The EPANET Open Source Initiative is great. A community that cares is the best thing that can happen to software like EPANET. Many people has shown their interest and support at this Forum and in the CCWI Conference held last week at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK) there was an interesting talk dedicated to this initiative. In the next WDSA Conference to be held in “La Universidad de los Andes” (Cartagena, Colombia) a special session about this initiative will also take place as announced by Juan Saldarriaga at the CCWI. The situation is perfect for giving a real impulse to the project and I´m enthusiastic about it.
Nevertheless, the reality is showing some hard facts. Despite the support of many people there are only 13 contributors to the code (registered at the EPANET repository) and from them only 2 were actively making changes in the code repository in the last month. Developers are missing but also vendors are missing (people running business related to the result of the project). Even with engaged developers, it is hard to keep the project alive in the long term without vendors involved (it is enough to take a look to other successful open source projects). We need to move from the current state and we have to do it quickly.
I prefer to look at problems with optimisms and take part on driving changes for a better future with a positive critic eye on reality. From the discussions at the CCWI last week there were three main points that took my attention: what license to adopt (this point was already addressed in this forum and I agree with @samhatchett), finding funds to the project (excellent point brought by Ivan Stoianov [Imperial College London] to the discussion) and the “technology to use”. Regarding this last point I can summarize as far as I know that there are developments done in Matlab, Phyton, Java, c/c++ and c#. There are also people in favor of using an object oriented approach (I defend this idea) and some other preferring to keep the approach used in the original EPANET code. The IT world has changed a lot since EPANET first appeared in 1993 until today. If we have to rewrite the code again would we do it the same way? In which language? What would be the best approach to bring the project to life? I would like to hear the opinion of the community about it.