ExpressionEngine quietly turned three years old a few weeks ago. If you were around back then, as a surprisingly large number of our current users were, you were likely surprised that day to discover we had released an entirely new publishing platform.
pMachine Pro was our first stab at a publishing system. It was a neat little program, but it wasn’t a strong enough horse to ride into the future with, so we spent a year quietly writing ExpressionEngine, and on a nervous morning in 2004 released it to the public.
ExpressionEngine was quite lean when it first appeared; the initial public beta had 10 modules vs. 24 that our latest version has. Some of you might remember that the first version didn’t even have search capability. The core application was there, but not much else; no wiki, no moblog, no APIs, no forum, no blacklist, no custom queries, no plugins, no third-party modules, and on and on.
Out of curiosity, Paul wrote a little shell script to count lines of code so he could compare our current 1.6 release with the first version. Turns out we’ve written nearly 70,000 new lines of code per year since the release of EE 1.0, and we’re averaging 4 new modules a year. A glance at our Change Log will reveal a list of nearly 1000 items. Not too shabby considering that up until about a year ago it was only Paul and I doing all the coding.
Sadly, software is never finished. We software developers are destined to a life of perpetual updates. As much as I would love to proclaim ExpressionEngine finished so I can get on with other project ideas, that’s simply not the reality of software. There are too many new ideas, too many emergent technologies, and too much competition, so even as the paint dries on 1.6, we’re already mixing colors for our next version.
Many thanks to all our users, especially those of you who have been around since the beginning. It’s been a fun ride. I can’t wait to see how things look in another three years.