Sunsetting the project

It has been over six years since Xerberus 1.0.0 was launched. Now, unfortunately, it's time to archive this project and move on.

This article is more of a personal note. I haven't really been posting anything on the site, nor have I been able to provide anything of value to the project in the recent years. That's one of the primary reasons that I've finally decided to archive this project and continue to work on other things.

I started working on Xerberus over seven years ago. Back then I was a junior developer who wanted to improve his skills. Time marched on and I've switched jobs three time. I'm currently working as a software consultant. I went from being someone who was still learning to be a good programmer to helping others in how to do that. Projects like Xerberus don't really offer me anything new in terms of learning opportunities. In the end I begin to see them as something I simply have to maintain and update over time, which doesn't give me any satisfaction.

The original vision for Xerberus was to build a content management system with ticket sales and tournament functionality. I only ever succeeded in the first one. Over time I discovered that in order to succeed in building a completely operational tournament system would require tremendous effort as most games had their own tournament formats, scoring, qualifiers etc. Most games also have API's that allow things like match information to be fetched automatically and building such integrations take a huge amount of time. I did not have that time. I also couldn't get anyone to invest that time in the project.

During the last three years we also tried to develop a ticket sales service along with a new core version of Xerberus. We failed in our initial attempt and then CovID hit hard. Events had to be cancelled and we also lost some motivation. The second attempt we had was limited in scope, but as the event got cancelled, I started to ask if this was worth it.

Online services for ticket stores, such as Ticketmaster, Lippupalvelu and Liveto (mainly Finnish companies) have made great improvements in their platforms. It's now much more profitable, when thinking about time and money spent, to purchase a subscription from a SaaS platform, than to begin developing your own ticket store. The time it takes to finalize the development of such a product, and then to maintain it and continue development, is way more costly than simply purchasing and integrating an existing service to your website.

In the end developers who work on projects for free invest their time in them. That time does have some type of monetary value. I know what that value is for myself and I'd rather spend it developing things that the market actually needs, focusing more on outcome instead of output. Currently I don't see any need in the market for a product like this.

We did think about open sourcing. However, weighing in the pros and cons we decided that it would simply be dumping code for an incomplete project and we didn't want to do that. So instead, we're halting development indefinitely and shutting down version one of the platform in 2022.

Some developers don't write final words like this. I think that leaves a bad impression for anyone who used that product in some capacity. To me it doesn't matter if one or one million users used that product, it's never a good idea just go ghost on a project and leave someone wondering.

- Ossi P.
Lead developer.