Blog Archive

Blog posts for March 2011

Web 2.0 Expo: see you in San Francisco in March!

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XWiki SAS will be in San Francisco from 28th till 31rst of March together with a group of French companies selected by Ubifrance. We will participate in the Web 2.0 Expo event, produced by O'Reilly and TechWeb. We will have a demo pod while there.

Don't miss the occasion to meet Ludovic Dubost, our CEO (should you want to schedule a meeting, please contact us), and part of the XWiki team. Also don't miss the chance to talk with us about wikis, open cloud, social software, cloud computing, collaboration and to discover our new offer: XWiki Cloud.

More infos and details on the registration can be found here: http://www.web2expo.com/webexsf2011/

Paris JUG Third Anniversary: a short summary by Vincent Massol

Few weeks ago, Vincent Massol has attended the 3rd anniversary of the Paris JUG (JUG for Java User Group). Here is his short summary of the event, you can read also on his personal blog.

You'll find few photos there and some presentations can be downloaded from the web site of Paris JUG.

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By Laura Lafond and Rosan Noel.

I've attended the 3rd anniversary of the Paris JUG and it was a great event that attracted over 500 developers (not bad for a user group that is 3 years old!). Antonio and his team had chosen an interesting theme this year which was "Siffler en travaillant" (which can be translated as "whistling to work"). He said he got the idea while watching Snow White and the seven dwarfs who are whistling while going to work in the mines. He wondered whether some of us are doing this or rather why don't we all whistle while going to work. There were several lightning talks on this theme, such as: "Tele working" - The speaker asked the audience who had a contract for working from a distance and only 3 people raised their hands. I was one of them. Apparently lots of developers do work from home a few days per week but very few have it in their contract. France is lagging behind other countries, especially wrt the law, "Independence" (being an Independent), ..., "GTD" by Emmanuel, "About being a Developer" by Didier Girard - Didier's presentation was very neat with a lot of energy and punch (Didier is really good at that), and more. The last talk was a very refreshing talk by 2 young men just out of school who started developing Android apps. They started one night as a challenge: "let's see what we can do" and they had their first working app a few hours later. They published it and quickly had hundreds or thousands of downloads and they did their second app, then third and finally they got 10 apps, all doing.... nothing (a candle, a lighter, etc) .... At some point they decided to monetize their work since they had so many downloads and put an ad banner in all their apps. They're now making around 12K euros per month (they're 2) which is pretty good money and their download numbers are still increasing. Several of us looked at each other and wondered why we were developing complex apps such as an Enterprise Wiki, a CMS, etc when apparently it's enough to develop an app that does nothing to make a living!

The venue was very nice, at the Cité Internationale Universitaire (I didn't know the place and was pleasantly surprised by the nice architecture - lucky sutdents!). The organisation was superb with booths available for companies (that's a big part of how this free event is sponsored). I got the chance to get a massage by Fred Do Couto (from Vitalizen - Fred was an excellent java developer I met while working on the Vizzavi Europe project around 2001-2002 - At the time we used to get free massage while at work, this is how Fred got the idea to start Vitalizen later on).

I met all the usual suspects: Didier Girard, Emmanuel Bernard, Antonio of course (hey 3 castcodeurs out of 4 not bad), Julien Dubois, Charles Gay, Tugduall Grall, Jean-Laurent, and a lot more. It's always nice to find known heads and to catch up on what we're all doing (we don't see each other enough - I'm partly to blame since I haven't been active at all in organizing the OSSGTP meetings for the past few years....).

Then 80 of us had booked for a surprise evening at 22:30: we got embarked in 2 special night buses where we drank champagne and danced while crossing paris till we reached the Eiffel Tower where we took a group picture. Then we were driven to a nice restaurant (Le Vavin) and finished around 3AM... I stopped there since I had to work the next morning but others carried on at the bar next door till 6AM...

A very good evening where I was happy to meet old friends and talk about XWiki.

Waiting for the 4th anniversary of the Paris JUG now!

How to: Stay up to date with what's happening on the wiki

Too many things happening on the wiki and you're having a tough time keeping track of changes? XWiki comes with many features that help you stay up to date with the wiki activity that is relevant to you. You can:

By reading this blog post you will learn more about each of these features and how to use them.

Watch a wiki, space, page

One of the things people love about XWiki is the ability to watch global activity on the wiki and to receive email updates every time something changes. This is easy to do by clicking the "Watch Wiki" link from the wiki menu located at the top of every page.

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A very useful feature, especially when it comes to large wikis, is the ability to track changes on a selected number of pages and spaces. Imagine your team has a dedicated space on the wiki and you are mostly interested in your team's updates. You shouldn't have to constantly check the wiki for updates and you don't need to. You can simply click on the watch link in the space menu and an email will be sent to your email address tracking all the changes for that space. Notifications on selected spaces can also be tracked via RSS. The same applies to individual pages you watch.

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It's up to you to decide what the frequency for the notifications is (hourly, daily or even weekly).

You can read more about the watchlist application on xwiki.org.

Follow what's happening on the wiki from the activity stream

Another way to stay up to date with what's happening in the wiki is by scrolling through the Activity Stream located on the wiki homepage. Starting with XWiki Enterprise 2.6 a newly improved activity stream is available, with a much richer user interface. Use the Activity Stream to get a quick glimpse at what pages were lastly modified, who made changes on the documents and even how many updates where performed. 

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Use RSS feeds to stay updated

For RSS fans we've already mentioned the watchlist notifications. You can also subscribe to the global RSS feed and receive updates about all the activity on your wiki. In addition it's possible to have an RSS feed on a specific search query term. To generate such a feed, go to the Search page, run a search on a keyword and then click on the RSS icon.

Send specific pages by email to users

XWiki Enterprise 2.6 introduced the possibility to share a page by email. This is especially useful when you want to share a page with people who don't necessarily have a wiki account. To do this hover over the "Page" menu and click "Share by email".

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A popup will appear which will allow you to send a customized message to the recipient(s).

Use history to see page modifications

Last, but not least to see the versions of a document you can also look in the "History" tab located at the bottom of every wiki page. Besides listing the document versions, the history page can also be used to compare any two versions.

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The upcoming version of XWiki Open Source will feature the brand new User Status feature which will allow you to post status messages from the wiki homepage and the user profile. Stay tuned for the XWiki Open Source 3.0 release later this month to see the User Status in action.

Bug Fixing Day March 2011

Following the success we had last month with Bug Fixing Day, we decided to transform this special day into a habit, similarly to what we previously had in 2008.

The goal of the Bug Fixing Day is to reduce the ratio of created versus resolved issues. We use this time to catch up on bugs, by closing as many as possible, either by fixing them, or by cleaning up duplicates and issues that no longer reproduce.

The second edition of Bug Fixing Day was organized on March 17th 2011. We managed to close 22 bugs, out of which 15 were real fixes and 7 were closed as part of the cleanup process. See the list of bugs we fixed here. You can read the mail thread related to the event on Markmail.

The chart below represents the created vs resolved issues from the past 365 days. The chart indicates a 1:1 ratio. We have managed to keep this ratio balanced throughout the year.

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We want to thank all participants (Committers and Contributors alike) and would like to invite you to join us on our next edition of Bug Fixing Day, which will be announced on the XWiki Mailing Lists. Also don't forget there are many other ways in which you can contribute to the XWiki Open Source project.

Import your Office documents into the wiki!

When weighting pros and cons about using a new software, a major concern is "What will I do with my current data?", "Can I migrate all my data in the new system?". Currently, most enterprise data is stored in Microsoft format, understand Word, Excel, Power Point. No worry with XWiki, our sofware has the ability to import those formats and convert them into wiki pages. Our clients love that feature, and we wanted to share with you the experience we have on the topic.

Let's first describe Office document import feature that is not yet well known. XWiki software exposes that feature in 2 locations:

via a button in the WYSIWYG editor

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and when you want to create a page, via a button named "Page from Office" available under the "Add" drop down

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This very powerful feature enables anyone using a standard installation of XWiki to convert Micosoft Office or Open Office documents into wiki pages. Several outputs will be generated depending on the original document format. If the file is a Word document (.doc, .odt, etc.) the result page will contain text, images, tables etc. That page will then become editable just like any other page of the wiki. It will benefit from the exactly same features. If the file is an Excel document (.xls, ods, etc.) the result will be the table in wiki version. That table will then be editable just like any other table you would have created in a standard wiki page, from scratch. If the file is a Power Point (.ppt, .odp, etc.) each slide of the presentation will become an image. Those images will be attached to the wiki page. Until version 2.7.x of XWiki those images will be displayed in the content of the page, one after the other. Starting from version 3.0 (Yet to be released) images will be displayed using a gallery macro, enabling you to go from one slide to another by clicking "Next" or "Previous" button. This new version is a great user experience improvement since it reproduces the standard behaviour.

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On several projects, our client need was to import hundreds or thousands of documents. Using the default feature where import has to be done document per document was not scalable. That's why we developed the mass office import application. Here are some examples of mass imports done and used on production wikis:

EMC, making pre-sales documents more accessible:

  • Number of documents imported: 50 000 + hundreds every night
  • Import success : more than 99% (import feature is limited to Open Office Server and its ability to open files)

Fidelia assistance, better organize the company knowledge:

  • Number of documents imported: 900 documents
  • Import rate: 100%

Faiveley, all kind of content like presentations, procedures or corporate material:

  • Number of documents imported: 900 documents
  • Import rate: 100%

We hope that this article helped you understand how you can use XWiki to take the entreprise 2.0 bend the right way by migrating you content into our collaborative software XWiki.

XWiki is an entreprise wiki that can help you be more productive by adapting to your needs thanks to our professional services.

XWiki is participating in Google Summer of Code 2011

This summer, Google organizes the seventh edition of the Google Summer of Code program:

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects. We have worked with the open source community to identify and fund exciting projects for the upcoming summer.

A participant in GSoC since the first edition in 2005, the XWiki open source project was left out of the program last year to make way for newer and smaller organizations, but is back as a mentoring organization this year, and is ready to give a few lucky students a chance to learn how real world, open source development works in the middle of this wonderful community.

With five years of experience as a GSoC organization, the XWiki developers are seasoned mentors, ready to guide students through the entire process. Some students are already mixing in with the developers on the IRC channel, or introducing themselves and their project proposals on the mailing lists. The mentors are very happy to meet and discuss ideas with these interesting students, and can't wait to see what these collaborations can lead to, since every GSoC so far brought great results, such as the WebDAV and RESTful remote access APIs, the Office importer, and the whole XEclipse project, just to name a few.

This year XWiki is proposing a lot of interesting projects, from hard core java to clientside javascript projects, and from mobile devices to the cloud. Of course, the poster child of past GSoC experiences, XEclipse, is ready to receive further improvements, and application development on top of XWiki is also present in this year's proposals.

The student application period just started and lasts until April 8th, 19:00 UTC. Students interested in applying for a project with XWiki should:

Let's work together with the community to make this a great Summer of Code!

How To Get Started With XWiki Cloud

By now you may have already heard about our newest offer, XWiki Cloud

In short XWiki Cloud brings XWiki's most valuable features and applications, such as the XWiki office importer, advanced macros, activity stream and an outstanding skin, together in a close-knit package tailored for the enterprise use. 

The following is a presentation that will guide you through the first steps necessary to create your own wiki and start using it.

XWiki and Feedly announce game changing merger to create the first Mobile Personal Wiki

San Francisco - March 31st 2011: XWiki, the world leader in Next Generation Wikis announces the acquisition of Feedly, world leader of mobile feed browsing.

Together XWiki and Feedly will build the first Mobile Personal Wiki, taking knowledge sharing in the post-PC, real-time, mobile centric world.

The new product will be available both for individual and for teams and will significantly reduce the barrier to knowledge sharing.

Feedly unique Web Standard based mobile technology will provide the foundation of the most advanced cross-platform touch-centric user interface that Wikis ever had. 

A simple phone bump between phones will allow to transfer Wiki pages from one device to another and activate real-time synchronization between the phones content, including real-time merging of editions based on Operational Transformation (OT) provided by the Google Wave algorithms.

Feedly's CEO Edwin Khodabakchian comments "Knowledge Sharing is the foundation of operation excellence. We always believed in Wikis as providing the right results for users. The personal mobile Wiki is a paradigm shift which combines the best of sharing capabilities of Wikis with the ubiquity and personalization capabilities of Mobile devices. We are excited to be able to bring our user interface and mobile experience to this new exciting space. It is like a personal hotspot but for team knowledge sharing"

XWiki's CEO Ludovic Dubost adds "We are excited about entering the mobile space. We have always believed that the individualization of Knowledge Sharing on mobile devices would lead to a more ubiquitous and integrated experience for users. Feedly's unique capabilites added to XWiki's most advanced Wiki technology will add great values for our customers and open new markets. We are also delighted to expand our presence in the USA after the great success we had at Web2Expo and the 'best presentation' award of SF New Tech which clearly showed the potential of XWiki on the US market"

Edwin Khodabakchian will head XWiki's new Mobile Division and also serve as General Manager of XWiki USA and Vice Chairman of the XWiki board and become a major shareholder of XWiki. As part of the deal Feedly and Feedly XWiki will be released as Open Source and starting tomorrow "Feedly XWiki" will be available both for iPad and iPhone on the AppStore for free up to 1Kb of shared content. Users will be able to purchase additional kilobytes of content for 1$/kb. 

Both XWiki and Feedly are profitable companies combining more than a decicolor of revenue with multiple double digit growth in 2010. While we are not able to disclose all terms of the deal, it is definitely in the multi-color range with the potential by 2015 to grow dekacolor and more, and we expect Edwin K. to be able to heat his pool during the winter. ...