Interview with Shiv Shankar Dayal of Kunjika
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?
Implementation 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 https://github.com/shivshankardayal/Kunjika
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.