Today we are informing all users of Sxipper that we will be shutting down the sxipper.com servers and not updating Sxipper to Firefox 4.0. The writing has been on the wall for a while that Sxipper might be put to rest and it was a hard decision to make. It has been over two years since Sxipper has learned any new tricks, and with the release of Firefox 4.0, we can’t justify teaching Sxipper about the new platform.
I looked for a new home for Sxipper. There were discussions with Microsoft when I was there and Google after that. I talked to complementary add-on companies as well, but alas, no suitable home could be found and the team has moved on to other opportunities.
Sxipper was conceived at Sxip Identity by Keith Grennan as a means of transitioning user from using passwords to an identity protocol. By providing users with a graphical interface that enabled them to click on the information they wanted to share to existing websites rather than having to type it in, the transition to an identity protocol such as OpenID could be seamless to the user.
In addition to Keith: April Allard, Tim Baur, Johnny Bufu, Peter Eller, Pooya Karimian, Jennifer Harland, David Huska, Michael Oswell, Calvin Liu, Lori Pike, Darci Robinson, Weston Triemstra, Chris Turra, Graeme Worthy, and Roger Zimmermann (updated: and Barry Ferg) contributed directly to the development of Sxipper. Everyone of you should be proud of what we accomplished with Sxipper. (my apologies to anyone I have not acknowledged, drop me a note so I can provide the recognition you deserve)
I’d also like to thank the many members of Vancouver’s web 2.0 community that gave us invaluable feedback on the pre-release. As a young puppy, Sxipper initially was somewhat misbehaved and would show up where he was not wanted. Fortunately, the initial Sxipper users gave us lots of constructive feedback, and the team successfully trained Sxipper to be more respectful in user interactions. At the peak, there were over 100,000 active users of Sxipper.
Sxipper’s initial home was at Sxip Identity. Unfortunately, a few of Sxip’s investors were unwilling to cooperate in a restructuring of Sxip (more on that in later post), and I was forced to place Sxip into bankruptcy. Some members of the team transitioned to Sxipper’s new home: Sxipper, Inc. Roger, Calvin, Michael, David, April, Tim and Jennifer all kept working in some way on keeping Sxipper alive for the past 3 years. Michael DeSandoli helped considerably in the administrative transition. Sxipper and I thank each of you for all your effort in preparing his new home, and keeping Sxipper alive the past three years. Even though Sxipper is being put down, you did a great job and more than I could expect to keep Sxipper going.
The ease of use in filling in forms and logging into sites that Sxipper pioneered has yet to be duplicated by any of the competitive products. A high bar was set, and I hope for the sake of internet users everywhere, that the lessons Sxipper learned are remembered and become part of everyone’s internet experience, and that a little bit of Sxipper continues to live on.
There are a number of comments asking to open source Sxipper. Just uploading the Sxipper code to an open source repository and hoping someone picks it up would be like leaving Sxipper at the hospital entrance hoping someone would save him and find the funds to operate the sxipper.com server. Sxipper’s demise should be done with honour.
It would be great if a group of people gathered together and were committed to a open source project around maintaining and operating Sxipper. I’d be very interested in a proposal that would enable Sxipper to get a new life.