Saturday, November 12, 2016

Shutting down TitanPad


Christian Hofstädtler, Michael Prokop and I launched more than 6 years ago. The idea for the project stemmed from the need to provide users of, ourselves included, a safe haven to move to after the rather abrupt shutdown notice given after AppJet's acquisition by Google.

We believed in the idea of real-time & hassle-free collaborative text editing and wanted to give access to this new way of working on content collaboratively.

In the years following the shutdown of the original we hoped that a community would form around the EtherPad codebase which would allow us to foster & grow the service in the coming future. However, while there was a rewrite of the service in node.js, it was lacking the maturity and features of the "legacy" EtherPad codebase.The availability of etherpad-lite also meant that the now dubbed "legacy" codebase was doomed to obscurity.

Six years later, the situation, from an FOSS-perspective, is unchanged. etherpad-lite still lacks features and etherpad-legacy remains unmaintained. The risk that an unmaintained application poses is non-negligeable and compounded by the success of Over the years, we invested considerable amounts of time and money to keep the site running and support its users.

Although the resources needed to keep the site running could be covered by crowd-funding, the unmaintained application code is not something that can be easily fixed. Without steady development & improvement the project is unsustainable. The underlying technologies of the Web are in constant evolution and we cannot keep TitanPad up to Web standards.

To prevent getting left out in the rain by an incompatible browser update in the future, we therefore decided to do a graceful shutdown of the project and give all of you a chance to migrate your data, teams and workflows to other services.

We can't give recommendations on which service to move to since the needs of all of you differ hugely. For some, the data privacy aspect was the most important one. For others, the ability to create private subdomains.

Here are two sites which have compiled lists of alternatives to

Our schedule for the shutdown is as follows

  • 1st May 2017: All pads will be made read-only, no new pads can be created.
  • 31st Dec 2017: will shut down.

Best wishes from all of us, and thanks for all the pads!