Announcing Artful.ly Open Source Edition
Today I am pleased to announce the release of Artful.ly Open Source Edition v1.0.
Many readers will already be familiar with Artful.ly, Fractured Atlas’s cloud-based web app that empowers artists and arts organizations with tools for ticketing, donor management, and more. Artful.ly Open Source Edition (OSE) is the underlying engine that powers Artful.ly, and it is now freely available for anyone to download, use, modify, or extend.
Why use Artful.ly OSE? Well, the truth is that, for 90% of independent artists and small organizations out there, Artful.ly is the better fit. It’s quick, easy, and inexpensive. Seriously, check it out and you’ll see what I mean.
But for some of you, that’s not enough. Your needs are unusual enough that one size decidedly doesn’t fit all. What’s more, you have the technical chops to set up a server or two and get your hands dirty with software code. It’s for you that we offer Artful.ly OSE.
Open sourcing our code is also a highly transparent process that engages distributed peer review which we believe will lead to better quality code, increased reliability, greater flexibility, a lower total cost of ownership, and freedom from predatory vendor lock-in.
Now, a few of you may be thinking, “Hmm, haven’t I heard this before?” Aha! You’re right! The internet never forgets, and if this all sounds a bunch like ATHENA, that’s because Artful.ly OSE is essentially the next generation of the ATHENA platform, with a couple of big changes:
(1) ATHENA, somewhat notoriously, was designed without a user interface. This seemed quite clever at first, and we fell in love with the idea that arts organizations would develop their own UIs for their own implementations. Nifty idea, but, as we soon realized, totally unrealistic in practice. Artful.ly OSE, by contrast, has a lovely default user interface borrowed from Artful.ly itself. Of course, if you don’t like it, you can change it however you want, which is still a lot easier than building one from scratch!
(2) ATHENA was built in Enterprise Java, whereas Artful.ly OSE is a Ruby on Rails web application. (If you don’t have any idea what that means, then you’re probably a better candidate for the hosted Artful.ly app.) Enterprise Java certainly has its valid uses, but we believe Ruby on Rails is a better fit for the arts community. It’s light weight yet powerful and designed from scratch for the web.
Anyway, now that Artful.ly OSE is publicly available we’re officially retiring the ATHENA name and code base. (Rest in peace, ATHENA. We learned a ton building you and we’d never have made it to Artful.ly OSE without you!)
Finally, I’d like to offer a big thanks to our generous and steadfast funders. ATHENA was built with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. The conversion to Artful.ly OSE was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.