Archive for the ‘Open Source’ Category

Google Gears: Missing Open Source Community?

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Few days back I wrote about making web applications offline, well Google again are way ahead of the crowd and they already came up with the same called Google Gears. It is an open source web browser extension that enables web applications to provide functionality while user is offline. Google basically talks about 3 main layers to achieve this

LocalServer – which caches and serves application resources like HTML, JS,CSS, images etc locally on the clients machine

Database – which provides browser-local relational data storage on user’s computer with domain based security

WorkerPool – which pools asynchronously in the background to contact online application

A pretty cool Beta release with few samples and open APIs. But I am really sad that Google Gear installer doesn’t work for people who are behind proxy. I even posted in the Google Gear group but can’t see any response. There are presently around 227 topics floating in that group and almost 55-60 of the topics are around installation problem ( search for install, installation, 80040800 etc.)

Most of developers are behind company proxy’s and due to such issues people are loosing interest even when its an interesting development. Well for open source, community is the main source for information,ideas etc. and Google is lagging in that.

JAX India 2007: Day 4: SOA and ESB for Enterprise Architecture

Friday, June 1st, 2007

The day 4 was a surprise for me, as the number of attendees reduced many
folds. Well I went to attend the session “Leveraging SOA and ESB for
an Enterprisse Architecture – Bryan Cheung
“. Looks like Bryan is a
big fan of coffee specially from Startbucks and he all the way of his
presentation used Startbucks as the example. He basically used the topic well
to showcase Liferay’s capabilities and even coined a new term called SOL
(Service Oriented Liferay) :). According to him, from SOA point of view
there are 3 important things with respect to service offered:

Specialization  –  Specialized in Coffee. Need not worry what is
happening inside to make worth coffee cup

Interface – Always the same interface, ask for a coffee at counter, pay the
amount and get the coffee

Reliability – Whether in US, Europe, India the taste is the same

And Liferay too does in the similar fashion, same services with almost any
Operating System, Application server and database combination.

Few other sessions are covered by Binil on his blog post JAX India 2007:
Day 4 report

Well in all JAX India, though looked promising with the
Buzzy catchy title, the overall feeling was that it didn’t meet what
was expected out if it. I was really surprised at the Oracle counter,
where I asked info about their new Web Center suite and the answer I got back
is to fill a feedback form and get the CDs which has all the information.
If that is the case, I am better of searching over Internet :)

Also, in terms of arrangement, there was a lot of confusion about which
session happening in which Hall. It was a complete mess and people were just
running around to catch up with the sessions. I was in Hall B for a session
and the next which I wanted to attend was in Hall A. So after session I sent
to Hall A to get a surprise that the session I want to attend has been shifted
to Hall B. The time I reached there, all the seats were full and there was
hardly any space to stand. A better organization is required.

Anyways Thanks SDA India for hosting such event and looking forward to a
better organized and more targeted sessions next time. A Big thanks to all the
speakers who cam all the way to share their experience and knowledge.

More reading at  Hits and Misses: JAX India 2007

CMS, Web 2.0 and SEO

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

To what I understand till now about Web 2.0, it emphasize on Search Engine Optimization as one of the main area of concern. Let me try to list down few of the Search Engine Optimizations from CMS implementation point of view:

A utility to detect duplicate content detection at the time of content publish
I do not think that there is any WCM out in the market (commercial or Open source) that provides any utility for duplicate content detection

A spell-checker to ensure that the content submitted online doesn’t have any spelling mistakes
This has become and integral part of WISIWYG editors like FCKeditor. Most of the WCMS tools adopt to such content editor tool.

Content Structure which enforce Alt attribute for Image tag, title, meta descriptions, keyword tags and templates supporting picking up those information while rendering page
A more of a design consideration and rendering aspect. Lets leave this to individual design and implementation. It might be a good idea if in future, CMS provides something out-of-the-box for such considerations

What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editors for providing facility to content editors to add formatting to text content
Most of the WCM provides WYSIWYG editors that provides basic formatting stuff like h1, h2, b etc. OpenCMS has its own inbuilt editor.

An editor that can clean up unwanted HTML tags and make it W3C compliant
Its again part of the WYSIWYG editors.

An editor that gets integrated with your CSS of the site
Most of the text editors provide this facility. FCKEditor is one such that support CSS for better integration with website. WCM’s are adopting these editors for their content editors frontend.

A utility to help detect duplicate page titles or a mechanism to generate unique page title
I can not re-collect that there is any CMS in the market that provides such utility. At present its taken more at individual implementation level rather than a CMS providing out-of-the-box.

A utility to determine broken links at the time of content publish to avoid broken links
OpenCMS is one that does provide this functionality of validating the links and reporting the broken links. but I do not know many other which does that. Fatwire do provide this in a little different way, if at the time of rendering content, it doesn’t find the link, it removes hyperlink and render content. But I think most of the CMS products doesn’t really provide this out-of-the-box.

Looking at my list above, I feel most of the Search Engine Optimization techniques are taken care at the text editor level which have become powerful over the period of time. From CMS perspective, providing few utilities like duplicate content detection, broken links etc. will sure make them Web 2.0 compliant. :)

What each Product Name Means?

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Just wondering how much a name of a product make sense? This strike me when I was reading about Search Engine Optimization and came across how domain name plays a vital role in optimization (will cover SEO in my next posts). Lets have a look at few products from each space and try to understand what they really mean.

Lets start with Portals space:

Art Technology Group – A group who created art for Internet world by providing common face to all the applications within the organization/

Broad-vision = enterprise wide vision? Nicely framed but their vision is really going hey-ward :(

A decorative design or small illustration used on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter. A decorative design for your information capturing from beginning to end, from all systems across the organization.

JBoss Portal:
Java Boss?

Liferay Portal:
Life – ray : a ray of life for all the vendors who can not afford commercial portal products.

Anyone out there help me. I have no clue about it :(


Catchup with Open Ajax Project

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Open Ajax Project or better known as Open Ajax Alliance has added many more members to their alliance. The biggest name to add to the list is Microsoft. This makes a total count of 73 members working towards Ajax Globalization.

Alliance has come up with the term called “OpenAjax Conformance” which defines a set of conformance requirements on Ajax technologies, products and applications to promote Ajax interoperability.
An Ajax library will be with Open Ajax Conformance only when:

1) Supports OpenAjax Hub Specifications (OpenSource project)
2) Javascript objects with OpenAjax Registry
3) Support best practices defined within Open Ajax Conformance

These developments clearly indicates where the http domain moving on. This is also one of the talking points with Web 2.0 :)

Sun Portal is now Open Source

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

As mentioned by Navneeth in his post, Sun Portal has been open sourced. The news came in after Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz promised to make Java open-source code at JavaOne. Check out the press release Sun Advances Open Source Strategy at JavaOne.

Sun has launched Portal Open Source Project under which it will be releasing all components and technologies in Sun Java System Portal Server 7. The beginning is done by creating an open source portlet repository which list down portlets like RSS, Bookmark, notepad, showtime.

Open Ajax Project

Friday, May 12th, 2006

Some days back I wrote an Article “Are we ready to adopt Ajax to improve usability? ” highlighting the various questions that need to be answered before we can really adopt it.

Here is one initiative called “Open Ajax Project” that aims to create a single framework that standardizes development and debugging on a common library of Ajax widgets that could run on multiple Ajax runtimes. Open Ajax is endorsed by IBM, BEA, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Google, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla, Novell, Openwave, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo, Zend, and Zimbra.

Open Source Product customization a better option than Grounds up?

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

None of the Product directly fit 100% to clients’ requirements. There is always customization required little/more to meet the end goals. Customization means integration/modifications in the underlying product architecture and not at the usability level. A very frequent example is search engine customization/integration with the product which is in use in the company for years or integration with their existing CMS or security model.

So what’s the criteria to decide whether an open source product could be selected and customized or an option to build the system grounds up?

Let me give you a case that I came across recently. One of the clients, using a well known commercial portal product, was looking for open source solution in order to overcome issues it’s facing and of course, also the cost. The options came down to either grounds up solution or using one of the open source portal available in market.

Open source portal looks to be the obvious choice at first thought since building a grounds up *Portal* is not the right path both in terms of cost and time to market. But that’s not always right. Here are few things that we need to analyse before coming to conclusion:

  • What are the strengths and weakness of the product?
  • Are we making use of the product strength?
  • Or are we customizing the products strengths and living with its weaknesses?
  • Are required integrations supported by product?
  • Is product architecture best of technologies breed to be extended easily?
  • Is Product architecture extensible?
  • Does the product fall in line with the existing architecture and technologies at clients’ place?

Its not always that the effort and time required to customize an Open source product is less since there are cases where we need to do a Proof of Concept and require a lot of time to understand the existing code base.

So, I think that if we are not going to use a products’ strength and instead customize or integrate them, then it’s better to think again. Grounds up solution will at least not have overhead of that product’s features that are not used and its weaknesses.

Are open source acquisitions good in long run?

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Recently, we have seen lot of open source acquisitions by players like IBM, Oracle, Sun etc. These acquisitions has raised questions about the future of open source industry.
Open Thinking Here is my take on it: Any acquisition happens with motive of either reward or out of fear. Reward, when acquiring company thinks that the product can gel well with their existing suit and will bring them long term benefits. And fear, that the product is open source and doing pretty well in market which hinders their own sales and adds insecurity to company.


Open Source: Need to analyze their Biggest Asset

Monday, March 6th, 2006

There is lot of revolution in Open Source Area and every other day we hear a new open source product in market or an open source acquired/taken over by commercial companies. Whatever be the case, everyone want that its product be listed among the best, whether it is a commercial product or an open source product. Community is one of the biggest asset for any product and it gains more importance in open source terms since they don’t have enough funds to market the product.