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Go is Dead. Long live its Open-Sourced Code?

By kipster in Technology
Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:21:41 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)

Go is officially being put out of its misery by its owner, Disney. Well, it's all a big reorganization. Disney is going to blend everyone into their corporate structure and probably make some money on taxes. Still, Go open-sourced its software for producing ESPN and a few of the other portals. What does this mean for the software?

Some think that the software may flourish without an official owner. In the past, people have hesitated to devote too much work to a toolkit that's closely associated with one company like Netscape or Disney: why donate free work to them? But if it's free now, then a cohesive group of users may adopt it and attract more developers who see it as an opportunity to be truly equal partners.

On the other hand, this all might be a shell game. The software called Tea may still be held closely inside Disney. The best innovations may not make it out to the rest of us. And we would remain unequal partners. Any ideas?


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My Favorite Disney Site Is
o ESPN 65%
o ABCNews.com 25%
o ABC.com 0%
o Go.com 9%

Votes: 44
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Go
o Disney
o its software
o Also by kipster

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Go is Dead. Long live its Open-Sourced Code? | 18 comments (8 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
A piece of software also known as "abandonwar (4.00 / 10) (#2)
by Pac on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 11:38:11 AM EST

It is a growing practice in the industry to "pseudo" open-source software a company no longer wish to mantain.

Go.com case is a bit different, since it ceased to exist. It is even a sweet and poetic gesture, to free the software that automated your own fall.

On the other hand, I have not seen anything really innovative in these offers. A template engine, a template language, some additional supporting classes. Where I come from these go for a dime a dozen. For each and every project, we use one we developed earlier, adapt upon it or simply redesign and recode the whole bunch, if we feel it is needed. No big deal. There are also other tools much more likely to dominate the future of the web development than any home(hastly)grown solution (I am explicitly thinking about Zope and PHP/Zend - not Java, I concede, but then again they do the job quite well).

Evolution doesn't take prisoners

lacks an owner (4.00 / 8) (#3)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 11:39:41 AM EST

sadly, you're too optimistic. I don't see any big open source projects which have survived without a single point of project management (even if that single point doe sbang on about "bazaars" all the time), who has a lot of personal investment in it. Which is lacking in the case of go. The code will be plundered for useful bits, but the idea of it as an ongoing entity just doesn't strike me as plausible.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
Link to article on Go going under (4.50 / 4) (#13)
by skim123 on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 02:53:06 AM EST

Since the writeup did not include a link to the news story of Disney scrapping its portal, Go, and focusing on its other sites (ABC.com, ESPN.com, ABCNews.com, MrShowbiz.com, etc.), I thought I'd provide a link.

Disney to Discontinue Go.com Portal

Relevant quotes:

  • "A streamlined version of Go.com will continue to operate for a period of time to allow for the transition of its users. The company will continue to operate and support the Infoseek search engine and associated traffic during this time."
  • "The closure of Go.com will affect approximately 400 employees, the majority of whom are based in Sunnyvale, Calif."
  • "In accordance with the terms of the company's certificate of incorporation, each outstanding share of Disney Internet Group common stock will be converted into 0.19353 share of Disney common stock as of March 20. The conversion is expected to result in the issuance of approximately 8.1 million new shares of Disney common stock."

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

More Go.com dismissal articles (repost) (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by Pac on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 01:49:29 PM EST

I am reposting to make it visible for those who filter off Editorial comments.

Nando Times article

CNET article

ZDNet AnchorDesk note

Yahoo Internet Life note (in Today's Layoffs Section)

Tech News article

Evolution doesn't take prisoners

[ Parent ]
Well.. (3.75 / 4) (#14)
by henrik on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 12:23:35 PM EST

As long as one site uses it and one developer is interested in using TEA it's not dead. The popularity of an application doesnt really matter, as long as it does what you need it to.. As for sites using tea - TPU is one. I'm sure there are more.


Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!

GO.com open-source is NOT dead (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by cornflux on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 04:52:10 PM EST

The group that supports the open source site is not part of the GO.com portal.

Therein lies the confusion of the company's name: it was changed to the Walt Disney Internet Group from GO.com. The change to WDIG came about essentially to make clear that GO.com the portal wasn't the entire business.

But, now, the GO.com portal is being closed down and the rest will be absorbed back into the über-parent company.

Don't worry: TEA, et al., will live on.

GO.com open-source is NOT dead (none / 0) (#17)
by cornflux on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 04:54:47 PM EST

I should have included this link to a GO.com open source message about the future in my original post.

Oh, and the message board itself uses TEA. How fitting.

[ Parent ]

FAQ on Go.com closing (from their homepage) (3.00 / 1) (#18)
by skim123 on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 10:41:57 PM EST

In case anyone cares...

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the closure of GO.COM site

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

Go is Dead. Long live its Open-Sourced Code? | 18 comments (8 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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