Saturday, November 12, 2016

Shutting down TitanPad

Hi.

Christian Hofstädtler, Michael Prokop and I launched TitanPad.com more than 6 years ago. The idea for the project stemmed from the need to provide users of EtherPad.com, 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 EtherPad.com 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" Etherpad.com 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 Titanpad.com. 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 TitanPad.com:


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: Titanpad.com will shut down.


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

62 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear this! Thanks for all your work, and for the long notice to give us time to export what is needed. Titan pads were great.

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  2. :____(
    ty u for your work
    we have developed lots of social projects using titanpad, it was a new form of relation for the communities.
    We are very grateful for providing this tool. We will always be your fans.

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  3. Thanks for your great work. A lot of social movements have developed their docs with you. Proud on yourself

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  4. Thank you for your great service, salute!

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  5. Your service was really useful during university for me and my colleagues. Thanks and all the best!

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  6. My students pofitted lot from Titan Pad. I, as an EFL teacher, am really thankful to you for this great tool.

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  8. First: Thanks for your service! I used private and in school for my students and most of them are really surprised what is possible to cooperate.

    Second: I am crying.

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  9. I'm very sad that this is ending, but I wholly understand and support your reasons. Thank you for what you've done for so many of us.

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  10. Thanks for your service! As an aspiring writer, with one of my best editors being international, this has helped me a lot. Best wishes.

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  11. Thank you so much! I truly enjoyed using it for synchronous elearning activities with my students. The learning was effective and my students truly enjoyed the colours, the accessibility and the joy of being connected with their team members during group discussion.... All the best to the team!!

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  12. Thank you for the great work you did!

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  13. Thank you very much for your great work and support. It was very helpful for our projects. Of course I understand your reasons, thank you for giving explanations and time to move. Best wishes for you.

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  14. Thank you guys for your hard work. Titanpas was very helpful to me and my friends. You guys should try out some other ideas, keep up the GREAT work. All the best for you guys!!

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  15. Thank you for all the work you've done. You really cannot imagine how much solidarity, hard work, and real bottom-up solutions started on titanpad for us. We remain very thankful to everyone in your team! Solidaritat from Barcelona.

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  16. Gents, thanks for this wonderful service! You we're the tool that facilitated our start-up. What ever your next adventure.... Keep rockin!

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  17. GoodBye and thank you for the fish, sweeties :_) I will never forget you and your job.

    Lot of kisses

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  18. what a pity. I used titanpad a lot for writing and co-writing songs. loved the timeline especially to watch the songs grow. Thanks a lot!

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  19. Thank you very much for Titanpad, it helped us a lot !

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  20. Thanks so much for Titanpad! We really enjoyed using the service.

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  21. Thanks for Titanpad... I`ve loved it.. Working with pupils or students...telling this giant tool to many other teachers - always looking for free possibilities to work with...
    We`ll miss titanpad enourmosly... :-(

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  22. first: Thanks guys... a lot...very much
    second: your are incredible! and your work was (is and will be ever...) BRILLIANT
    3) it's a pity. The best way to learn a grou to do a collaborative work.
    4) All my best for you. It's very sad...

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  23. Thank you very much for your service!

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  24. Thanks for having built and maintained this! It was my go-to tool for any kind of group work and collaborative projects at uni for quite a while. Rest in peace, Titanpad.

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  25. You did good, son, REAL good. Maybe even the best.

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  26. Thank you so much for your work, my students and I will miss you. You've helped us working on collaborative skills development.

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  27. Thank you for your work as well!! Here in Spain loads of groups and movements used titanpad for our collaborative projects. We are very grateful, we wish we could have helped...

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  28. It s a pitty to see it going down. Thanks so much!

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  29. 1st: Thanks. It will never hurt to say it too many times. Thanks.

    2nd: Is it possible to keep it running with a small annual payment for each domain?

    3rd: being possible or not, you're awesome. Best of luck in your new endeavours. :)

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  30. Why do you not try a CROWDFUNDING?
    I think there are many organizations and people wishing to back your project.

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  31. Je suis professeur d'histoire en France et je regrette cette fermeture, c'était un outil pratique que j'utilisais avec mes élèves.

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  32. I have been using Titanpad over the last few years regularly on a variety of projects and it has become a companion that will be sorely missed. Gratitude for what you have offered to all of us!

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  33. We shall not be de-Titaned! The project must continue, Trump or no Trump!

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  34. Really sad it is shutting down. Thank you very much for all the work these years, it has been really helpful!

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  35. More than sorry to hear that news (just popped up when I opened a new TitanPad).

    In my eyes EtherPad, and later projects like TitanPad, have opened the room for real online and real-time collaboration without any hassle.

    How can we, as the TitanPad-community, help in concrete ways to rebirth this amazing project (and not let it die)?

    Ralf (Dresden, Germany)

    PS.: Back in 2009 we wrote collaboratively our business plan on EtherPad - within six (!) hours with collaborators ranging from Dresden to Karlsruhe to China. An awesome experience!!!

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  36. Nooo!!! era un sitio excelente :-(

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  37. Thank you so much for all the time, effort and money you put into this. Our organizations really loved it, and hoped to stay with you forever. But we completely understand (from our own experience) the unhappy convergence between unresolved problems and lack of resources to solve them. We wish all of you the very best in your future endeavors!

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  38. has witnessed a growing interest on Google Scholar with 358 citations (citation count 2008-2015: 3, 6, 17, 38, 59, 74, 81, 80). It's a pitty this successful tool should disappear. Can't it be made open source (source forge, github...), adopted by Google, crowd-funded, payable, ...? Anyhow, thank you for the valuable public service in all these years!

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  39. It has never been marketed well. It is one of my favorite tools and I wish that there a was a way to crowd source fund it as it is so effective to use when you are having meetings.

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  40. Thank you for all the work you have gone through!
    I also hope that we as the titanpadcommunity can back this project or support it otherwise in any way or form. Its a glorious tool and the shoutdown would mean a huge loss to the idea of internet functionality.
    I hope we can convince you to give this over to the community, but also, you deserve all the best and we respect your decisions.
    Wish you the best!

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  41. Too bad but thanks for all your efforts!

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  42. Yes. An excellent idea for we TitanPad users to throw in some support for this wonderful platform. I use it for an educational game that is very popular with my high school students. Let me know if I can help.

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  43. Really sad that a site like this has to be shut down. I used this when i was in school and still use it with my pals, and it holds a place in our hearts still. hopefully you guys can do something to continue this site or make another one that is about the same. but for now, i bid you guys farewell and good luck in your future

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  44. Really disappointed to just find out of this recent development in the life of TitanPad. This site gave me a chance to blossom online from getting group school-work done to developing blissful, meaningful memories. Like the majority of your users, I bid you a wholehearted farewell and grateful thank you!

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  45. So sorry about titanpad shutdown... I'm using titantpad for teaching notetaking with my master students in the University of Toulouse. What a sad news !!!
    Many many thanks for your gift to the community and enjoy your future projects !
    all the best

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for all your hard work, it's been a good run. Good luck for your future efforts. :)

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  47. MILLONES DE GRACIAS, Michael, Christian y Michael
    ¡TitanPad ha sido taaan útil para organizarnos aquí, en las resistencias del sur de Europa!
    ¿no hay vuelta atrás? ¿algo que podamos hacer?
    ¡¡¡Que la vida os sonría!!!

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  48. Vielen Dank für Eure großartige Arbeit und den stabilen Service. Für das Debattenprojekt zum Transparenzgesetz.com war die Verfügbarkeit eines stabilen, für viele Akteure ohne Schranken zugänglichen Info-Hub essentiell.

    Vielen Dank und Alles Gute für Euch und Eure weiteren Projekte!

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  49. Me and my students love TitanPad!!!! We hope a solution will pop up and your excellent service will continue :)

    Thanks a million for your help in these years.

    Toi toi toi

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  50. What are the features lacking in Etherpad-lite? I was under the impression that Framasoft had brought it up to speed following their crowdfunding campaign for Framapad, most importantly regarding account management and permission features.

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  51. Please do contact me. Do not shut down, I'm willing to put down any required money to preserve this working, and improve it's functionality. chris.russo99@gmail.com

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  52. PLEASE keep this open for just another year, guys... my best friends and I are writing a very important script for a movie on here and we need to keep working on it until at least August.... please I'm begging you... I'm only 12 and this website means a lot to me...

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  53. So sorry to hear this. I have benefitted from the use of titanpad and my students have benefitted as well. Thank you for service you have given us.

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  54. I can't even begin to tell you how useful titanpad has been to me over the years. Thank you for all your hard work guys.

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