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XWiki 1.0: Extensible Java-based wiki/application platform

This item in japanese recently launched the first version of its enterprise wiki and application platform, written in Java and released under LGPL license. Its development platform features allow creating collaborative web applications and also provide packaged applications built on top of the platform (second generation wiki).   XWiki 1.0 launched last month, but there have been almost 10,000 deployments to date.

Next generation of wikis have been established with products like Confluence, Jotspot (bought by Google), XWiki, projectforum et al.

InfoQ spoke to Vincent Massol - one of core committers of XWiki - regarding XWiki's vision, its platform-specific features, competition it faces, and support that it seeks:

  • When you download XWiki, you can build on top of the XWiki platform (as opposed to most wikis out there where you get a fixed wiki when you download the product).
  • Move to a component oriented architecture so that it's easier to reuse all the building bricks for creating collaborative applications and for swapping in other implementations for components.
  • Platform-specific features:
    XWiki is doing CMS from a direction different from that of "proper" CMS tools. The way we view it is that people like to use a wiki for its unstructured data and the ability to easily add information without bothering too much about categorizing it. By opposition CMS tools usually require that you have a clear vision of what you want from the onset, and accordingly create structure for holding that data. Both types of tools are needed as complementary but XWiki offers a tool which you can start using as a standard wiki and when some of your data need some structure, XWiki can accomodate it and you're not forced to buy a separate application that has no interaction with the wiki.
    XWiki developers can take advantage of scripting languages Velocity and Groovy. XWiki's scripting feature and its data model allow development of web applications at various levels. As a Java developer, one may also extend XWiki by developing XWiki Java plugin classes. As of this writing, the XWiki team is also working on portlet integration to install XWiki as a JSR 168 Portlet in any Portal.

    The main differentiators with products like JotSpot are probably that XWiki is Open Source and targeted at the Enterprise market. The fact that Google bought Jotspot is good news for XWiki as it proves there's interest in that space.
    There are currently about 8-9 active committers with many contributors answering to questions, sending patches and suggesting improvements on XWiki lists. But, XWiki team is looking for more committers and also contributors who can contribute script snippets to put in XWiki pages, macros, plugins and applications. We need more skins coming from the community.
    Since 2005, XWiki has received support from Google through the Summer of Code program. 

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