License, Hosting and Sponsorship

By Martin Fouilleul — 2023-10-11

Here’s a couple non-technical updates about the Orca project. I’ll write about each in more detail, but in short:

  • We are adopting a more permissive license.
  • We are moving the code repository to github.
  • You can now sponsor the development of Orca.

License Change

We initally released our MVP under the AGPLv2 license, with special exceptions allowing app developers to distribute their app under another license.

We agreed with early contributors to change that in favor of a more permissive dual licensing scheme. Orca is now distributed under the MIT license or the Apache License version 2, at your option. This is both simpler and gives more freedom to application developers and contributors, while still giving us some protection against malign use of patents.


We moved the repository from Handmade Network’s gitea instance to a new github organization. Despite Github-the-company not being great in many ways, there are a couple reasons for that change:

  • Github has a number of features that are better than gitea, like github actions, that we’re already using for building Angle, and will have to use even more now that we want to provide binaries of the runtime and user tooling. It also has somewhat better tools for larger scale collaboration.
  • Github has a sponsorship feature, which opens a way of funding the project (see below for more on that!).
  • We want to establish Orca as a project that is strongly associated with Handmade Network, but not owned by it. Handmade Network is obviously much larger than Orca, and the upcoming Handmade Software Foundation will support a wider range of initiatives. Likewise Orca should have a life of its own.
  • We also agreed with the Handmade Network admin team that it’s better to reflect the leadership of the project in the ownership of the repository. Having it on HMN gitea may confuse people about who defines the direction of the project and who has the final say. This doesn’t mean I’m going to decide everything alone! One of the things I’m most happy about this project is getting to work with talented and nice people, like our team of early contributors. But ultimately it is a BDFL-led project (although I’ll let you judge of the “benevolent” part!). It’s better that users and contributors are aware of that and know what to expect.

Supporting Orca

If you feel like this project is important and want to help me move it forward, you now have the possibility of sponsoring the development of Orca!

I’m being serious about wanting Orca to make a change, and this means working full time on it to ensure swift progress and foster a good ecosystem for app development. You can make that happen by sponsoring me through Github sponsors. Alternatively if you don’t have a github account, you can use the donorbox form on the sponsor page. All help you can send my way is highly appreciated!

Thanks for reading, and see you soon!