Last Thursday I had the opportunity to meet the two of the SilverStripe CMS founders Sigurd Magnusson and Tim Copeland at a Melbourne gathering of Silverstripe developers. It was a small group of “code monkeys” as one guest put it and a great chance to find out more about the software and company in a personal setting.
Sigurd (Siggy) Magnusson is one of three co-founders of SilverStripe and directors of SilverStripe. He's said he has been coding since the age of 12 and living and breathing the web since 1995 when the Wellington City Council provided the region's only internet service, then entirely text-based. Siggy is the Chief Marketing Officer he has an impressive technical knowledge and a clear passion for speaking about Silverstripe, Web Standards and the Open Source community. While less involved these days with programming, he enthusiastically spoke of how the IPhone has changed his life by making an arduous task of air travel check-in simple by using a IPhone App that is scanned at the terminal upon boarding the plane.
The other co-founder at the meeting was Tim Copeland, now Business Development director of SilverStripe. Like Siggy he's also been working in the web industry for the past ten years and said they decided to get coders involved with developing Silverstripe so he could concentrate on getting the name out there.
SilverStripe is an open source CMS developed by a small company from Wellington, New Zealand. It’s been used by government agencies such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade and Metlink in Australia, but what got peoples attention was the Democratic National Convention site for now US President Barack Obama. That particular milestone saw Silverstripe get the attention of Microsoft building the aspiring presidents website using SilverStripe and MS Silverlight.
Our group was told in the beginning Silverstripe developed commercial software but switched to commercial Open Source in 2006 releasing its CMS to the community. Since then Silverstripe has been downloaded over 140,000 times, 40% of these are on MS platform.
Silver Stripe has an easy to use web interface and was built using PHP5, an alternative framework to Ruby on Rails. Another noteworthy fact about SilverStripe is that it has support from Google, in the form of being a part of the Google Summer of Code project of which Chris DiBona, Open Source Programs Manager at Google said,
"I feel SilverStripe is a great example of a well-constructed open source project. It makes innovative use of technology but it is easy to use, which is just as important for open source, so it is a good candidate for Google to support.”
Other SilverStripe's features include web 2.0 mash-ups (e.g. YouTube, Flickr and Technorati) and an e-commerce module. Importantly it also standards compliant code which is why it’s attracting the attention of Government Agencies around the world.