Blog: Propel Has A New Leader

William Durand – 23 April 2014

Three years ago, I became the lead developer of the Propel ORM project, a decision that probably changed my life, and, for sure, literally propelled me out of my comfortable zone. This was not easy. I was young, inexperienced, and a sort of “outsider”.

While Propel was a “one-man project” thanks to the awesome François, I decided not to follow such path. I rather created an organization, gathering skilled people, and new projects, with a long-term vision in mind. That is actually what I like the most in Open Source, enrolling new people to this wonderful world, and giving them responsibilities or, at least, opportunities to become Open Source developers.

In three years, Propel grew up a lot: a brand new upcoming version, more documentation, more tests, more components to integrate with various frameworks, but also more standard tools and best practices. The whole project moved to Git and GitHub, I simplified the way releases were built, as well as, how one could contribute to the project (code but also documentation and, generally speaking, everything related to the project at large). In my opinion, this is my main contribution to the project, and my only regret is not to ship Propel2 in a stable version myself.

But now, after three years, it’s time to step down. Having me as project leader is what prevents Propel from developing even faster, and for two simple reasons: I don’t have enough time to dedicate to it, and I don’t do any web programming anymore. I took over the project three years ago because I did not want to see it die, not because I wanted to lead an Open Source project. Today, Propel is still alive, and I like to think that the long-term vision I chose to follow three years ago is not completely unrelated.

I am sincerely glad to welcome Marc J. Schmidt as new lead developer of Propel. He is @MarcJSchmidt on Twitter, and @marcj on GitHub. If you follow the Propel2 development, I am sure you know him already! He is German, and an amazing developer. His understanding of the Propel design, of the Open Source philosophy, and of the ORM landscape, would be enough to let him lead the project. Note that I won’t abandon the project right away. I will be right behind his shoulder watching him for a while.

I am very happy for Propel. I’m also very happy for me, this will, hopefully, give me some time for other activities. And most of all, I’m very happy for Marc, who deserves a warm welcome from you guys! :heart: