XWiki : Vision Open Source

Category: XWiki : Vision Open Source (14 posts) [RSS]

Dec 02 2014

Latest news from the XWiki community (November 2014)

Because our community is important, we have decided that each month we will be sharing some news from the XWiki community. To start we would like to mention several events:

  • Bug fixing day: in November, there were 4 Bug Fixing Days (the latest one was held on November 28). The goal of these special days is to have the maximum number of XWiki committers and contributors work together on a focused topic for the day.
    58 bugs (33 real fixes) were closed;
  • XWiki 6.3 was released and is now available. This release provides a great stabilization of the Flamingo Skin, and includes other improvements that are presented in the release notes;
  • For two days (Oct 31 - Nov 1, 2014) XWiki community members were present at the Design Jam event in Iasi, Romania. They presented the design process inside open communities.

See you next month!

Feb 05 2014

FOSDEM 2014

XWiki at the FOSDEM 2014!


XWiki's 2014 Events Season started with the participation in FOSDEM, the biggest free Open Source event in Europe, where communities can meet, share ideas and collaborate.

The XWiki SAS team, from both the Paris and Iasi offices, was present for 2 days in Brussels on February 1st and 2nd. We participated in a Wikis Developer Room where the discussions were centered around new features, compatibility and integration with other tools and services, lessons learned from deployments, surveys, research and development, and cross-project collaboration.

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The presentations in the Wikis Developer Room started with a comparison between the MediaWiki, TWiki and XWiki communities.
Vincent Massol then had an intervention on the following topic: "XWiki Rendering: a content rendering engine".

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Marius Florea had a presentation about “Developing the XWiki software” and also talked about the XWiki special days, with an emphasis on the weekly Bug fixing day (every Thursday), the day during which the XWiki Community is invited to close as many bugs as possible.

Ludovic Dubost demonstrated “5 unexpected usages of wikis”

1. Use structured data
2. Create PDF Books
3. Manage a Menu Wiki Style
4. Develop Wiki Style
5. Create a presentation

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Vincent Massol talked about “A web development runtime platform based in the wiki paradigm” , after which Anca Luca explained how XWiki can adapt to different needs (“Addressing the long tail of applications”).

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Given this was an open event with free access, the number of participants is unknown, but we do know there were 8333 unique MAC addresses (over 2 days) and more than 445 speakers! So we can estimate that there were between 5.500 et 10.000 participants.

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FOSDEM offered a great opportunity to meet other actors in the Open Source community and provided the perfect platform for information exchange.

Apr 02 2013

XWiki Year In Review 2012

It's been a long time since I last wrote about XWiki SAS' and the XWiki project's achievement, back in 2009, although I have written more recently about the XWiki SAS company and its motivations.

It has been quite a ride. During this time, XWiki has become a grown-up and independent small business and we are very proud of it. 

Since 2009, XWiki has been profitable every year, while growing steadily with no external investment and improving our product and services. We're still maintaining all our software Open-Source and keeping an Open Development process. 

Product and extensions

On the product side, since 2009 we have been able to continue improving our product, allowing the "best" Open Source wiki engine to extend its use cases beyond the simple wiki principle. Since XWiki 2.0, we have released 18 major versions of XWiki Enterprise and XWiki Enterprise Manager, which have all brought their load of innovations:

  • XWiki 2.x cycle
    • Many user interface improvements with the Color Theme Editor, new Profile UI, new Search UI
    • The new Annotations feature
    • The Activity Stream
    • Invitations
    • New Template based creation
    • Clustering
    • Preview of Office documents
  • XWiki 3.x cycle
    • Application With Minutes allowing easy application development
    • Extension Manager to install and update applications available on our extension repository
    • Workgroup spaces with XWiki Workspaces in XWiki Enteprise Manager
    • Gallery Macro and Office Presentation Viewer
    • Personalized User Dashboards
    • Many user interface improvements with the new Administration UI, Live Searches, New modern color themes
    • XWiki's move to GitHub to make it easier to contribute
  • XWiki 4.x cycle
    • More improvements in AppWithinMinutes
    • More improvements in Extension Manager with the Distribution Wizard allowing to install/upgrade an XWiki installation
    • User Profile customization and User Directory
    • LDAP Administration UI
    • Many user interface improvements like hiding technical information for non-technical users and the Application Panel and new Users and Date pickers
    • Support for templates in XWiki Enterprise Manager Workspaces allowing to create customized workspaces
    • User Interface Extensions allowing to extend the XWiki UI without modifying the XWiki Skin
    • Improvements to the XWiki REST API allowing to create better mobile or desktop clients following XWiki activity
    • Experimental new Search engine based on SOLR

Since 2009, many extensions have been published on our extensions wiki, including applications such as the Forum, FAQ, Meeting app, File Manager, Calendar, etc.

It's a huge number of improvements for XWiki, making it the "best" Open Source wiki even more and allowing XWiki to address more and more enterprise needs. 

XWiki is one of the rare fully Open Source Enterprise Web Applications with an Open development process. The company provides services to Enterprises, supports this Open Source development process and invests heavily in it. At XWiki SAS we believe it's important that we don't have different code in the software that anybody can download, from what we install and support at clients or run on our XWiki SAS Cloud. Since I created the XWiki software, and then at XWiki SAS, we have kept this, guaranteeing our users and clients freedom of choice.

Research and innovation

As part of our research and development effort, XWiki SAS also participates in Collaborative Research Projects funded by French and European public entities. These projects allow to boost the development of the XWiki Software, as well as prepare for the future by allowing us to experiment with new technologies. Since 2009, when we had already worked on a few research projects, we have had the opportunity to participate in multiple very interesting new projects:

  • Wiki 3.0: which allowed us to bring in new features already released in XWiki, like the Dashboard, Annotations, Activity Stream, as well as prepare for the future with the XWiki Real-time editing, which we are continuing to work on.
  • CompatibleOne where we participated to the OpenCloud effort to build more Open-Source and Open-Standards technologies for Cloud Computing, as well as build the XWiki for Cassandra prototype that allows to run XWiki on top of a Cassandra Database. Not all XWiki features are supported and we won't make it our default database soon, but this is probably the most advanced Wiki running on NoSQL.
  • Resilience, which will allow the building of Web Viewers and Editors that can be integrated easily in an open-standard way in Content Management Systems, including of course XWiki, and bring new features to some of the editors, including Real-time editing.
  • Streams and RiscOSS to which we contribute as partners.
  • EESC which will help integrate the XCLAMS platform underlying the Curriki and Sankoré projects with LILI, the leading open-source software for Education Numerical Environments (ENT in French) used by the major French regions.

All these projects allow us to continue to innovate on new technologies.

XWiki's adoption

On the adoption front:

  • XWiki is more and more popular. From a search query that did not yield more than 20 results, the "xwiki" query now has more than a million results on Google.
  • XWiki is a top download on OW2 with 30K downloads per month and has recently reached more than 1 million downloads.
  • Since the launch of the Extension Manager we have been able to see more and more contacts on xwiki.org performing extensions searches on our Extensions Repository, showing more and more active installations.
  • More and more prospects are contacting us with advanced use cases that XWiki can achieve for them, expanding what XWiki's being used for.
  • Multiple companies have been building solutions or providing services on top of the XWiki Platform in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Sweden.

The company: what's new?

Business

We have made great progress on the business front:

  • Since 2009 we have doubled our revenue and for 2013 we are getting close to surpassing the 2 M euros line. 
  • Since the beginning of XWiki we have implemented more than 400 projects for XWiki SAS clients in France, Europe and in the USA.
  • We estimate the business around XWiki from XWiki SAS, all companies building on top of the XWiki platform or companies providing services based on XWiki at over 10 M euros, more than doubled since 2009.
  • In 2012, we have been able to convince more companies that our solution is the right choice, even when compared to the number one proprietary software vendor and when the scope of work was large. Our expertise in information sharing, as well as the collaboration and the power of the XWiki Platform helped convince them.

XWiki SAS team

On the team side:

  • In 2011 we have moved our employees in Iasi, Romania to a new office, "The XWiki House", tripling our office space. In 2012 we moved our Paris office to a great building next to the Beaubourg Pompidou Center, more than doubling our office space.
  • Since 2009 we have expanded our annual seminar to 10 days. After organizing the 2009 seminar in Paris and the 2010 one in our Iasi office, we did the 2011 sessions in a great hotel in Bran, next to Dracula's Castle and the 2012 seminar in the Danube Delta. Our annual seminar has become a very important gathering of our teams from Paris and Iasi, as well as our remote workers, allowing us to set the course for the next year.
  • Since 2009 we have expanded our teams and provided more benefits to our employees, as we grew from a promising "startup" to a stable company.

XWiki's uses

XWiki's main use case is Enterprise software, allowing users to better organize and collaborate on information. There are many many companies, and a large portion of which we don't know, that use XWiki and we have implemented many projects and provided support for a large number of companies for this use case. XWiki is also used outside of Enterprises and particularly for Education.

We have been very proud to be able to work for both Curriki and Sankore, helping building Curriki and Planète Sankoré, two US and French projects which aim to facilitate the sharing, organization and collaboration on Educational Resources. In Sankoré in particular it is now possible to share the content of a class created with the Open Sankore Digital Whiteboard software with just a few clicks. 

We have also been proud to be able to help organizations such as CDLSWorld, the Community Legal Clinic, Transparency International, all international projects that help improve our society. ONGs and Open Source have many common values and goals when it comes to sharing code, knowledge or contribute to our society. These projects are of course not high revenue projects, but it is exciting for a company like ours located in Paris, France and Romania to be able to work with organizations anywhere in the world and help them achieve their goals.

In 2013

We start 2013 with a very busy first quarter, after just having sold our best quarter ever and with a very heavy workload planned for the next 4 months. This will also be a very busy sales quarter as we renew many support and hosting contracts at the beginning of the year. We are working hard on very exciting projects and continuing to improve the XWiki Products with the start of the 5.x cycle, which will bring exciting new things and many improvements that will make XWiki even easier to use. 

As the creator of the XWiki Software, I've been spending less time on the XWiki code since 2009, which I have left to Vincent Massol, our CTO, and to our committers. I'm very proud of their work since 2009 and I'm very grateful to both the XWiki SAS employees and our contributors for the energy they have put into improving XWiki. I've been spending more of my time making sure XWiki SAS sustains itself, as well as promoting XWiki and XWiki SAS' services, as I believe this is very important for XWiki's adoption and the ability to fund its development. I'm very proud of the progress we have made and of the work of our Sales, Marketing, Platform, Support and Client teams who are working hard to promote XWiki, sell our services and deliver these services to our clients.

What makes me even happier, is that we have been able to build all this with the help of our customers, partners and community, while staying faithful to our open model and to our Manifesto.

I look forward to continuing these great efforts in 2013 with the help of our community, our clients and our partners.

Ludovic Dubost
Creator of XWiki and Founder and CEO of XWiki SAS

Feb 07 2013

Combining open source ethics with private interests

Last weekend, Ludovic Dubost and Vincent Massol had a presentation at FOSDEM. The presentation aimed to share the benefits and challenges of contributing to an Open Source Community and at the same time having companies selling services around the software. It covered how the XWiki Open Source Community is organized in a full Open Source way, open to any participants regardless of their interests, and how the employees of private companies, including XWiki SAS, manage their roles as members of the community. Vincent Massol and Ludovic Dubost also touched on XWiki SAS' approach to support the Open Source project. Finally, they discussed how the company, as well as developers and users, benefit from a fully Open Source approach.

Sep 07 2012

Insight into XWiki Seminar 2012

Following the XWiki tradition, each year the whole team gathers together to have the XWiki Seminar in a remote location for 10 days. This year, the chosen location was the Danube Delta and not only the XWikiers from France and Romania attended, but also the ones from Canada and USA.

Enforcing transparency as one of the XWiki values, team status presentations were organised at the beginning of the Seminar. Thus, during the first two days, each team shared both its achievements and the difficulties encountered, as well as the objectives settled for the next period, offering the others a wide view on the whole team activity. The following days were full of training sessions and brainstormings along with cross-team interactions during the XWiki Hackathon.

Considering the busy period, everyone appreciated the trip on the Danube channels, through which the team discovered the natural wonders of the Danube Delta. We visited the Aquarium in Tulcea and learnt about history, fauna, flora and different aspects of people's life from this region. The large collection of fish, sharks and corals was a true delight for everyone's eyes!  

As a big part of the Seminar is getting to know better the people that we are working with and having fun together, the party and team activities were a must!

During the XWiki Rock and Horror Party, the XWikiers showed how rock and horror they can be through their attitude and costumes, proved their skills in drawing the most spooky face on a balloon or had the courage to guess what was inside the given bags. Of course, prizes were given to the winners!

XWiki Olympics was the event that challenged most the XWiki team. Split in five teams, the XWikiers showed their skills both in outdoor and indoor activities and put all the effort in qualifying for the finals to reach the first place. Basketball, swimming, tennis, quizz, poker or mime game are just a few examples of the activities that brought together the XWikiers during the whole 10 days.

As expected, the Seminar could not end without setting the team strategy for the next year, without having the award ceremony for XWiki Olympics and of course without a last bath in the big pool of the hotelemoticon_smile With all our batteries charges and with a lot of enthusiasm, we now have all the ingredients to better focus on reaching our objectives for 2013!

Enjoy the XWiki Seminar in images:

Jun 20 2012

Proprietary versus Open Source

A couple of times I've been on a panel with executives from proprietary software companies, and interestingly I found their speech very defensive when it comes to Open Source companies. Usually they downplay the advantages of Open Source and question the ability of Open Source to create quality and supported software, because of the lack of financing through the sales of the licenses. Most of the time it is due to very little knowledge of the ways that allow Open Source companies to operate.

I personally don't have a problem that companies don't choose to have an Open Source business model. I believe everybody is free to choose the business model they are comfortable with, and I don't believe that Open Source is the right solution for ALL software. ...

May 03 2012

Real Open Source - Why Open Core and Dual License Business models can be misleading

As users or customers of Open Source software, we don't always see that there are different types of Open Source. The license is one key element of differentiation, since it gives the user different rights. I won't discuss the licensing per se in this post, but will discuss the different business models adopted by companies creating Open Source software.

It's been quite clear for any person analyzing the Open Source business, that releasing software as Open Source is a great way to gain traction and adoption, and that the more permissive your license is, the more adoption you can get. This is of course only true if your software is interesting in itself (I'll have another post on that). ...

Apr 17 2012

Why Open Source in this Cloud World?

When speaking of Enterprise Software, everybody talks about the Cloud, the Cloud, the Cloud. It's today's buzzword. The new gold rush

There are plenty of good reasons why companies can be interested in cloud offerings. Similarly there are plenty of good reasons for providers to be delivering solutions through the cloud. 

One of the questions that is frequently asked is whether the "old" way can still be successful. The same matter was brought into discussion during the e-commerce boom. At the time "bricks and mortars" where opposed to Internet's pure players. History has shown however that there was room for both types of players and that offline players benefited from additional growth by creating an online presence. New companies were developing original business models in which, since day one they were combining their online presence with physical locations. ...

Feb 13 2012

Tech companies, the buyout

When you participate in the creation of a tech company, particularly on the product side, there are plenty of reasons why your work might get lost. The company might fail, the product might not work and the company may survive with other products, a particular part of the product might be dropped. These are actually pretty good reasons why your work might go down the drain.

Now the good thing with open source is that it can never go fully and completely down the drain. Even if your company is closed down, the code is still released as Open Source and available. You can decide to reuse it.

This is not the case with non open source code and there is an even worst reason for your code to go down the drain: when it disappears after the buyout of your company. ...