2021 has been an exciting year. This is not only true for Funkwhale, a lot of crazy stuff happened during the year. I could have done without most of those things, but at Funkwhale some really cool things happened and I am really thankful for being part of it. Since we tend to forget about the good things, let's highlight some of them in this post.
I think the Funkwhale Collective and the whole Community achieved one big thing in 2021: we kept this amazing project alive. Agate built it up over many years, and not just from a technical perspective. She also shaped a great community, which is lovely, helpful and really committed to the project and the ideas behind it. And even further, this community has certain values and is willing to be upright about this. A lot of people are involved in this development, but Agate built the base and had an important role in shaping all this. So when she announced she was stepping down from all positions in November 2020 it wasn't that clear Funkwhale would survive. A lot of projects just slip away when their creators leave.
Not so for Funkwhale! We set up a chat room where everyone who was interested in helping out with maintaining the project met. There were about 30 people in this chat, discussing how to proceed. More than 40 people contributed changes to make a community managed release in March 2021, referred to as 1.1. Five more releases followed, including another significant release: 1.2.0.
When I stepped up to take on some tasks and responsibilities in the Funkwhale Collective, I wasn't even remotely aware what to expect. I underestimated the workload and the variety of different tasks to manage to keep the project going. I got a really warm welcome from a lovely community I don't want to miss. There was so much incredible help to get me started, and I never experienced how great it feels when a huge group of people all over the world spend their free time making our music streaming service of choice a little bit better every day.
This whole process was still guided by Agate. She was always available for questions, helping me to understand how everything works. I think what we achieved is that the Funkwhale Collective is able to keep working, independently from a single person. This is a great thing to have; Funkwhale went fully community-managed in 2021!
In some aspects we improved our tools to work together. We set up Flarum for our new forum, which is much more user friendly and will hopefully serve as a place for everyone to ask their questions. We dropped our old blog and switched to a static page generator, which is easier to maintain and much faster. We started to think about a website overhaul, too, but this is still work in progress :)
In September we even got a new project in the Funkwhale family: The official Android App. It’s not a new project by any means, it’s a fork of the amazing Otter by apognu. We decided to fork to keep the app usable with the 1.2.0 release, which removed an old authentication method. Thanks to ryan_harg, it’s still possible to listen to your favorite audio content using an Android App. Hopefully we can attract some more developers, maybe even funded by the Google Summer of Code. There are a lot of great ideas for new features and I am really curious where this development is going in the next year.
In 2021 we collected 3,045.63€ in donations and membership fees. Of this, we spent 924.79€ on our project infrastructure and the hosting of open.audio. This leaves our 2021 balance at 2,120.84€, which means we have around 4,000€ available in our bank account in total. A discussion has started in our forum about how best to invest this money. If you have any ideas, let us know!
A special thanks to Anton Meißgeier for creating those graphs for us!