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October CMS, as you know it, is still alive

Disclaimer: This post refers to the Winter CMS article October CMS as you know it is Dead and only reflects my unbiased opinion. I'm also not affiliated with October CMS or the (former) development or maintenance team.

What happened?

October CMS has turned itself into a paid product, still self-hosted and yes even for non-commercial website owners. This realignment is justified with targeting the existing user group of » professional developers and digital studios «, according to the linked article. However, this probably led to internal disputes between the core developers and the maintaince team and resulted into a new fork called Winter CMS. This way a part of the former team keeps the latest FOSS version of October CMS alive, which currently also works on additional features and known services, such as an Winter-version of October's Marketplace.

Such topics are not uncommon, especially in the open source community. Elasticsearch, for example, recently caused a wave of furors when they migrated their license away from APACHE 2.0. Another examples are ClassicPress (fork of WordPress), Inkscape (fork of SodiPodi, which itself is a fork of Gill), Joomla (fork of Mambo) or MariaDB (fork of MySQL), just to name a few more popular ones. Every fork is based on a caused problem.

That's the good thing about OpenSource software, if you aren't happy with the current development in any way, you can just grap the source and continue writing your own version and may build up your own fantastic community.

What's the issue?

Now, turning free software into paid one is nothing unusual and mostly has a primary purpose: Keeping a product really alive. Even if there is no guarantee here either it still increase the chance when several developers are able to work full-time without worrying about their own financial situations at all.

» GitHub stars won’t pay your rent «.
– Kitze in his medium post

Of course, draftspunk and Aleksey could have offer a hosted SaaS Version of October CMS (like Automatic did with WordPress), sell certificates, trainings or books (like Typo3, Shopware, Drupal and many others), sell personal data (like PrestaShop) or just sell an extended professional version (like Statamic) or offer a basic one (like Magento and WoltLab did once). But no, they decide to turn October into a paid product, $9.00 for single websites or $150.00 / $600.00 / € 1,400.00 for unlimited licenses including a bunch of business stuff, all of them paid per year.

Personally, I support this decision, even if I'm not a professional studio or, lets say, someone who makes money using October CMS. I support the development of a great product, which is not dead at all, just demands what it deserves... Financial Support.

Obviously, not everyone shares this thoughts, and that's totally fine! As I wrote before, Open Source lives from the community and when they partly disagree, a division will be inevitable.


Winter CMS may be able to live next to October CMS with the same amount of follower, may become more popular, or may ends up like ClassicPress or Thirty Bees (Okay the last one is still on the road, wish my best luck here).

In any case, they only thing I really want to express with this article is, that October CMS should not be blamed for turning itself into something financially viable. Even if it was FOSS before and even if it brought some kind of revolution to the whole CMS world. It's a really brave move, and I honestly respect and support this.


Saying "October CMS [...] is dead" (the real title that will stick with most readers) because it is not FOSS anymore is exactly the poison which should be avoided within the Open Source community. I don't blame the fork at all, I just dislike the message which is expressed by those who forked.

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