Blog Archive

Blog posts for May 2011

Three XWiki projects accepted for Google Summer of Code 2011

We are happy to announce that three projects proposed by XWiki have been accepted to the Google Summer of Code 2011 program

  • Google Android Client for XWiki: "The purpose of this project is to develop a comprehensive android library which will allow android applications to communicate with a remote XWiki instance."
  • Auto Completion in Content Editors: "Design auto-completion and auto-suggestion features for xwiki editor and WYSIWYG rich text editor in order to speed up content editing for both editors."
  • XEclipse "RESTification": "This project aims to "RESTify" the communication layer so that all XWiki features would be available and easily accessible from XEclipse."

XWiki SAS wishes best of luck to all students involved in the GSoC projects! 

To learn more about XWiki's involvement in GSOC 2011, please visit dev.xwiki.org.

News from the Wiki3.0 project

XWiki, together with the INRIA SCORE Team and Mandriva are collaborating in the context of the Wiki3.0 whose goal is to develop a next generation collaboration platform that integrates real-time editing and interactions, social-networking features, and that will take advantage of cloud infrastructures. 

The final outcome of the Wiki 3.0 project is to deliver a solution that will greatly ehnance the productivity in terms of knowledge exchange and creation. This solution will consist of an enhanced version of the XWiki platform that will include real-time collaboration and social-network-oriented features.

There has been some progress lately on the product which has brought some interesting features, namely realtime editing, new activity stream and user status updates, dashboards and workspaces.

Realtime editing allows one or more users to collaborate, at the same time on the same document. This nice video will show you what it looks like:

Wiki3.0 Realtime Editing Technology from osterg on Vimeo.

New activity stream and user status updates allow users to publish status messages. Users can also create "networks" by "following" other users and display their activities (and status updates) in dedicated activity streams.
Dashboards allow users to visually organize gagdets in a layout in order to better organise information coming from different sources. These features have already been released in XWiki 3.0 (http://www.xwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/ReleaseNotes/ReleaseNotesXWikiEnterprise30)

Finally Workspaces allow users to create and manage "collaboration spaces" that user can join or be invited to. A workspace implicitly define a network of users interested in a given topic and provide all the tools for ehnancing members interaction (e.g., blogs, activity streams, etc.) 

The current prototype is available on Github at the following address: https://github.com/xwiki-contrib/wiki30

What's Next 2011

Here is a post posted there by Vincent Massol, our CTO, about his participation in the What's Next Paris conference.

I'm just back from the What's Next Paris conference (26/27th May 2011) organized by Zenika. I was able to get a free entry as an OSSGTP member and a CastCodeurs. Thanks guys!

Zenika did a great job, especially for a first conference. It was located at the Grand Rex (a famous Theater in Paris, with a star-lit ceiling and where I remember seeing the first Stars Wars back in the 1970s...). Anyway very nice venue (imagine that it can fit more than 2700 people in the room!) even though the corridors were a bit cramped when everyone was out of the sessions.

The format of the event was risky with a single track which meant making compromises for choosing the talks. Must have been a nightmare for Zenika to choose the sessions...

I admit I didn't attend all sessions but he are some stuff that I liked and that resonated with me with what we're doing at XWiki:

  • CloundFoundry. Seems to be a nice open PAAS: it's open source and you can plug stuff at all levels: new languages, services, and even plug your own infrastructure. Apparently it has this notion of Micro cloud which allows you to run it on your local computer which seems nice to try stuff out (I don't now how hard/easy it is to do that though, would need to research this a bit). In the XWiki project we've started some research exploration of running XWiki on PAAS (Google App Engine, etc). We're also lead on the Compatible ONE research project to create a PAAS that's a bridge to other existing PAAS, using a common API. As part of this we're also looking at running XWiki on a NoSQL storage.
  • Orion. This is a Web IDE project lead by the Eclipse Foundation. Apparently it's quite recent and there's isn't much yet. The developers have focused on offering extension points/hooks so that the community can join and help out in offering services such as code analysis, code highlighting, etc. Right now a basic editor is provided with syntax highlighting for a few syntaxes and no autocompetion. They haven't tackled the issue of concurrent edition yet and are again waiting for community help on this. At XWiki, the concept of Web IDE is something dear to us since XWiki is a next generation wiki that lets you put script in wiki pages. Thus there's an important need to offer nice code editors. We also have another research project underway in which we're developing a realtime WYSIWYG solution. We had a first version of realtime editing done in the past (and using the WOOT algorithm - WithOut Operational Transformation, an algorithm close to the OT one used by Google Wave) in another research project but it didn't get into the product in the end because of some technical blocker. We hope this new research project will be integrated this time, allowing XWiki users to collaboratively edit the same wiki page at the same time and in WYSIWYG mode. Note that we also have a working integration with SkyWriter (was named Bespin before).
  • HTML5 WebSockets. The presentation was great and clearly explained why it's a vastly superior implementation over polling (several HTTP requests to the server asking for news) or long polling (keep the HTTP connection open). With WebSockets you contact the server over HTTP but with a reduced header and in the header you ask for an "upgrade". The Server needs to be WebSocket-aware and respond to the "upgrade". From then one a dual-direction TCP socket is established and the server can send data to the client without the client having to do any polling. We really need to start adding HTML5 feature in XWiki and make them available only for HTML5-enabled browsers (i.e. degrade to what we're currently doing for older browsers).

As usual I enjoyed seeing again my IT and Open Source friends (too many to list!).

So what's next for 2012?