A while back, Jaisen Mathai decided to start OpenPhoto, a project dedicated to provide a Free Software hosting solution for photos, to liberate the users from the claws of hosting services like Flickr, Picasa, etc.

This is an idea I have been mulling for a long time, so much that I even started on my own, but it didn't go very far. So when I found out about OpenPhoto, my curiosity got picked. It seemed to fullfill the same goals so I decided instead to look at it.

My first task was to get it to run. The catch is that from the start it was designed to run off Amazon Web Service and their SimpleDB. Not something I wanted. So I started writing the needed code to support MySQL and local filesystem to store the photos. And that's how it started. Then I implemented support for importing metadata from the pictures, automatically, something that I have seen missing in several of the competing services.

The OpenPhoto project is part of WebFWD, Mozilla's Open Innovation program. And it was one of the first project to make use of Mozilla's excellent BrowserID.

The source code is available on github. Feel free to download it, install it, tinker with it. Pull requests are more than welcome. If you don't feel like installing it, you can still go to openphoto.me for the hosted version.

And since I like "dogfooding", I'm running my own instance.