Last summer URL shortener Tr.im made quite a few waves when it announced that the service would be shut down by the year's end due to lack of any perspective revenue model. The response, both from the press but also from the users, made Nambu Networks, the company that owns Tr.im, reconsider the closure and after a while it announced that it would open source the project. Finally, the process is now underway, with a git repository already set up and live.
“You can follow tr.im’s evolution into an open source project at its new home on github as it is handed over from Nambu to Eric Woodward personally, and from there into the hands of the community at large,” the company wrote on the Tr.im blog. “The process is a bit behind schedule. The first two modules for tr.im are available now, but the final tr.im website module is not quite ready. The authentication and login system needs to be updated, and some bug fixes need to be applied as well. It will be released in an additional day or two (or three at the latest).”
It all started in early August when the announcement was made that Tr.im, a somewhat popular URL shortening system that enjoyed over 1 million unique visitors every month, would be shutting down and taking all of the links that users shared on the service down with it. The move was a wakeup call for anyone interested in these services as it was a clear sign that there were too many URL shorteners in a very crowded market.
There were some interesting developments shortly after Bit.ly, the most popular URL shortener, which is used by default on Twitter.com and is one of the main reasons why Tr.im was closing down in the first place, invited the service to join its 301works initiative to archive shortened links. Tr.im rejected the proposal and a little later on announced that it would maintain the service indefinitely as it was looking for a permanent solution.
The best one would have been to sell the service but eventually the company decided to open source the project and then move it entirely into the hands of the community. This announcement came a month ago with the plan to complete the 'transaction' by September 15. The move is now somewhat behind schedule with only two components of the service being available now on github. After all of the code is opened all that remains is for the domain name to be handed over to a trusted third party and for all of the things to get formalized.