I was very saddened to hear that LayerVault is going to shut down a few days ago. At my company, we used it a lot and everyone in the team was able to take advantage of its features (whether it was the sales team trying to show what we've got in the pipeline, or our developers looking at the latest iteration).
Since LayerVault seems irrevocably set to disappear (though I wish we could save it), I need to find alternatives to still provide us the benefits that we got used to and it's hard to give up:
- Easy overview of the entire project;
- Full history of every single file, which I use very often to see what I did or recover some changes;
- Commenting (plus hotspots!), which helps us a lot when discussing a design;
- The ability to just send someone a link and have them see what you're working on.
I've had a very cursory look to see what's out there, but I can't really find a good alternative to LayerVault that offers most (or at least some) of the features I listed above.
I would like to ask the DN community (and the LayerVault people, too):
- Are any of the technologies that were used to build LayerVault (or the LayerVault software itself) going to be open-sourced once LayerVault shuts down? Although this is a very demanding thing to ask for, it would be great because it would mean that our team could just install the LayerVault software on a server of our own and still get the benefits. As a side effect, the open-source community might even be able to take care of the product and revive it.
- Is there any software around (free or paid) that gets close to the feature set that LayerVault offered? If the first option is unfeasible, it would mean we need to find a replacement, and since we've been on the good side, things like Dropbox or Google Drive won't really cut it anymore.
- Going back to point 1, would the community be interested in building an open-source version of LayerVault as an unofficial successor, either by reusing the LayerVault software itself (if the LayerVault people find it a valid idea) or by building it from scratch? I think it would be very beneficial for the design community at large.