Zimki Shuts Down

At several conferences this year and last, there was a lot of noise from Zimki, a web application platform using server-side JavaScript. They were even a diamond sponsor for OSCON 2007. For a while I wore a t-shirt of theirs with the slogan “pre-shaved yaks”, which was always a conversation starter. The idea was that they did all the hard and repetitive work, and you just contributed the bits that made your web application unique.

They used a lot of open source software in their platform, and were clear that the model was to provide the hosting – the platform would be open source, allowing you to move between competing providers. A rising tide floats all boats.

I considered writing an application on their framework, and even set up an account, but never found the time. Now, however, I’m glad I didn’t. I got an email today:

We regret to inform you that the Zimki service is to be withdrawn and therefore will no longer be available from 24 December 2007. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

As of 24 December 2007 all applications and data remaining on the Zimki service will be deleted and the servers decommissioned. Users are advised to move their applications along with any associated data before the closure date. There are no plans to opensource Zimki.

We hope that Zimki has helped to increase your knowledge and understanding of the possibilities that utility computing and an online application framework can bring. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and support with beta testing the Zimki service.

The Fotango Team

If I’d been one of their customers, I’d be completely stuffed. It seems the COO resigned over the decision not to open the source. Well done, Simon.

If Tim O’Reilly thinks that soon, using someone’s platform will mean being hosted on their infrastructure, and he’s seemingly quite happy for that platform to be proprietary, then he needs to explain what Zimki’s customers are supposed to do now. If this is “the possibility that utility computing brings”, to quote the announcement, then I’m going to be hosting my apps on my own infrastructure.

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