are old licenses that people use because of their contact with old codebases (or derived from them) or they want some free licenses but have some reservation about the FSF or their licenses, but not necessarily because they are a VC-funded startup.

@craigmaloney @aral @penpot actually, I have seen many small/personal projects using the MIT license, probably because it's easy to understand and does not have the ambiguity/complications of BSD (where it can be 2-clause, 3-clause, and a few other variants) 🥸

@aperezdc @craigmaloney @penpot Thing with MIT/BSD is you have zero protection from Big Corp taking what you made, investing a few million dollars, and locking you out of their version which everyone now uses.

@aral @craigmaloney @penpot of course that's right, my intention was to try and explain why the spidey senses are not triggered (as much?) by those two licenses. That's all :blobpeek:

@aral @penpot I think I know what happened here? the "ventures" term misled you, which is understandable but if you take a look at our website you won't see any VC. Instead you'll see a bunch of free & open source enthusiasts that want to create great free & open source technology. Some useful resources might be and this no-bullshit non-conforming podcast interview

@diacritica @penpot Thanks for clarifying. Will listen to the interview (and believe me, I’ll be very happy to be wrong on this) :)

One question: do the open source enthusiasts themselves fund the projects (ala a cooperative) or is the funding by external investors? In either case, how do you make money (when/how do you make a return). The thing that worried me most was not seeing a business model.

(With VC, the sale of the company is the return. I’d like to understand yours.)

@aral @penpot Yes to the first question. The parent company, Kaleidos Open Source SL is 100% employee owned and funded and we created Kaleidos Ventures so separate consultancy work (no longer active) from our open source products adventure. We also took some seed capital from business angels (F&F) and Seed VC but we took much care is making sure that 1) we are aligned (incl potential exits) 2) full control is ours.

@aral @penpot VCs exits vary A LOT. the sale of THEIR investment (equity) is the return, but not the company, which they don't control at all in many cases (certainly not ours). This is key. As for business model, we are not in a hurry but we are having very specific internal workshops to address this and share it asap. It seems that addressing enterprise executive buyer-type personas needs for specific premium features might do the trick but we are still working on this.

@diacritica @penpot Thanks for the detailed response. Looking forward to seeing it. I hope you can monetise it in a way that protects it from enclosure. And best of luck with it; Penpot already works really well and has a huge amount of potential.

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