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Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2009-12-25, 17:18
by Carsten
During the past few months, we've got many questions about upcoming features, the latest code changes, and the status of the current developments around the Cafu Engine. Well, to be perfectly honest, we had some trouble with providing new features and even with answering all the questions, but only because we were secretly working on something else: making the Cafu engine open-source!
Yes, you've read right - we have prepared the greatest Christmas present that we could ever give you, our fellow community, developers and friends:
The Cafu Engine is now open-source!
All source code has been put under the GNU General Public License version 3 (GPLv3). The GPLv3 guarantees that from now on, Cafu is and will always be free software in the spirit of the Free Software Foundation.
In parallel, the source code will be available under custom commercial licenses as well (dual licensing), thus if you want to develop software that is free from the restrictions of the GPL, you can contact us for a custom license that is tailored to your needs.

Specifically for making the source code available for everyone, we've replaced our internal Subversion server with a new one that is powerful enough in order to provide you with proper repository access.

If you have Subversion installed, you can checkout the source code now via

svn checkout Cafu

We will soon (before New Year) provide the source code in zip packages for download as well, and add documentation on how to access it via Subversion and how to compile it. All this will here be announced in another news post soon.
We wish you a merry Christmas, peaceful holidays and a lot of fun with your Christmas gift! :wohow:

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2009-12-26, 02:15
by scott
Wow, well merry christmas Carsten, what prompted this move?

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2009-12-28, 05:58
by Stephen
Wow, I really didn't expect this but I always thought it would be awesome if you open sourced it!

How big is the source? I'd love to try and get Cafu running on my Macbook (which I'm using right now) but I'm on 3G internet (on holidays) and I can't use too much downloads.

Awesome news though!

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2009-12-28, 12:43
by Carsten
Dear Scott,
scott wrote:Wow, well merry christmas Carsten, what prompted this move?
a very good question, and also a difficult one, because it leads me into temptation to write pages and pages of all aspects that went into the change during the past twelve months, but I'll try to keep the answer coherent and concise. ;-)

I believe that finally having put Cafu under the GPL is an advantage (or in fact, a real milestone) for everyone:
  • With the previously used licensing model, although it worked well in many regards, there were also problems: budgets limitations, technical issues, questions in the legal departments, paperwork and many other subtleties hindered many people from accessing and working with Cafu.

    All those people can now access Cafu for the first time at all, or more easily than before: Students, small independent developer teams all over the world, start-up companies, educative institutions, and many more. The dual licensing model ("GPL" plus "custom") also helps programmers to convince the management more easily and generally helps with getting new projects started.
    For all those, technical issues are much easier addressed with the source code being open-source, and the GPL provides a firm legal basis that quasi everyone is already familiar with.
  • For us, we'd just be happy to see more people using Cafu. The fact that we can now provide new features and bug fixes by merely checking them into the Subversion repository is also a relief of a great burden - we can now essentially skip the huge and cumbersome "fix, test, package, distribute" cycle, which in turn frees resources for the other work that we really want to do: improving Cafu. Also the new commercial model (custom licenses; commercial support; code/feature customizations on request) works much better for us than the complicated previous model with lots of bureaucracy.
  • Finally, it also helps the Cafu engine itself, as the long months of preparing it for open-source are over now, and we can finally focus on new features again (more about these soon!). I also hope that the community will grow and the development will gain more momentum than before.
I'm currently updating the documentation and the website step by step, and hope that everything will be ready at New Year. :up:

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2009-12-28, 15:20
by Carsten
Dear Stephen,
Stephen wrote:How big is the source? I'd love to try and get Cafu running on my Macbook (which I'm using right now) but I'm on 3G internet (on holidays) and I can't use too much downloads.
I just updated the Downloads page where the source code is available as a ZIP archive, which is about 75 MB in size.
The documentation that is mentioned on the page will be uploaded later today.

I still have no Mac available to port Cafu to the Mac OSX platform myself, but I'd be happy to assist you in any way I can when you do! :-D

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2009-12-29, 15:58
by Carsten
Hi all,

as promised above, these pages have now been updated:
Two small (but important!) steps among many more to come. :up:

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2010-01-03, 01:43
by afecelis
wooooooooow! Carsten! I'm speechless! This indeed is one of the greatest Xmas presents I've received! hehehe ;)
Although RL stuff has kept me away from your project I always try to take a peek on what's going on with it; only this time the surprise was huge! :D

Congratulations and best wishes on this new phase of your engine. You've always been very professional. Each of your creations speak of the kind of person you are.

merry xmas and happy new year!

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2010-01-03, 18:16
by Carsten
Dear Alvaro,

it's great to see you again, and I'm very happy that everyone else is happy as well! :wohow:

Also a thousand thanks for your news entry at, I'm planning to make a lot more similar announces soon!

Right now, I'm working on setting up and configuring a bug/issue tracker for our - now open-source - code development: We will employ Trac by Edgewall Software in order to manage all our bugs, features and issues in the future.
The setup is almost complete, and I expect to take it into productive operation early the upcoming week.

Of course, we will also get a new page on the website for developers, where all links and information are collected in one place. And finally, I'm planning to revamp the home and features pages as well. :up:

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2010-01-13, 18:04
by Kai
Hi Carsten,

im as well very happy to see that step. I feel that it may accelerate a lot of developement and some new ideas may come up and lead to even more.

im as well very busy writing my diploma thesis, but i check the site frequently ;)
I hope all of you had a great vacation


Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2010-01-14, 18:28
by Carsten
Hi Kai,

great to hear from you! :cheesy:
Yes, I too feel that this has definitively been the right step. I'm very happy about it, and things are going well even though I'm still working on a few things regarding infrastructure (such as the bug/issue tracker), and thus had not yet time for anything else. All this is finished very soon however, and then I'll spend some time wish polishing the website and some advertising.

All the best wishes for your diploma thesis! You mind to let us know it's title? ;-)

Re: Cafu is now open-source!

Posted: 2010-01-17, 15:54
by Kai
Oh sure, its about realtime shader and their use for previsualisation and production, its quite a big upcoming thing so there is quite a lot of stuff to read and analyse ^^