I have a ton of feelings and hopes and ideas related to this transition, but I keep coming back to the following way of thinking about what’s happening:
We (MDG and the community) have been acutely aware of a bug in the organizational structure of Galaxy and Meteor. Specifically, revenue from payments by Galaxy customers simply was not flowing back into Meteor or Galaxy development, because MDG/Apollo is financially committed to the growth of Apollo and GraphQL, first and foremost.
If you’ve spent any time in the Meteor community, this bug report will not come as a surprise. Long-time Meteor contributor @KoenLav opened an issue earlier this year to draw attention to these problems, which spawned a healthy discussion about communication and commitments:
I have personally carved out as much time as I could to work on Meteor, which was justified because a lot of the same technologies have found applications in both Meteor and Apollo, MDG uses Meteor internally, and Galaxy revenue has been immensely valuable to the company. However, none of those justifications delivers what the community has every right to expect: that the money you pay for Galaxy hosting and support should be spent on improving (and marketing!) Galaxy and Meteor. The only truly sustainable justification for Meteor development is that it pays for itself, plain and simple.
By separating Meteor and Galaxy from Apollo and GraphQL, we can finally restore the positive feedback loop between Meteor’s technical development, Galaxy growth and revenue, and Meteor adoption.
I couldn’t be happier with Tiny as the new stewards of this open-source business. All their incentives are aligned to rejuvenate Meteor and grow its community, using the very resources provided by that community, both financial and technical. And they have a proven track record of similar acquisitions. If they play their cards right, Meteor has every chance to become the crown jewel of their portfolio.
Yes, I still work (primarily) for Apollo, and I will not be joining the Tiny team to work full-time on Meteor. Anyone would be lucky to have a side project as fun and promising and worthwhile as Meteor, and that’s exactly how I think about my continued involvement. While I’m not in any hurry to stop working on Meteor, I am eager to share responsibility for issue triage, roadmap planning, release engineering, and all the other processes that make Meteor what it is. With any luck, those processes will only accelerate thanks to dedicated human and financial resources.
Exciting times ahead!
P.S. If you’ve been wondering why we haven’t merged any pull requests in the last couple of weeks—especially all the TypeScript conversion PRs sitting unmerged—it’s because we needed a new Contributor License Agreement, but it was tricky to explain the need for the new CLA without divulging the news of the acquisition.