I’ll admit that the meetup.com item is a vendetta of sorts (that’s probably too strong). Meetup.com provides a really nice service. It was meetup.com’s low barrier to entry that enticed me to get off my butt and start the St. Louis Ruby Users Group (only days after I told someone that I didn’t have the time to start a users group).
The problem I have with meetup.com is I feel that they screwed over their users. Initially, the service was free. This, and the fact that their service was nicely implemented caused an explosion of signups. Once they had suckered in a lot of users groups they started charging $19/month.
I have no problem with them charging for their service, but $19/month was way too high. I don’t have access to their records but I’ll bet there was a mass exodus, and there would have been even more if there had been a decent alternative. I felt that at $3 to $5 a month, they could easily corner the market and discourage competitors. But at $19 I expected to see some competition real-soon-now.
That never materialized, but I think meetup.com has now lowered the price to $9/month. Its too late for me, though—they’ve already left a sour taste in my mouth.
I still think a meetup.com replacement would make a great Rails project. Someone needs to step up and just do it!
Rails Equivalent of Trac
Trac is a really nice project management system. It combines all the needed pieces (wiki, issue tracking, releasing planning, subversion source control, etc.) into one nice, attractive package.
This also would make a great Rails project, although I’ll admit there are fewer compelling reasons for this one since Trac is open source.
But it would be nice to have one in Rails because Rails developers would be more likely to to customize it when needed and develop and contribute extensions. There are so many Rails developers that I could see a strong ecosystem developing around this project (much like what has happened with Typo).
It wouldn’t need to be developed from scratch either since many of the needed pieces are already available as Rails apps:
- Wiki: The recently announce RuseWiki looks really promising. It was designed from the ground up with antispam capabilities in mind. Plus it uses UseMod wiki syntax, which is nice and simple.
- Blog: Typo of course!
- Subversion Browser: This had been a missing piece, but just today I discovered bsSvnBrowser.
There’s a great opportunity here for someone!