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Start-Up Delivers Open Source Offerings to Build User Base 40

The new wiki start-up founded by former Microsoft employees, MindTouch, has just announced two new open source offerings to help bolster their user base. MindTouch Dream, a development framework and Deki, a wiki-based document sharing program that was built using Dream, will both be debuted at this year's OSCON, currently underway. From the article: "Applications written with MindTouch Dream can be done in PHP or .Net languages such as C# or Visual Basic. Programs can run on Microsoft Windows machines or Novell's Mono software for running .Net applications on Linux or Unix."
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Start-Up Delivers Open Source Offerings to Build User Base

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  • Interesting that it is founded by former Microsoft Employees. The way they will make a profit on it is by selling it as a piece of hardware. If done right I could see corporations buying stuff like this...could be a good replacement for the horrid MS SharePoint

    Windows Admin Tools [intelliadmin.com]
  • Actual links? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:19PM (#15786952)
    In the summary, can we please have the actual links to the projects?

    http://opengarden.org/ [opengarden.org]
    http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki [wikimedia.org]
  • MindTouch Dream? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blantonl ( 784786 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:25PM (#15786984) Homepage
    The article really doesn't do a great job of articulating what the Mindtouch Dream framework actually is.

    FTA:
    Applications written with MindTouch Dream can be done in PHP or .Net languages such as C# or Visual Basic. Programs can run on Microsoft Windows machines or Novell's Mono software for running .Net applications on Linux or Unix.


    I'm having a hard time understanding what MindTouch Dream actually provides. Is it a development environment framework? A IDE? It isn't clear to me how an application written in "MindTouch Dream" can also be PHP -or- .NET -or- C#.

    Deki on the otherhand is clear to me, it is a port of MediaWiki http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki [mediawiki.org] with extensions and provisions for managing Microsoft documents, AJAX support, and exposure as a Web service (REST based).

    All in all, I'm a little confused as to the exact value this release brings, other than some better support for M$ based content environments.
    • Re:MindTouch Dream? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cederic ( 9623 )

      I got the impression from the article that their current wiki offering is a Wikimedia mod, but that Deki is a new bespoke development based around their Dream development environment.

      Which would make Deki something new and possibly different and definitely of interest.
    • Re:MindTouch Dream? (Score:3, Informative)

      by gregmac ( 629064 )

      I'm having a hard time understanding what MindTouch Dream actually provides. Is it a development environment framework? A IDE? It isn't clear to me how an application written in "MindTouch Dream" can also be PHP -or- .NET -or- C#.

      I think they're taking a page from the marketing book for .NET. It took me a couple years to figure out what .NET actually is/does (hint: it's a marketing term for a whole bunch of unrelated or at best loosely-related products and marketing campaigns -- What exactly does the .NET f

      • It took me a couple years to figure out what .NET actually is/does (hint: it's a marketing term for a whole bunch of unrelated or at best loosely-related products and marketing campaigns...)

        So it's like "Web 2.0", then? Thanks!
    • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @06:15PM (#15787241)
      All in all, I'm a little confused as to the exact value this release brings, other than some better support for M$ based content environments.

      It is indeed vague, and since their site is thoroughly slashdotted right now, it will remain so if and until I remember to check it out later.

      Support for MS document formats is, however, a pretty big deal. If I had a dollar for every time an OSS solution was rejected in my workplace because it didn't support MS docs, I'd have enough money to buy a legitimate copy of Windows XP. Some people regard playing nice with MS software to be some kind of impurity or treason, but as a practical matter, it provides for easy inroads to business environments.
      • by killjoe ( 766577 )
        Plone supports them. You can add doc files to plone and it can extract all the data, catalog it, index it, and make it searchable. If you choose a open, non-proprietary format like ODF it can even show it to you as HTML.

        I guess I am one of those people who don't see the point of building a wiki that consists of uploading DOC files. It defeats the purpose of a wiki in the first place. At that point it's a CMS and virtually every CMS will let you upload documents of any type.
        • Re:MindTouch Dream? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Locutus ( 9039 )
          well, when I heard from a consultant that he knows of a few businesses who are using wiki's for software configuration management, I knew that the Windows software development market was still pretty screwed up. When I asked why they wouldn't use CVS or Subversion at the very least, he said that they are using a wiki because that is what they know....

          So don't be surprised to find many a Windows shop using wiki's just for uploading MS-DOC files or other silly things.

          LoB
  • Oh Noes! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Cap'nPedro ( 987782 )
    I think I hear the sound of a chair hitting a wall!
  • by stocke2 ( 600251 ) * on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:40PM (#15787060)
    on their site they say the love open source and use mono,debian,apache,etc...
    now I understand why they don't work at MS anymore
    they got canned
    • Re:Now I understand (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I actually had an opportunity to work for those guys last year and I turned it down. They were very close-minded, and dead-set on building their system around Windows and C#. Their dedication to open source isn't much more than lip service.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        In other words, it's impossible to write open source software using anything other than Linux and Perl. Gotcha.
  • by RomulusNR ( 29439 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:45PM (#15787078) Homepage
    "Start-Up Delivers Open Source Offerings to Build User Base"

    Yeah. Quick, think of ten other software houses that this could have ever been said about.
  • by TheDarkSavant ( 459819 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:56PM (#15787136) Homepage
    They seem so proud of themselves for being open source. Come to find out, their product only exists so users of MS Office can share their documents. Anyone else see the irony in that?
    • Are you saying engineers from Microsoft are so tainted with evil they've never heard of OSS or Linux and can't grasp the same concepts your average non-Evil Inside (TM) Linux geek can?

      Or are you trying to imply that there's no need for users of MS documents to share their documents?

      Or perhaps that because they're interfacing with a proprietary format they might as well give up all hope of being Open Source? That the two can't live together?

      • What I was pointing out, and perhaps should have been more specific, is that there is an open standard for word processing and spreadsheet documents, but they seem to be focused on the proprietary formats. Which, yes, is not 'open'.
    • MindTouch DekiWiki indexes PDF and other text files that are attached for searching, not just MS files. You can also attach any file you like.
  • MediaWiki (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    MindTouch's primary business is selling a so-called wiki appliance to small and medium-size companies. The appliance includes a modified version of MediaWiki, the software behind Wikipedia, and a server that can be updated remotely, Bjorg said. MindTouch changed MediaWiki to make it easier to use for workers sharing Microsoft Office documents.

    They dont have a choice. Media Wiki is released under GPL. As per GPL terms, derivatives of MediaWiki also be released under GPL. Otherwise they can be sued for GPL

  • 1. Make a product
    2. Open source it and hype it to death in Slashdot
    3. ?
    4. Profit


    Actually if you are clever, you can skip the part one, and just hype it to death and move to profit, also known as IPO.

    Why didn't I invent this idea? ...well I guess I just have to buy their shares when they go to IPO.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    OpenGarden's download icon is DropSend's logo.

    http://opengarden.org/dream [opengarden.org]

    http://www.dropsend.com/ [dropsend.com]
    • Pixel for pixel, it's the same size, and most of it is the same. The only difference is that they reduced the amount of colors, and the image then looks worse. But it is the same. But you have to remember, they are from Microsoft. Copying is what they are good at, and trained to do.
    • Thank you so much for pointing this out! MindTouch contracted U4EA Design (www.u4eadesign.com) to create the design for OpenGarden.org. Initially it was our opinion they did a pretty decent job. However, as we neared the end of the project our opinion changed because we felt they lacked a level of organization and professionalism that we would ordinarily expect from our contractors. Now, thanks to the person who posted this comment, we've discovered that they've likely infringed upon DropSend's copyrighted
  • Seriously, since when is this news? This is not a new or groundbreaking idea by any stretch of the imagination. Lucky /. has all these meta-moderating reminders ;)
  • GPL Interpretation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zzzmarcus ( 183118 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @10:17PM (#15788367)
    I think it's worth noting for anyone considering hosting a version of DekiWiki that MindTouch/OpenGarden interprets the GPL to mean that any USER of the software should have access to the full source including any modifications you've made (a la Affero GPL).
    • Whatever that is, it aint GPL.

      I dont mind companies having that as a license; but it should really be called something like "server GPL", because it is as different from classic GPL as LGPL is, and it should be separated

      It really annoys me when people reinterpret things like this, MySQL deserve special mention, IMO, as in their view if you access a database by any means, you need a license. They do this as their business model needs people to pay for licenses, but it still isnt classic GPL.

      -steve
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Source - http://www.kaneva.com/channel/channelPage.aspx?com munityId=12834&pageId=13293 [kaneva.com] ajaxWrite is a web-based word processor that can read and write Microsoft Word and other standard document formats. Anytime you need to open, read or write a word processor file, simply point your Firefox browser to www.ajaxwrite.com and in seconds a full-featured program will be available for you to open, edit, print and save. ajaxWrite has been designed to look like Microsoft Word, making it easy for anyone to sta
  • by ChrisCampbell47 ( 181542 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:19PM (#15788672)
    And the number of comments shows it. 30 comments after 6 hours on the main page? That must be a new low. Sorry ScuttleMonkey, but hang your head in shame.

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