Laszlo Goes Open Source; points to the future

Roland Tanglao points to a post from David Temkin, founder of Laszlo, stating that Laszlo has changed its business model and has just gone open source. This on the same day that Macromedia announced free non-commercial licensing of Flex; imagine that…

I met David in 2001 during my time at Ofoto when Laslzo was really just getting started; he and then Ofoto President James Joaquin (formerly of, bought by AOL in the bubble days) were good friends.

I was immediately struck by Laszlo. While it had some serious issues (namely performance, but also lousy support for local file system interaction, IMO), it had been exactly what I’d been looking for since ’96 as I started to think about web enabled education titles at Davidson & Associates and again in ’97 as I realized how flawed our client codebase was at PointCast. To me, Laszlo represented all of the good of HTML and AOL’s Rainmaker, with comparatively little of the latter’s downsides (as best I know them).

Still, things haven’t gone Laszlo’s way… or even more broadly, things haven’t gone the way of rich media apps. But I think there’s a “yet” involved here somewhere, because when applied to the right tasks today, the workflow and user experience of a rich media app is notably better than a web app.

While I’m surprised by their new business model (why not sell to BEA et al?), I hope that it allows them to continue to innovate, leading the way for the rest of the segments participants (like Macromedia).

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One comment on “Laszlo Goes Open Source; points to the future
  1. Anonymous says:

    Tony — sorry for the delayed response. Thanks for noticing our announcement — would love to catch up. I’m at temkin at laszlosystems dot com — drop me a note and let’s talk.

    – David Temkin