Wednesday, theKompany.com, a Linux software firm, announced they
have handed the source code to Kivio, their flowcharting tool, over
to the KDE project, and that the GPL'd program is now available in
the KDE CVS tree. theKompany's CEO sees the donation as a testing
of the waters for a business model that includes GPL'd
theKompany CEO Shawn Gordon said Kivio's developer, who worked
on the software under the name Queesio for several years,
originally tried to donate his source code to the KDE project just
before the Kompany took over maintenance. Since then, interest in
the software has increased, especially where some specific
components such as a color selection widget were concerned, making
its addition to the KDE codebase more attractive.
Though the Kompany will maintain its status as primary
maintainers of the project, KDE developers will be able to work on
integrating the package into the broader KDE environment with the
Kompany providing oversight to ensure there's no duplication of
effort or disruption of the product's stability from day to day.
According to Gordon, at least one developer outside the Kompany has
already expressed interest in working on the project.
Gordon says that the code release is something of an experiment
for his company. As reported previously, Kivio itself will not be a
revenue source as much as the stencils used to customize the
program, which the Kompany plans to sell for varying amounts,
possibly as little as $5 for simpler ones. Plans in that area
include such items as a template that auto-senses network
configurations and provides chart designers with an automated tool
to generate network diagrams.
Referring to the possibility that people might not only take the
free software but share stencils among themselves without paying,
Gordon said "if people abuse it, we won't pursue this model
The Kompany has plans to work on several other projects,
depending on the reception Kivio and it's business model receive
from the Free Software community.