We’ve long been the beneficiaries of open-source software at silverorange, building many of our websites and web applications on top of an open-source stack (PHP, Apache, Linux, PostgreSQL, etc.). We have also known for a while now that the next platform project we worked on would be released under and open-source license.
That time has come with the release of the Swat Web Application Toolkit. Swat is an open-source web application toolkit built with PHP5. It is primarily developed and maintained by silverorange, but participation and contributions are welcome.
A Bit of History
When silverorange got started in 1999, we built a set of reusable code libraries in ColdFusion (pushing the boundaries of what was possible in a non-object-oriented environment). These made many of the common tasks we were performing for many of our sites much easier. Then, with our switch to PHP we took what we had learned from our time with ColdFusion and applied to to a much stronger web application development platform we called the “PSeries” (no relation to the line of IBM servers).
Now, with Swat, we are developing our third-generation toolkit. This is the first time we have done so with the aim of releasing the code as open-source. Knowing this release was imminent has forced us to make better decisions and write better code.
The Road Ahead
At the time of this writing, Swat is at a 0.0.4 release. The widget-set is mostly filled out and the basic framework is in place. That said, it is still a young project and will evolve significantly in the next few months.
We’re getting starting building our first set of production sites on top of Swat that we plan to have live before the end of 2005. Given this requirement, there will be an eye on making the toolkit ready for a production-quality site as quickly as possible.
It’s Open - Come and Get It
The code for Swat is licensed under the LGPL and any included artwork under a Creative Commons license. The code lives in a public subversion repository. We’re in the process of moving our internal Swat development communication to a public mailing list.