b2evolution is a strong evolution of it's ancestor: the b2 software.
Do you know what other project spawned from b2 ? WordPress!
Read on to learn how the lives of b2, b2evolution and WordPress are connected...
This is how François, the founder of b2evolution, described the birth of b2evolution at it's beggining:
Having been sick of Blogger's famous bugs and outages for too long, I switched to Michel V's b2 in December 2002.
b2 was already a great blog tool at the time and the future looked even more promising! At that time version 0.6.1 had been released for almost two months and everybody was expecting a new release soon...
Unfortunately, that release never came!
Even worse: Michel V, the project maintainer and main developer virtually disappeared! We were literally worrying about what could have had happened to him. He didn't answer any emails either...
Time was passing by and, little by little, the b2 project started looking like a dead end. A few people had already created forks in an attempt to add features. One was b2++ but it was very complex to install at that time and felt really weird... at least to us and to a few others. Another one was WordPress which was announcing a few interesting things but hadn't actually released anything by then...
By the end of April 2003, I just couldn't stand it any longer... There was so much more I wanted from b2 and absolutely nothing had moved positively for more than 6 months!
I could have switched to another blogtool again, but for some reason I decided to give it a try and just started hacking in the features I thought I desperately needed. I recall my first goal was to support multiple blogs so I could move back home another blog I was still maintaining in Blogger!
A little bit to my own surprise, I actually enjoyed refreshing my PHP/MySQL knowledge and decided to immediately follow-up on this by implementing some other features I considered paramount: Latest comments, multiple categories, realtime statistics, comments/trackbacks/pingbacks on same page, performance optimization, and a few more...
By May 2003, when I realized I had been working almost three weeks non-stop on an evolution of b2, I started considering releasing it publicly.
Ironically... a couple of weeks later, Michel V. made a short comeback and proclaimed WordPress as the "new official branch, once they get a release out"... and so WordPress rushed out their long awaited release.
I was undecided for a while... Matt from WordPress kindly asked me to virtually take everything I had already done and rewrite it into WordPress. So far I had been doing this for fun, but doing it twice really didn't sound like fun any more. So I decided that was too much work for too little benefit.
I thought it was more productive to continue developing the b2evolution branch... and here it is. I'm quite happy with it. I hope you'll be too!
Enjoy! And don't forget to check back for new releases ;)
After a while, it became clear that b2evolution and wordpress would evolve in different directions.
WordPress would be more focused on aesthetics and little on code. Most sites running WordPress have found that they required to install numerous third-party plugins to get the results they wanted. As of today, they still require frequent security patches and updates in order to stay operational.
b2evolution would be more focused on having a strong solid framework to rely on for future developments. Most features needed for common websites have been integrated in order to be immediately available within b2evolution. The platform is generally regarded as being very stable and secure. (b2evolution no longer includes original code from b2. Everything has been rewritten in the period 2003-2008).