Lino is a sailboat challenging ocean liners

Lino is just a dream

At the moment the Lino vision is merely visible, it is just the dream of a handful of developers and site operators:

  • Many features are still missing or unfinished

  • Everything is poorly explained, advertised and documented

  • A framework like Lino should be led by an international organization with a clear governance.

The reason for this is obvious: Rumma & Ko Ltd want to remain family-sized. We have limited human resources. We can’t do more than our best.

The job of bringing Lino to the next level must be done by a non-profit organization. Even if Rumma & Ko would decide to become big and do this job, this wouldn’t be a solution. Sooner or later they would try to turn Lino into something that is no longer really free. A private corporation with limited responsibility is not a valid candidate for the job of bringing Lino to the next level. This role must be played by an organization that does not have any private interest.

This is why Lino is waiting for a manager. This manager can be either an existing organization who would take over the team and the customers of Rumma & Ko, or a person who joins our community and creates a new legal entity (a non-profit organization, a cooperative or a foundation).

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you feel that you can help Lino to become big.

Our vision is not yet fully realized:

  • In reality, Lino is used by only one professional development provider, a family-owned company in Estonia, who serves only ca. 20 customers and a yearly turnover of about 50,000 €. Their biggest customers have less than 100 users each.

  • In reality, Lino hasn’t yet become a standard part of every public IT education programme. A few proprietary software giants govern our society and even our public education systems.

  • In reality, even established development providers are reluctant to trust in a framework that is maintained by a family-sized team of dreamers.

  • In reality, Lino is very unknown because nobody sells it.

  • In reality, Lino’s copyright holder, Rumma & Ko Ltd, didn’t even yet care to formally convert into a foundation, which would be a legal requirement for making Lino sustainable. Our customers just trust us to not cheat on them. But Lino would have good chances to disappear if Luc (who is its author) would have a bus accident.

Signs of hope

While reality is more complex than theory, there are signs of hope:

  • That family-owned company in Estonia, Rumma & Ko Ltd, is using Lino successfully since 2010. They employ two developers and one system administrator. All their customers are satisfied.

  • In order to formalize the Lino dream in legally clear language, Rumma & Ko Ltd plan to convert to a foundation. See The Lino Software Foundation. Even if that plan would fail, Lino itself would remain free because it is published under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL), the most protective Free Software license there is. It is legally impossible to write proprietary software based on Lino.

  • Lino grows “automatically” despite the fact that nobody sells it. That’s because satisfied customers recommend it to their friends.

  • Lino is sitting on the shoulders of giants: it is based on established Free and Open-Source Software technologies like Django, React, Sencha ExtJS, Sphinx and Python.

  • Lino is a proof of concept that slow software development, an approach that focuses on long-term quality over quick success, makes sense in a rapidly changing world.

  • There is an impressive collection of ready-to-use existing Lino applications.