I'm proud to help my friends at Ma.gnolia with this awesome announcement (we're at Gnomedex where we've just told the audience about this). Today's announcement of Ma.gnolia 2, or M2 for short, is a ground-up rewrite of Ma.gnolia, re-creating features I love today, taking a second run at what didn't worked as well as planned, on a distributed, service-based architecture designed to handle the large volumes of data they've seen. And even more significantly, M2 will be an open source project that can be downloaded to remix and run as your own.

Here is some more information about how it will work:

What happens to Ma.gnolia as I know it? Ma.gnolia.com will still provide free, ad-supported hosted accounts, just as they do now. Existing accounts will be transitioned to M2 when it's ready, and will include a number of new features that they'll detail throughout development.

What exactly is meant by Open Source? As they develop M2, it means they'll be posting the code for most pieces in the open and having regular discussions on both technical and non-technical subjects to get input from the community and to share our progress.

Once M2 is launched, the open source aspects can be downloaded and run as a self-administered installation that can be independent or federated with other installations, including Ma.gnolia.com.

The open source aspect will find a home at ma.gnolia.org, where we've posted preliminary documentation and a few other links to the tools we're using to manage the project.

When can we get a taste? On the coding side, the work has already begun, and the first commits will be coming in September. They're open to constructive feedback from our many technically-minded members, as I'm sure many will be as excited as they are to be building on standards like OAuth and OpenID from scratch.

Why? How? Where? They've posted the M2 product charter. The document has been in progress for over a month, and captures the reasons behind M2, some technical details on how it will be built, and the objectives they're committing to as a business, an open source project, and members of the community that's formed around Ma.gnolia.

More information: http://ma.gnolia.org

Charter: http://ma.gnolia.org/docs/M2_Charter.pdf

Start Talking at: http://groups.google.com/group/magnolila-2-discuss

Code Appearing at: http://github.com/magnolia/magnolia/

Presentation from Gnomedex can be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/lhalff/magnolia-2-at-gnomedex-presentation/

More: ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, Ma.gnolia Blog, CNet