Thursday, September 28, 2006

Magnolia Geek.Meet 2006

Last weekend saw the first ever Magnolia Geek.Meet, and it was a great event. We gathered in Mission21, a large protestant mission building that has 15'000 m2 of park around it and rents away meeting rooms, provides the catering and even is a hotel.

Attendees were Nico (Japan), Fabrizio (Italy), Chris Miner (Berlin), Greg (Brussels), Ralf (Stuttgart), Philipp, Sameer & myself, plus Pascal who came to say hi in the beginning & bye at the end.

I moderated the event. After a quick intro of who is who in Magnolia community-land, we started brainstorming. All topics then were voted for – each participant had 4 votes. We then proceeded to discuss the 4 main topics for roughly 90 minutes each, plus breaks. Rinse and repeat on Sunday.

Some of the big issues include
  1. Beanification (a word that stuck after initial laughter) - meaning: create more classes (beans), which means they can be documented and even tested (!)
  2. Introduction of Spring for various usages, including Spring Remoting (Fabrizio came up with a Spring way of doing basically any topic we discussed except documentation :-))
  3. GUI toolkit/AJAX framework/XML-RPC/XForms etc - the whole world of what we could change with respect to technologies used today. When we started with Magnolia there was no Ajax, so we wrote our own. Today many options exist. Decoupling of the admin interface. Possibly use Spring remoting for intra-application communication (Think: GUI talks to core) and Inter-Magnolia communication. Provide alternate ways of accessing the content (Webservices, CLI)
  4. Workflow Future: now that we have the basis, it is becoming clear that Magnolia's declarative dialog creation + openwfe and storage of workitems in JCR make it very tempting to create form & workflow-based front-end applications. What a great tool for SI's.
  5. Dialog-Refactoring - introduction of JSF for dialogs and trees etc.
  6. WebDAV for access of DMS through client file system browsers (Niko and Sameer start working on it, expect it working before the year is over)
  7. lots more (I'll update this when I have my notes around)
We decided to have more releases on a shorter time frame with well defined major tasks (basically, each topic we discussed will be the focus of a single release). Now that Philipp has finally finished the build mechanism in maven to do a complete distribution (i.e. we can hit "build" and get readily packaged everythings - from wars, to bundled tomcats, community edition, modules... whatever) it is much less work to actually prepare a release. We expect to have dot-releases (3.1, 3.2 ...) every 2-4 months now.

Also we went out Saturday night in Basel, had dinner at the Hasenburg (Rösti) and drinks at the Des'Arts (a bar right below Day's headquarter).

Everybody liked the event and I guess there will be a Geek.Meet '07. Expect the discussions to result in a roadmap of versions, available via jira any day now.

And finally some impressions for those that had to spend the weekend with Japanese girls at Game shows in Tokyo or went sailing at the baltic sea (who can blame you?).

(more photos)

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