What's Next 2011

Last modified by Vincent Massol on 2019/06/11 10:10

May 30 2011

I'm just back from the What's Next Paris conference (26/27th May 2011) organized by Zenika. I was able to get a free entry as an OSSGTP member and a CastCodeurs. Thanks guys!

Zenika did a great job, especially for a first conference. It was located at the Grand Rex (a famous Theater in Paris, with a star-lit ceiling and where I remember seeing the first Stars Wars back in the 1970s...). Anyway very nice venue (imagine that it can fit more than 2700 people in the room!) even though the corridors were a bit cramped when everyone was out of the sessions.

The format of the event was risky with a single track which meant making compromises for choosing the talks. Must have been a nightmare for Zenika to choose the sessions... emoticon_smile

I admit I didn't attend all sessions but he are some stuff that I liked and that resonated with me with what we're doing at XWiki:

  • CloundFoundry. Seems to be a nice open PAAS: it's open source and you can plug stuff at all levels: new languages, services, and even plug your own infrastructure. Apparently it has this notion of Micro cloud which allows you to run it on your local computer which seems nice to try stuff out (I don't now how hard/easy it is to do that though, would need to research this a bit). In the XWiki project we've started some research exploration of running XWiki on PAAS (Google App Engine, etc). We're also lead on the Compatible ONE research project to create a PAAS that's a bridge to other existing PAAS, using a common API. As part of this we're also looking at running XWiki on a NoSQL storage.
  • Orion. This is a Web IDE project lead by the Eclipse Foundation. Apparently it's quite recent and there's isn't much yet. The developers have focused on offering extension points/hooks so that the community can join and help out in offering services such as code analysis, code highlighting, etc. Right now a basic editor is provided with syntax highlighting for a few syntaxes and no autocompetion. They haven't tackled the issue of concurrent edition yet and are again waiting for community help on this. At XWiki, the concept of Web IDE is something dear to us since XWiki is a next generation wiki that lets you put script in wiki pages. Thus there's an important need to offer nice code editors. We also have another research project underway in which we're developing a realtime WYSIWYG solution. We had a first version of realtime editing done in the past (and using the WOOT algorithm - WithOut Operational Transformation, an algorithm close to the OT one used by Google Wave) in another research project but it didn't get into the product in the end because of some technical blocker. We hope this new research project will be integrated this time, allowing XWiki users to collaboratively edit the same wiki page at the same time and in WYSIWYG mode. Note that we also have a working integration with SkyWriter (was named Bespin before).
  • HTML5 WebSockets. The presentation was great and clearly explained why it's a vastly superior implementation over polling (several HTTP requests to the server asking for news) or long polling (keep the HTTP connection open). With WebSockets you contact the server over HTTP but with a reduced header and in the header you ask for an "upgrade". The Server needs to be WebSocket-aware and respond to the "upgrade". From then one a dual-direction TCP socket is established and the server can send data to the client without the client having to do any polling. We really need to start adding HTML5 feature in XWiki and make them available only for HTML5-enabled browsers (i.e. degrade to what we're currently doing for older browsers).

As usual I enjoyed seeing again my IT and Open Source friends (too many to list!).

So what's next for 2012?

Created by Vincent Massol on 2011/05/30 09:12