[xwiki-devs] Back to the future of XWiki !

Jerome Velociter jerome at xwiki.com
Fri Mar 4 13:27:28 UTC 2011

Hi Andreas, everyone

On Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM, Andreas Hahn <ahahn at gmx.net> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm a bit surprised that you are just talking about features and not
> about moving from a niche product to get more mainstream.
> When I'm saying niche product I'm just referring to what google trends says.
> http://www.google.com/trends?q=xwiki%2C+foswiki%2C+twiki%2C+confluence

"confluence" is a word of the English language, it makes this chart off by far.

This one would be a bit more relevant in my opinion :
http://www.google.com/trends?q=xwiki%2C+atlassian%2C+mindtouch& but I
still don't think it means that much.

> Well I think that almost all people on this mailing list like xwiki a
> lot and the hard and devoted work the developers are doing and all wish
> xwiki and its backing company all the best and a long and prosperous future.
> However I'm concerned when reading that the XWiki SAS 'Product
> Marketing' lead (and CEO) thinks that it helps the product to get more
> involved as a developer.
> IMHO a product marketing lead should have totally different priorities.

Ludovic will probably answer this for himself, but as a quick remark I
think you've misinterpreted his mail. He doesn't say he will come back
as a developer, but only as a Product Marketing lead, thus working
close to developers and the community, because, well, that's how
(real) open source software is developed.

> IMHO its a misconception to think that more features will help the
> product to attract a greater audience.
> Just a few things that come to my mind:
> * Push xwiki into as many linux distros as possible with 'one click
> installers'
> * Create ready-to-go images for popular cloud hosters (such as Amazon EC2)
> * Talk to as much hosters and push them to introduce XWiki as part of
> their offerings.
> * Make it simple and attractive for people currently using other
> software (Wordpress comes to my mind) to move to the more powerful XWiki

I think this vision is not complete.
Cloud and hosted software got a lot of attention lately, but in-house
software is not dead yet. Maybe in a couple of years in-house will
mean "deployed on a private cloud", but we are still far from here, we
would have first to see a complete, mature, open source cloud solution
emerge, and have organizations deploy it on their infrastructures. I
think we are speaking of half a decade here, so we have time to try
and not miss that train :)
In the mean time, I think XWiki's greatest challenge is to become the
de-facto standard in the enterprise open source stack when speaking
collaboration. Right now we are not badly positioned when speaking of
"collaborative edition/redaction". We need to affirm this position and
push it further to "collaboration" in a larger meaning (without trying
to be the solution to everything or a social network tool, because
that's not what XWiki is).

Now I agree with you, it would be of course a good thing to have the
EC2 distribution, the VMWare images and be present in more online
offerings etc. Just I think it's not absolutely critical versus making
XWiki a product so great that it just becomes a logical choice for

I also agree having easy installs on linux would be great to increase
visibility. But as a I understand, the cost of packing java apps for
linux is quite high. This is why you don't see packages even for
popular java (web) applications.
Trying to replace all blogs out there by XWiki is not going to help
too much IMHO. Even if we geeks like it to use our toy for absolutely
everything, for the rest of the world, XWiki remains mainly a
professional software for doing collaborative edition.

That was my 2 cents. Not trying to just "defend my turf" as one of the
developer of XWiki, but rather trying to balance the vision that says
we need to be very strong on the web / commercial clouds to win. There
already have been some success stories of open source end-user
applications (in the sense:  not infrastructure apps) a la Alfresco,
Liferay, Zimbra, etc. I think XWiki is a candidate for such, even if
we are not there yet. The important part in my opinion is building a
great product, the rest will come naturally. That's why having strong
product marketing with Ludovic being active on features investigation
and design make sense and will be a good thing in my opinion.


> I may be paranoid but I wonder if we will see XWiki survive the next
> couple of years if its not gaining momentum in the big world.
> just my 2 cents
> Andreas
> Am 03.03.2011 14:21, schrieb Ludovic Dubost:
>> Hi all,
>> As many of you may know, 7 years ago, I created the XWiki Open-Source
>> software.  A few years ago, especially when Vincent arrived, I took a
>> step back from development of the XWiki product to focus on
>> developping XWiki SAS which allows to support the XWiki development.
>> I've particularly spent my time making sure that the deployments of
>> XWiki our Customers have been doing are successfull. I've left the
>> product development work to committers who under the lead of Vincent
>> have done amazing work in the last few years. We have provided some
>> product marketing in addition through Guillaume's and lately Gregory's
>> work which allowed to bring some feedback from users and customers and
>> also bring a different less technical perspective to the XWiki Product
>> development. Cati also joined the team and allowed us to make huge
>> steps forward in product usability and design.
>> Now, as XWiki SAS's project implementation team is doing great work on
>> it's own, I've decided to involve myself more in the future of XWiki's
>> product. I'm now the new XWiki SAS 'Product Marketing' head which
>> means I will involve myself in community discussions about the product
>> features actively developped, investigated for future development as
>> well as in general discussions about the XWiki Software's future. I
>> will try to bring the knowledge that XWiki SAS's customer, project
>> managers, support team bring us from using XWiki in production
>> environments to the community so that we make better decisions, more
>> focused on developments that will allow to increase XWiki's success
>> with end users. At XWiki SAS we have already done a lot of work to
>> organize this feedback so that we know more things that XWiki SAS's
>> developers and the XWiki community should work on.
>> In the next few weeks you will therefore see me work on the
>> investigations of future features as well as work more closely with
>> developers whenever they feel the need on the features they implement
>> actively. I will also manage the different surveys we have done in the
>> past to gather feedback from our community. These surveys have still
>> been running on the xwiki.org web site although they are now quite
>> outdated. I will propose to review them and launch them again.
>> If users or developers have any feedback about XWiki, about what we
>> should work on in priority, please do send that feedback on the list
>> (preferably). Although we have a much bigger list of great ideas than
>> what we currently can achieve, you can help us on helping us select
>> the most important ones that will make a difference.
>> I would like to use this occasion to thank our great community of
>> developers and users who help the committers every day to make XWiki
>> better. We could not do this without all the suggestions, ideas,
>> patches that our community provides.
>> Thanks
>> Ludovic
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