Arlen Stalwick

Software Developer

Hey there, I'm Arlen Stalwick, software architect and full-stack developer at in Montreal. I write about whatever I'm trying to teach myself. Today, it's Machine Learning.

Open-Sourcing FUZ.IO

I'm open sourcing, a project I've been working on (very off and on) for a couple years. Fuz.IO was born at a hackathon, and out of my own realization that sending large files from one person to another was pretty broken. I think this is something that a lot of people have noticed (and it has improved a lot since I started the project - many of the ideas that I had for have since shown up in other web services).

Basically, when I started, there was no simple way to send a large file over the internet that didn't involve an awful lot of waiting. You could use (side note: hightail? really?), but that meant a long wait while the file uploaded, and then another long wait while the file downloaded. You could use an IM client, but then you both needed to have it installed. You could use FTP, but then someone had to set up a server (and FTP isn't very firewall-friendly).

There weren't great options.

With, the idea was: drag a file on to the browser, send your friend the link, and he or she can start downloading while you upload. Super simple - no installation, no accounts, no plugins, no firewalls. It just works, using something that everyone has: a normal web browser.

Big Ideas

I thought this was a cool idea, so my original plan was 'monetize it!' Let users create accounts, sell them for $5/month for 10gb (or whatever), and so on. I spent time thinking about business model, wrote lots of notes, etc.. Initially, I coded toward that objective.

However, even then, I was a bit nervous about the competition in the space - when it comes right down to it, the winner in the file-transfer-service wars is going to come down to some optimization of: storage and bandwidth costs, vs. stickiness of service. Dropbox is doing so well because it's sticky. Other services are competing by optimizing how they manage their storage and bandwidth costs (or by simply running at such a scale that it really doesn't matter much, see: google and microsoft). I felt that, as a single developer with no funding, the file-transfer space was probably a losing battle.

On top of that, I got hired at, which left me with considerably less time to devote to So, became my playground - a place to code when I was bored, a way to learn javascript and node.js, a place to experiment with ideas, etc.

Why Open Source?

I'm open-sourcing just in case anyone out there finds it interesting. I'm not sure I'm going to be devoting a whole lot more time to it: I've accomplished most of my goals with, and am planning to move on to other things. I may add a few of the things listed on the github page, in the 'todo' list, just to really finish things off, but basically: isn't going to make me money, and I want to learn some new stuff.

I may do some more tech-related blog posts about in the future. We'll see.

Anyway, you can check out the code here:

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