Open Source

Category: Open Source (67 posts) [RSS]

Jan 19 2012

Business Model change by CouchDB founder

In an article on Business Insider I found out that Damien Katz, the founder of CouchDB, decided to move away from the Apache project and to the Couchbase project, leaded from the VC backed company Couchbase.

What he is doing is what I described in my previous blog articles:

First Damien Katz should be recognized and respected for his incredible Open Source contribution with the work he did with CouchDB.

Now one can understand that he might want to control more the future of his product and/or that he wants/needs to earn money out of his innovation and the success of it and/or that he wants to build up this innovation as fast as possible.

But in his article there are a few things that are not acceptable from my point of view:

1/ Not respecting his own project CouchDB and your own contributors by using the title that he used. The title basically say that whatever he does will be better and dismisses what the Open Source Community could make out of the code he contributed to. He might be right in the end if his model works out better, but it's a plain lack of respect

2/ He is not mentioning the Couchbase is built out of the Couchbase startup and that it's company funded by investors. He is indeed not mentionning that currently the couchbase code is Open Source (although it is now at the end of his post after Chris Anderson has mentionned it). Obvisouly many people understood that the move was about money. He might put some doubts in the head of people by stating that "everything" couchbase is open source at this moment. Now can he tell us that he can guarantee that in the FUTURE, "everything" couchbase does will be open source ? I'm pretty sure he won't, mostly because I'm pretty sure his investors would not agree with that and that it won't be the case in the future.

He should be honest about the real reasons of the move. It's because he is in a business oriented company, and wants to control the direction of the technology that is build, and he plans with his investors to make significant profits out of this work and that in the future his creations might not be open sourced.

It is very sad, that it seems that many Open Source companies are using the business model of gathering a community with the open source code, and then progressively close whatever they do in order to make more money out of it. I specifically mention "more money" out of it, because I personally believe that in most cases you can make money out of a respectfull open source strategy, but there are a few constrains there and probably one of them is to not need outside investors. This is what we try to do at XWiki SAS where we have a manifesto which explains the way we plan to behave and where we have commited ourselves to stick to our model.

Ludovic Dubost
Creator of XWiki Open Source Software and Open Source company XWiki SAS

Oct 31 2011

XWiki Enterprise 3.2 Released - Now With User Dashboards

We're excited to announce that the newest release of XWiki Enterprise is available for download. The 3.2 release pushes forward in the directions of the Application Within Minutes and Extension Manager features. Highlights include: 

  • many extension manager improvements
  • user dashboards
  • wiki workspaces
  • storage improvements
  • easier activation and configuration of Google Analytics
  • improvements of search results scoring

Today we're going to talk about user dashboards, a new feature which takes the dashboard experience to the next level. By activating your personal dashboard in the User Profile you can now easily organize the dashboard to your particular needs, with no implications to other wiki users.

To achieve this click on your user name in the top right corner of the page, click on the "My dashboard" tab, edit the dashboard according to your preferences and save your changes.

MyDashboardUserProfile.png

You can also choose to display your personal dashboard on the wiki WebHome...

MyDashboardWebHome.png

... while other users will still see the default wiki dashboard.

DefaultDashboardWebHome.png

Make sure you read the release notes for the complete list of features and improvements introduced in XWiki Enterprise 3.2.

New to XWiki? Click here to discover its features or try it today in the cloud!

Jul 12 2011

May 17 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.

Apr 18 2011

XWiki Open Source 3.0 Released

We are happy to talk to you today about the XWiki Open Source 3.0 release. A lot of new features have been added to your favorite wiki. To name a few:

  • User status
  • Visual editor for the dashboard
  • Gallery macro and office presentation viewer
  • PDF export improvements
  • A redesign of the administration application
  • Administration section for the WYSIWYG editor
  • A new interface for changing a user's avatar
  • Live suggestions for search
  • Color theme improvements

User Status

The user status allows you to easily share information with other people across the wiki. You get to decide whether you share status updates with everyone, your followers or only with a selected user or group. Want to ask your team's opinion about a project you've been working on? Nothing easier! Just type in your status, select Group from the Visible to dropdown, type in your group's name (e.g. Marketing) and click share. The user status also provides a great way to see what other people are saying. You don't need to check what everyone's sharing. Instead you can follow users and make sure you only see those updates that are relevant to you.

UserStatus.png

Visual Editor for the Dashboard

Ever thought about changing a dashboard but didn't really know where to start? With the new visual editor each element on your wiki dashboard represents a gadget, making the dashboard fully customizable. By editing the page inline you can easily add more columns to your dashboard and add or remove gadgets to your liking. You can move things around the dashboard simply by dragging a gadget from its current place and dropping it in the new location. You can also edit the individual gadgets. So for example if you are displaying an RSS feed, you can customize it so that you only see the most recent item or 10 of the most recent items. Similarly you can choose to see full posts or just their titles. It's up to you how you customize the gadgets on your dashboard. This new feature can be used to create and modify wiki dashboards, including for the wiki homepage and space home.

Gadgets.png

Gallery macro and office presentation viewer

Previous XWiki releases already allowed you to view images and office presentations inside wiki pages. The new Gallery Macro helps you create galleries where images are displayed using a slide-show view. What's more, you can use this macro to display slides in an office presentation.

Gallery.png

A redesign of the administration application

The administration application has been redesigned and comes with a new layout and new icons.

Administration.png

Administration section for the WYSIWYG editor

The WYSIWYG content editor can now be easily configured from the wiki administration. This option is available in the WYSIWYG Editor section under the Applications menu.

AdministrationWYSIWYG.png

Live suggestions for search

The 3.0 release introduces the search suggest feature for the search box. The proposed suggestions come from sources that you can configure from the Administration UI.

SearchSuggest.png

Much more

Check out the release notes or better yet download XWiki Open Source to learn about all the other features, including the new interface for changing a user's avatar and improvements brought to the PDF exporter and Color Themes.

Apr 08 2011

Content Structuration and Metadata Management in XWiki

This post deals with content structuration / metadata management in XWiki

A common need were working on documentation and collaboration related matters is data enrichment. Being able to centralize information like wikis do is great. Being able to use additionnal information in order to describe and better organize, find that information via the use of metadatas is even better. In this post we will have a look at how XWiki fulfills this objective.

Explaining the concept of "Data description" using metadatas

You may be asking yourself "What does describing datas mean?". To explain a concept, nothing's better than a real life example: When classifying your administrative papers you do not put them in the hallway of your appartment... You probably use a metal box in which you have several files with a label on each of them. Each label matching a category. One for Health, one for Insurance, Work, Taxes, etc. When you classify you latest payroll in that metal box, you describe that sheet of paper as corresponding to the category "Work". "payroll" data is described by "Work". We could use other labels inside those files for years. Therefore each paper filed in the box would be described by:

  • A category (Health, Work, Insurance, Taxes, ...)
  • A Year (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, ...)

    Each of those are called "metadata". The page and the way it is described is called "content structuration". We can use the concept to describe any type of data. As an example, a type "Event" could be described by:

  • a title
  • a description
  • a location
  • a date
  • an organizer (person)
  • ...

    Here at XWiki, we participate every year in "salon intranet et travail collaboratif" conference. This year we developed a small application allowing us to keep track of all people coming to see us on the stand. The application is located inside our current intranet. Each "Prospect" have following metadatas:

  • First name and last name (text)
  • contact information (text)
  • whether he/she wishes us to get back to her (yes/no)
  • a description of the collaboration need (text)
  • when the project is supposed to be launched (date)
  • number of persons involved in the project (number)

    Create, Update, List and View your Structured Datas with XWiki

    Describe Datas to be Created/Managed

    XWiki allows you to create all type of structured data. A wizard assists you during the structured data description process. This wizard is located at page XWikiClasses of space XWiki. It allows you to describe the "model" to be used to manage your new type of data. This "model" is called a class. Developers are familiar with that concept. Once the class is created, you can add all kind of property: text, rich text (WYSIWYG), date, user, number, list, etc. Here is how the page allowing us to create "Propect" class looks like:

    Edition-classe-xwiki-2.jpg

Create and Edit your Datas

Now that your data structure has been defined, you can create your datas. For each property defined, XWiki will display the appropriate web form. In our example, here is how the form will look like:

mode-formulaire-xwiki-2.jpg

Display your Datas

We have seen how to define our data structure, create and update our data. The only remaining task is to display our datas. XWiki features a powerful livetable component allowing you to display a given type of datas in the wiki. This feature is particularly appreciated by our clients because it is very user friendly, it is similar to the excel filtering feature and allows you to find a page very quickly. See how it looks like when configured to display our "Propect" class.

Affichage-donnees-tableau-dynamique-livetable-2.jpgThe livetable allows to filter each column. Finding people wishing that we get back to them, or looking for "Christophe" prospect is straight forward! Several filters can be combined together. If many datas are supposed to be displayed by the livetable, a pagination system allows you to browse throught the result pages.

For some of our clients, we even set-up a "livetable excel export" feature. With or without filtering, our client can export the content of the livetable in excel format simply by clicking on a button! It allows to use the exported file to create dashboards, inject it in another system or simply annotate it and share it with colleagues and partners.

To Go Further: FAQ Example

Hands on! If you wish to go further and put into practice this powerful XWiki feature, a very well tutorial has been written by the community and is available at: http://platform.xwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/DevGuide/FAQTutorial

And since XWiki is also a development platform, you can think of any extension or additionnal feature in order to adapt it to your special needs!

Don't hesitate to contact Guillaume who will be happy to answer you questions on XWiki : guillaume@xwiki.com / +33(0)1-45-42-40-90

Apr 07 2011

Joining The Open Source Conversation

XWiki adopts an open source strategy for its solutions. The big open source discussions usually take place on the mailing lists, which are the main communication channels for the XWiki community

Types of Mailing Lists

There are three mailing lists you can post to:

  • users AT xwiki.org: For questions about using XWiki, suggestions for improvements, ideas, etc.
  • devs AT xwiki.org: For the XWiki development itself.
  • notifications AT xwiki.org: All SVN commits diff, JIRA issues and Continuous Build failures are sent to this list. XWiki developers must be subscribed to this list to follow what's going on.

Before sending mails to any of the lists mentioned above you'll need to subscribe. To learn more about the dynamics of an open source mailing list you can read these tips.

Forum

The XWiki mailing lists can can be also accessed as a forum by using Nabble in Embedded mode or Gmane.

Archives

XWiki lists are archived on:

IRC

In XWiki all major decisions are taken on the mailing lists. However, if you have a question or prefer to chat, you can join the XWiki IRC channel. The chat rooms are publicly logged. You can find the XWiki chat archives on this page.

Read more about the XWiki and its commitment to open source in the Community section. If you go to the xwiki.org website you can find the full list of ways to contribute to the XWiki Open Source project.

Apr 04 2011

Top 10 Features Not To Miss In The XWiki Open Source 2.x Cycle

The XWiki Enterprise 2.x cycle has introduced an amazing array of new features. Today we want to outline ten of the top features the XWiki community has developed during this cycle.

Colibri Skin

XWiki 2.0 introduced a new, lightweight, easily customizable skin.

ColibriSkin.png

Color Theme Editor

The new editor allows fast and easy modifications of the look and feel of the wiki.

ColorThemeEditor.png

New Profile UI

The user information is better displayed. The user settings and the watchlist can be easily managed. You can also stay up to date with a user's activity straight from the profile.

Profile.png

New Search Interface

The default search page UI has been improved.

Search.png

Annotations

The annotations feature allows users to annotate text in an XWiki document. 

Annotations.png

Activity Stream

The "Recent Changes" section from the Dashboard has been renamed to "Recent Activity". The feature comes with a new UI and supports more events, including annotations and comments.

ActivityStream.png

Invitation Manager Application

The Invitation Manager application allows users to send emails, inviting friends and colleagues to join a wiki.

InvitationApplication.png

Template Based Page Creation

Users and applications can now provide documents that can be used as templates when creating new pages. 

PageTemplate.png

Office Preview

XWiki supports viewing attached office documents. All you have to do is click on the eye icon corresponding to the attachment you want to preview.

OfficePreview.png

Share Page by Email

XWiki Enterprise 2.6 introduced the possibility for users to share pages by email.

ShareMenu.png

For more information on the above features make sure you visit the dedicated page on xwiki.org. To download XWiki Open Source visit this page.

Mar 29 2011

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!

Mar 23 2011

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.

CreatedvsSolved.png

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.