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Interview with Shiv Shankar Dayal of Kunjika

by Joshua Gay Contributions Published on Jul 19, 2013 02:31 PM
This is the latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab's series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works.

In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Shiv Shankar Dayal, the developer of Kunjika, an extensible web-based Q&A system.

What inspired you to create Kunjika?

I write books on programming (C, C++, Perl, Python etc) and science (Maths, Physics and Chemistry) and make them available, gratis and libre, under the GNU Free Documentation License. I have found that my readers often have questions, and I needed a place where I could answer them in a public fashion. There are some web-based Q&A forums available that are similar to StackOverflow, notably, Question2Answer, Shapado, Askbot, and LampCMS. After evaluating these projects, I found that some of them have features missing, some are buggy, and nearly all of them use a SQL database. Since I was unable to find a system that perfectly matched my needs, I decided to write my own Q&A system with a NoSQL backend.

How are people using it?

Well, it has been only one week since I released Kunjika 0.1 alpha, so I think I will wait for users.

Why did you choose the GNU GPL version 3 as Kunjika's license?

I did not feel I had a choice. As RMS says, those who do not protect their freedom eventually lose it. I chose the GNU GPLv3 to protect my/our freedom.

What features do you think really sets Kunjika apart from similar software?

GNU GPLv3, Couchbase, and my never-ending lifetime support. :-)

How can users (technical or otherwise) help contribute to Kunjika?

The Features.rst file in the source repo1 has a list of TODO features that people can implement, or they can just use the system and report bugs.2 For other ways of helping, I currently have a small VM with 2GB RAM that is often running out of memory, so if I could get a server with, say, 4GB RAM, that would be awesome.

What's the next big thing for Kunjika?

Implementing of all features mentioned in the TODO file and developing "Lekh," a blogging module. I know WordPress is an option, but I do not want to run MySQL and Couchbase together on my server because of hardware constraints. The coolest planned feature would be importing databases from the other Q&A systems, like the ones I previously mentioned.

1git clone


Please see the Kunjika entry in the Free Software Directory for more information.

Enjoyed this interview? Check out our previous entry in this series featuring Adam Hyde of Booktype .

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