We announced last year that Bucky Box is transitioning to open source. Yes okay, that was a while ago but today we're excited to spread the word that the Bucky Box web store source code is now available on GitHub under the GPLv3+ license.
It's been quietly available for a while now, but we thought to announce it today because this codebase is now running live for a subset of Bucky Box powered businesses. Over the weeks ahead we'll be quietly rolling it out to everyone else. In other words, it's tested and reliable.
What can I do with it?
Really, see it as a blueprint for building your own web store. You can go as simple or complex as you like, but here's some common examples:
- Better integration to the look and feel of your existing web site
- Changing the ordering workflow
- Adding your own payment system at checkout
- Having the web store on your own domain
What did we do behind the scenes?
Though saying "we open sourced it" might sound really simple, behind the scenes we've rebuilt the web store into its very own standalone app. We did this so that anyone can take it, modify it freely and have it work without screwing up the core Bucky Box app which we maintain for everyone. Bucky Box now has three parts:
- The main Bucky Box app (administrative logistics)
- The web store app
- The plumbing that connects the two (i.e. the API).
It's worth noting the consumer dashboard - the bit that your customers log into - is not part of the web store and will be broken into a separate app in the medium-term future.
How do I use it?
We expect most people running Bucky Box are not techie types. In order to play with and tweak the new web store, your tech guy might do something like this:
- Get the source code (from GitHub).
- Run it on your own server. To do this they'll install the source code onto a suitable Ruby compatible web host. Examples include Brightbox, Heroku, DigitalOcean or any server where you can install Ruby.
- Once set up, they'll start to modify the web store to your needs.
Since the web store now runs on your own host, you'll be paying an additional hosting fee to your host provider.
Notes about the license
There is a lot of misunderstanding around open source licenses. We've chosen to release the web store under the GPL. Here's what it means concretely:
- you're free to download, install and use the codebase
- you're free to customise it and keep the changes private to your organisation
- but if you release or distribute the modified version, the license requires you to make the modified source code available under the GPL.