Blog Archive

Blog posts for August 2008

XPertNet SARL is 4 years old and becomes XWiki SAS

A few weeks ago, the company I launched in July 2004 to support the XWiki development turned 4. It has been four very full years spent rolling out new versions of XWiki and achieving many successes.

The big news is that we have transformed the old XPertNet SARL into XWiki SAS (in French law it means we are bigger and we can have many many stockholders) and at the same time many of the XWiki SAS employees have become stockholders in the company.

Let's get a little bit back in time. The XWiki project was started in November 2003, with the first releases launched in February 2004. In July 2004 the company was created. In the early years, the project was supported by Erwan, Olivier, Thomas among others. Luis and Jeremi joined XPertNet and helped it grow up to 10 people by the end of 2006.

By the end of 2006 we had completed our second participation in the Google Summer of Code, joined OW2, landed significant clients including Curriki and won the XWiki Concerto Project, a funded research project.

Early in 2007 our current management team joined XPertNet : Vincent Massol became our CTO, Stéphane Laurière our VP of research projects and Pascal Bouche our VP of Marketing and Sales. Vincent has done an incredible job to create the XWiki open-source process, Pascal has boosted our Sales and Marketing and Stéphane has launched new research projects sustaining XWiki innovation.

Mid 2007 Sergiu Dumitriu and Marta Girdea - two of our former Google Summer of Code students - helped us set up XWiki Romania and we hired 5 engineers in the team. End of 2007 we had launched 4 products (XWiki Enterprise, XWiki Watch, XWiki Workspaces, XWiki Enterprise Manager), reached 100,000s XWiki downloads and more than 100 paying clients. XWiki had participated in many conferences including Javapolis (now Javoxx), JavaOne and Solutions Linux.

In 2007 we have also build partnerships with eXoPlatform (allowing XWiki to be integrated as a JSR 168 Portlet), with Avane to build Chronopolys, with Netcipia and Nearbee. Thanks to our own growth and our partners, this means there are currently paid XWiki developers on four continents (America, Europe, Asia, Africa - We should probably find an XWiki developer in Tahiti to get the fifth continent).

In 2008 we kept growing up to 25 employees (including former contributors and Google Summer of Code students) and won important clients as well as the Scribo research project that is part of the Systematic Competitive Cluster.

Since early 2007 we have worked on preparing the switch from XPertNet SARL to XWiki SAS and allowing employees to become stockholders of XWiki SAS. I'm glad to have been joined by our management team and many employees as stockholders of XWiki SAS. We have collectively invested 200KEuros to help grow XWiki.

We have also setup the XWiki SAS board which will define the strategy of the XWiki SAS company. The board is composed of the major stockholders of the company and a representative of the minor stockholders :

  • Ludovic Dubost
  • Vincent Massol
  • Pascal Bouche
  • Stéphane Laurière
  • Jean-Vincent Drean (representing minor stockholders)

I'm also happy to announce the addition of Edwin Khodabakchian to our board. Edwin is a former Netscapee, ex-founder and CEO of Collaxa (now part of Oracle) and now founder of Feedly. Edwin has already advised XWiki in the last four years with his high experience of the software and internet Industry and has also helped us during our numerous Silicon Valley trips.

I'm very proud of where XWiki currently has arrived. I'm proud that it is at the same time a company providing quality products with quality professional services and an open community software. We are strong believers that the only "strings-attached" should be the quality of the services we provide to our clients, not the code itself. We are also strongly convinced that open software leads to higher quality software thanks to the scrutiny of the community. Open-source has also been in the last four year the best marketing tool for our products and services.

We are committed to continue investing in our software and our professional services for the benefits of our users and clients.

Finally I wish to thank everybody who made the growth of XWiki possible, including our former employees, all our contributors, all our clients and our team of employees who don't count their hours to make XWiki a great product and XWiki SAS a great success.

Ludovic Dubost\ President and CEO of XWiki SAS

Logging Your Work

As a product manager in a dynamic startup, my schedule can easily become very busy. With the team headcount growing and an always-expanding to-do list, I thought it would be good to start logging my time more precisely in order to track time-eaters and make myself more effective.

That's why I started recording most of the stuff I did on a wiki page on our intranet. Each time I undertook a task (something that takes more than 30 minutes of work) I added a bullet point referencing it on the page and saved it. This way, I can see what I'm speding my time doing and work with my manager and teammates to become more efficient at work. Though a bit rough, I felt I was off to a good start.

That was before stumbling on ididwork, an innovative service that lets employees record what they're doing through an interface that's reminiscent of Twitter's :


Once the data collected, users can get an analysis of it and forward it to their managers in order to receive feedback. I thought the concept was a great idea, even easier to use than the wiki-page approach. However, a couple issues got me thinking prior to using it for real :

  • Where's the data located ? Do I really need another web service ? I already have so many accounts that having to use an additional one felt a bit annoying to me.
  • That kind of date should really be located on our intranet. That's where all our work data is located, everyone in the company has an account there and that's the place where they would expect finding info about my work.

    To sum things up : why should I go through the registration & sharing hassle to log data that should really be on our intranet ?

    Happily enough, I found out I could get the best of both worlds (or almost) using XWiki Workspaces' workstream application. Inspired of Twitter, the workstream application lets me log what I'm doing and share it with my coworkers.


This way, I get both the benefits of being able to log my daily work easily and having the ability to let the people I'm working with within the company know what I'm up to. Sure, I don't get all the bells and whistles of a statistics analysis such as the one provided by ididwork, but given XWiki's extensive API and its charting capabilities that wouldn't be hard to implement for our dev team. Core features are covered and I get the ability to share the data with relevant people right away.

Wanna try out XWiki Workspaces ? Check out its latest version on XWiki.org !

Introduction to XWiki Watch

Hey there! I'm Toussaint Wattinne, and I'm an intern at XWiki. I wanted to have a first work experience and there I am, offering you a brand new video explaining the main features of XWiki Watch. I hope you'll find it useful and interesting. I tried to make it short and clear so that you don't get bored too quickly watching it...

By the way, as the image quality isn't quite as good as I expected, do use the full screen vision if you want a more accurate image.

XWiki @ WIKISYM

We'll be at WIKISYM, the international symposium on wikis in Porto on September 8-10. 

Ludovic will be taking part to a panel on application wikis along with Peter Thoeny, TWiki's creator while I'll be Pecha Kuching during the WikiFest and demoing XWiki during Open Space sessions.

Come see us there and we'll talk about the future of wikis !

Introduction to XWiki Enterprise

Hello! It's Toussaint again for my second video here : I'm explaining the main features of XWiki Enterprise to let you have a quick overview of the product. This is not a detailed presentation, but just a way for you to get more familiar with XWiki so do take a couple of minutes watching it, it should be interesting!

Again, as the image quality isn't quite as good as I expected, do use the full screen vision if you want a more accurate image.

A Wiki for your Rock Band?

I gave Toussaint, our summer intern, a little creative, free-thinking time and here's what he came up with... I hope you'll enjoy it !

OK, there we go. There's this festival going on in Glastonbury and you managed to get to play in it. When I say you, I mean your crazy drummer Charlie, the lonesome acoustic guitar player Bill, your gorgeous piano master Mary calling herself "Queen of the Hills", John the saxophonist, Alison and Sarah the chorists, Sean the bass player, your sound engineer Mike... AND you.

After a first minute of bloody excitment about all this, you start wondering how the  you are going to prepare it. You don't even manage to make those guys meet once a week to play all together! How could you possibly get ready to play for thirty-five minutes in front of two thousand people who don't even know your names...?

Calm down, chill out, take a deep breath and start thinking about what a wiki could do for you, you will see things get a lot easier.

You got an issue there...

The real problem is called organization. Surrounded by messy fellows who are never on time and can't stand having a talk about plans, you don't know how you could make sure everything's ready on time with everyone working on it.

A wiki presents here all the features to make your work much more pleasant. You want everyone to participate, and to check that none of your mates is doing absolutely nothing? Every user of a wiki can create, edit and comment pages to work as a team. You can see who did each modification and therefore... who didn't! You need a place to organize all your tasks without mixing them all and forgetting half of your work? A wiki is structured by you through easy-to-create links between independant pages that can be grouped in spaces. Let's see together why a wiki is the best way for you to play better than you ever have in that festival...

What has to be done?

First of all, let's sum up together all the tasks you want to realize. You will need :
  • a way to see the latest news, modifications and works of your friends and yourself
  • a way to list all the equipment you need to use, with a way to know which is available and ready and which is not
  • a way to talk to each member of the band, see what they are working on, and get information about them (email, phone number...)
  • a way to let your music be heard by you and by others, to start conversations about the improvements that could be made and to let your fans express their admiration...
  • a way to make sure you can organize repetitions and that everyone will be there!
  • a way to spread informal information about the band (news, messages...)
  • a way to keep a memory of your concert

The Wiki Solution

There we go. I think it's time you realize a wiki is the best way to fulfil your need. A wiki is easy to use and allows you to start efficient collaborative work. Let's see what features are particularly interesting for you here :

  • A home page, easily accessible, allows you to present briefly the purpose of your wiki, and the way it works.
  • The "What's New" page displays the latest modifications that were made by any user to make sure you are up to date and you know exactly how far your band got in its preparing work
  • New pages can be created very easily, for example to list the equipment you need. As you can edit it very easily, you can always strikethrough the things that have been done, or highlight the urgent ones.
  • Each member of the band has a profile where he or she can add a photo, personal information, a quick description... This tool allows the members selected by this user to see this information and be able to contact the person easily.
  • Thanks to a strong user rights interface, you can easily choose to let your wiki public, but preventing any public viewer from editing pages or even add comments if you don't want them to. You can also leave some pages public to make yourself get famous, while you restrict the access to more private pages (such as the ones you use to organize your concert) to the members you want.
  • Wiki pages are not simply text pages. If you want people to know what your music sounds like, you can easily attach your songs to your wiki and let them be heard by your future spectators!
  • What's really cool is that even though you never manage to talk about your songs with all your mates because you always want to start playing when you manage to meet, you can now start conversations about them thanks to the comments available at the bottom of each page... where you will give your impressions and tell about the improvements you reckon have to be done.
  • The calendar allows you to insert events and that way to organize in advance your repetitions and remind your friends about the concert without having to spend the night trying to get them all on the phone...
  • Thanks to the blog available in your wiki, you can regularly spread messages or news about the band and your music.
  • You can also use the photo album to display your photos on stage to show everyone what you've done!

A Wiki really is the solution for your problem, as it will help you organize your concert in a simple way, allowing all the members of your old band to work together and be efficient, without having to take time on your repetitions...

What are you waiting for mate?! Start your own wiki, get organized, get known, get chilled... Wiki is the way to go. And your band will definitely thank you for having had such a great idea!