Modelio Goes Open Source with Marketing and Community Development Support from Age of Peers

I’m very happy to announce a new client of my agency Age of Peers:

Paris-based Modeliosoft has open-sourced Modelio, a professional modeling environment for developers, systems engineers and business architects. We supported Modeliosoft with marketing and community strategy services as well as implementing marketing and media relations activities for the launch of the open source product.

Modelio offers an array of features that is quite unique when compared with other open source as well as proprietary modeling tools. The Modeliosoft team is great and I always enjoyed our meetings in Paris – and Paris 🙂

Stéfane Fermigier About Nuxeo's Marketing and the French Open Source Community

Last week, I published a video interview with Ross Turk that I recorded at Open World Forum in Paris. Here’s another interview that I recorded at the event, this time with Stéfane Fermigier, Founder and Chairman at Nuxeo. In this interview he discusses how Nuxeo markets its open source product and he also provides insight into the French open source community. Merci for a great interview, Stéfane!

2nd IKS Workshop: The Web 3.0 and Open Source Semantic Search

Rome is a great city and it will host a bunch of great people (including me 🙂 ) at November 12-13. This is when the second IKS Project workshop will take place. The goal of this workshop is to start working on an Open Source software stack that allows other Open Source projects and software vendors to leverage semantic search technologies.

IKS is an EU-funded project with an overall budget of 8.5 million Euros. The first workshop back in May saw two dozen of bright Open Source CMS minds discussing a semantic stack in general. This time, it will also make sense for non-CMS-related Open Source projects and vendors to join.

There will be interesting presentations from some key figures at the second workshop in Rome, such as Peter Mika of Yahoo! Research talking about “The Role of Semantics in Search”.

If you’re up to joining the Open Source Web 3.0 train, then hurry up, because the October 22nd deadline for registering for the 2nd IKS workshop on semantic search is approaching quickly. See you there!

Get a Dose of Semantics: Open Source Contributors Wanted for EU Project

The EU-funded IKS Project invites FOSS companies and projects to take part in building a software stack for knowledge management that is Open Source.

IKS is funded with 6.5 million Euros by the European Union and 2 million Euros are being invested by the consortium partners which makes up for an overall budget of 8.5 millions. The project will run for 4 years.

Financial support is available for 50 yet to be selected companies/organizations who agree to evaluate the IKS software stack as early adopters as well as 100 individuals who are members of a related FOSS project and who would like to actively engage in IKS project development. The budget for contributors to IKS is meant to alleviate the entry hurdles, e.g. for travel and accommodation for attending the IKS workshop end of May.

The premier focus of IKS is on FOSS content management systems and how they can make use of the to-be-developed IKS technology to let content objects behave the way they are supposed to across varying applications. Additionally, IKS also aims at cooperating with FOSS projects helping to implement semantics-aware software.

Wernher Behrendt, one of the initiators of IKS, exemplifies the project’s vision as follows:

Think of a task that has been defined in a project management software. Ideally, the project management software allows you to edit the task as you would expect it, for example, you can extend the ending date in case the work will take longer. Now, what happens if you want to transfer your work plan to the Web content management system that powers your Web site to display it to the public?

You will most likely create a screenshot of the work plan in the project management software, upload the screenshot in your WCMS and include it on a Web page. In between, you have lost all information about what a task is and how another application should treat it in case you want to edit it within the imported work plan.

This is where IKS comes to the rescue, because its software stack will not only provide a layer that takes care of metadata information (e.g. Ontologies, RDF, …), but will also be able to deal with information on how to process a content object across different applications.

If you’d like to join, IKS provides further information on its Web site and how to get in contact with them. Contribute to IKS as a…

Open Source CMS Companies Wanted for EU Project Proposal

Wolfgang Maass contacted me and asked if I would like to join the board of experts of an EU project they are going to propose. They are actually also looking for Open Source CMS companies (vendors or system integrators) who would like to join as a partner.

The EU project proposal entitled „Interactive Knowledge“ is currently being developed by a consortium which is led by Salzburg Research. The objective is to develop a “next generation semantic content management framework” based on existing frameworks, but with significant technological improvements ranging from RDF-storage to easy definition of workflows and business rules, and to dynamically re-configurable web interfaces.

Some more info on the objectives in Wolfgang’s words:

Our experience is that many smaller content management solution providers find it hard to make full use of the new standards such as RDF and CSS 3.0 when it comes to keeping solutions maintainable, re-usable or when it comes to cross-media publishing on mobile and other platforms. Increasingly, content management needs to interface with the “Internet of things”, e.g. you can get additional health information about a certain food product, by entering the retail store’s product code into a web-based content management system or into your mobile PA.

This is what the „Interactive Knowledge“ EU project will offer:

  • 50 smaller CMS companies can become early adopters (small grants of up to 12.000 Euro are possible)
  • 7 European SMEs who have content management systems will be offered to become full partners in this project and act as requirements experts as well as getting their own frameworks benchmarked with respect to their semantic capabilities. There are budgets between 80.000 and 200.000 Euro available, at a funding rate of 75%.

So, the „Interactive Knowledge“ EU project proposal is an excellent opportunity to benefit from a large scale R&D effort.

I know Wolfgang for quite some time and he told me that the project administrators have a very good track record in this type of project, are experts in the field and can assist with the administrative entry hurdles. This is good, because it will avoid that the EU bureaucracy and lazy project partners will eat up your valuable resources. I know how important this is because I have experience as a work package leader on behalf of eZ Systems of the successfully finished tOSSad EU project.

If you are interested, please send an email to wolfgang dot maass at hs-furtwangen dot de no later than this Thursday, March 20th, 2008.

See you at the kick-off meeting after the EU accepted the proposal 🙂

Comparing Open Source Java CMS

Seth Gottlieb of Content Here fame asked me a few weeks ago to review his report of Open Source Java CMS which he just announced in his blog. The report is a master piece of analysis covering business-critical aspects as well as technical details.

Readers of my Weblog get a discount: Follow this link, which automatically applies the coupon code saving you $150. In case of problems the code is: yq37we.

The report is profound and reaffirms Seth’s role as one of the best CMS consultants out there, especially when it comes to Open Source CMS. Seth actually compiled first-hand information from the project leads into the report, which is smart.

The report takes a close look at:

I basically share all of Seth’s valuations and imagine that anyone reading the report will have a very good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the above CMS.

As Seth can put it in much better words than I ever could, let’s read the master’s wisdom:

Even if the best technology fit is a commercial product, the technology decision maker now needs to be able defend his choice of commercial software by demonstrating a knowledge of open source alternatives that were rejected. The answer “we looked at open source and it was all bad” is becoming weaker and weaker as a response to a challenge to consider open source.

[…]

It is not that open source projects are secretive. In fact more information is available because coordination and communication usually happens out in the open. It is just that the information is spread thinly across many sources and people. Compilation and interpretation takes a lot of work and a different set of skills than your typical career analyst. In order to understand an open source application, you need to use it, configure it, and interact with the community (actively and passively). The source code itself also contains valuable information about the development standards and history of the project. It takes time to learn the personalities and group dynamics of the community. Not that it wouldn’t be nice to know all this information about commercial software – it certainly would. Just commercial software doesn’t allow you that access.

[…]

For each of the projects reviewed in this report, I have subscribed to the mailing list and monitored the volume and nature of the activity. I have talked to users of the software. I have built prototypes that involve defining content types, setting permissions, and developing layouts. To ensure factual accuracy, each evaluation has been reviewed by a project committer or company officer.

[…]

Web content management is not a turnkey solution.

[…]

Because company requirements are unique, web content management more like toolkits than out of the box business applications.

[…]

Market fragmentation is rife in the open source world too (especially in the content management sector) and comes at a great cost: developer resources are spread too thinly across too many projects. However, the absence of a “winner” in the commercial market takes away a safe, automatic choice and forces technology decision makers to look at alternatives. Every option appears equally risky from a market share perspective.

[…]

Unless a selection process is adapted to fully explore open source, the commercial products typically win because of the allure of a polished and well executed demo. Investing in an open source proof of concept typically levels the playing field but few companies make the investment unless there is a particular motivation such as a senior-level directive to carefully consider open source. This has essentially happened in many of the governments across Europe that have been mandated to use open source software wherever possible.

[…]

Social activity also creates the opportunity for non-technical users of the application to get involved. Building and serving a non-technical community is a plateau that only a few of the open source content management projects have achieved. It is an important milestone because it allows for user input to be contributed directly in the users own words rather thathrough a technical developer who filters the information through is own biases.

For a full overview of the contents, download the Java Open Source CMS sample which also contains the ToC.

I won’t disclose anything about the final conclusion in Seth’s report, because that’s like killing excitement when telling someone about the end of a novel or movie, but there’s one thing that’s for sure: the report is worth reading all 150+ pages!

David Nüscheler & Co Started Blogging

ECM vendor Day Software AG now enables you to catch a glimpse of their developer’s expertise. Some of their best programmers started blogging and provide valuable insights into content management technologies and best practices.

Most notable, David Nüscheler, the driving force behind the JSR 170 content repository standard, debuts as a blogger. That was about time, because David is surely one of the most brilliant minds in content management and destined to be a thought leader in that area.

Although Day’s developers blog is only 4 weeks old, there’s already a bunch of interesting content. For example, slides and tutorials about microjax, a technology that allows you to access a content repository in AJAX-style right from a Web browser.

microjax

There’s also an interesting post about a tool for visualizing Day’s ECM product Communiqué and a lot more at dev.day.com.