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

Vincent Massol vincent at massol.net
Wed Mar 9 10:14:11 UTC 2011

Hi again,

Thanks for taking the time to explain.  See below for one comment.

On Mar 9, 2011, at 10:49 AM, jstoldt wrote:

> Hi Vincent,
> Regarding the download page, this looks like really nice progress. Listing
> consulting firms there is also a nice and handy approach. Not listing
> non-contributing firms is a very legit and understandable thing from a
> development community POV. However, I was actually not pointing at how it is
> hard to find supporting firms, I was much more pointing at how few there are
> around and how many support Confluence. What XWiki should try, one way or
> another, is to make more companies support XWiki. The major problems here
> are that many consulting firms do not have a lot of man-power so they have
> to focus on a smaller portfolio to keep up with the work load. Also, it is
> self-explanatory that more consultants and consulting firm will cause the
> market to be a lot more competitive. Still, I believe that if more support
> is available more customers will use it, more feedback and requests will be
> generated toward those consultants and, hopefully, they will actually start
> contributing in public.
> About the whole VM business, I understand that this is getting ever more
> important these days but I am not a real fan of the ready to go VM. I
> considered this in my internship for another software I looked into and then
> figured out the only two ways to run the VM was to use either a commercial
> version of some VM software or to go with the VMWare Player which didn't
> really sound appropriate for production either. In the end I installed XWiki
> on a virtual instance of MS Windows Server 2008 R2 with a MS SQL Server 2008
> R2 database within the cloud of the IT company that manages the whole IT
> business for the company. This setup would at least only require the web
> server/servlet container and XWiki WAR to be maintained from somebody other
> than the IT folks. The point being that VMs are nice in a small environment
> where the structures are small and clear or even just local. But as soon as
> it goes into larger business there is bound to be more trouble than just
> upload and run a pre-built VM.
> You are right that you need feedback from technical users on what
> configurations and so forth and I tried giving and adding such information
> over the past few months. However, my point was that it should simply be
> easier to use. I discussed this with Caleb last night and he had this idea
> about some sort of wizard which sounds like exactly the thing I was thinking
> about. Collect the necessary information on configurations and such from the
> user and build it into a tiny tool that helps configuring a ready-to-use
> productive environment.

You talking about this: http://jira.xwiki.org/jira/browse/XWIKI-1761 ? :)


> The Extension Manager sounds really nice and I believe you will be able to
> make great things happen with it. Still, this seems to be more of a top
> level back-end framework that will ease integration with other software,
> features and so forth. What I was talking about, however, was that XWiki
> could greatly benefit from working more closely with other de facto company
> standards. I already mentioned MS Sharepoint Server integration, although
> admittedly, I never got around checking out what Atlassian offers there in
> detail. Another thing I could think of would be to use XWiki somehow more
> closely along with Lotus Notes. For instance, my former company had some
> workflows which were spread among SAP and Lotus Notes and I believe there
> are use cases where an integration with XWiki would be benefitial, like
> reusing data stored in a Lotus Notes database and view it in a nicer fashion
> in XWiki. IMO a lot of engineering and design departments can make great use
> of wiki software in general but what they need even more nowadays is a
> Product Data Management system. So why not see if there are ways to
> integrate XWiki in PTC Windchill, Dassault Systemes ENOVIA, SAP PLM or
> Siemens PLM Software? This is obviously very technical with a very focused
> market but I believe these could be great selling points, especially if
> patronages or collaborations with some of the major PDM/PLM vendors can be
> established.
> About updating, what I would really love to see would be sort of update
> packages. I know this will increase the workload for the release manager but
> I think creating minimal packages that only update necessities in an
> automated fashion will lower the threshold for people being comfortable with
> updating even if they have little idea of what they are doing. Also, a
> stricter separation between setting storage pages and code pages would be
> neat. I do not know if this is possible but what I could imagine to be great
> would be to stop shipping documents like WebPreferences or XWikiPreferences
> and instead make code documents that will automatically create those
> documents with defaulted settings (like they are now in the shipped
> documents) from code if they do not already exist. It would also be neat to
> have settings like "hide full email address" not in the code file but in a
> central place so it will not be overwritten accidentally. In general, I
> think it would help to have configurable "hard settings" in extra properties
> and on upgrade check if the value was manually set. If they are set they are
> ignored and not overwritten, if they are not set just use the default
> defined in the code. One example for that, the recently modified panel shows
> only 5 entries, I preferred to show 10, so it would be neat to just have a
> property in the document that is empty on shipment. When a user views the
> panel the code checks the property and if it is empty it uses the default 5
> otherwise it uses the value provided in the property (e.g. 10).
> Regarding the paper cuts, I report some of those I found on JIRA and/or the
> IRC channel but since I am no longer anywhere near a productive environment
> and I know my way around the system it is getting harder for me to spot them
> as such... it is just like what I described, I don't think like the default
> user anymore. Anyway, one of the bigger one that pop into my head just now
> is that I remember a colleague having trouble using the Office Import in the
> WYSIWYG editor for large documents could result in errors. Sometimes I could
> not delete pages until I restarted Tomcat. The WYSIWYG editor does not alway
> give the result which I would consider more suitable at that point (e.g.
> color background in a table does not color the cells background but the text
> background. I know that is correct from HTML POV but for an office user, I
> think, the cell would make more sense) or does not even allow certain style
> manipulations (e.g. vertical alignment or merging of cells, JIRA on that
> exists already).
> Thanks for working through my lengthy mess, yet again,
> Johannes :-D

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