As project leader, I'm very proud about the success of FileZilla. Since the first alpha version of FileZilla, released in late February of 2001, FileZilla has become very popular. There are more than a hundred other FTP clients for Windows, but none of them has achieved so much in such a short time as FileZilla. There must be reasons for the success of FileZilla and I'll explain them below.
In the second week of January 2001, in Computer Science class, I started with two friends to write an FTP-client while the rest of our class wrote a "4-in-a-row" clone. We didn't think that FileZilla would be so successful. Before we started to code, we had to discuss how FileZilla should be released. We decided to make FileZilla an open-source project. There were already many FTP clients available and we didn't think that we would sell even one copy if we made FileZilla commercial, so open-source was the best alternative.
Our main goal for FileZilla was to write a simple FTP client, with a very simple user interface. FileZilla should support all the basic functions needed to browse a server and to transfer files. FileZilla should also be fast and reliable. With every release, new features were added to FileZilla. From beta 2.1 on, all required features were implemented in FileZilla. But development didn't stop with beta 2.1. With the help and the ideas from other FileZilla users, I have continued to improve FileZilla. Bugs have been removed and new features were added or improved.
Since the first version, FileZilla has been the only FTP client I use, and I use it every day. If a program were really good, you wouldn't use another one.
But there's another reason for the success of FileZilla. One may ask:
"Why is he making FileZilla? He gains nothing from it!" Looking at the
financial aspect, this is true, but if you look closer, you'll see what I gain.
First of all, it's experience, which I share with other people through the open
source code. In addition, a lot of people now know me. It is users like you who
email me their ideas and problems with FileZilla. It is the feedback, positive as
well as - to a much lesser extent - negative, which is vital for FileZilla and
me. It tells me that there is popular interest in my project, gives me ideas for
improving it, and keeps me busy!
You'll know what I mean if you've ever gotten emails like "Great job, keep it going!" or "Thanks for FileZilla! So, where do I send the pizza?"
Thanks for your patience,
FileZilla project leader