Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Going GPLv3

We just announced that Magnolia Community Edition will be released as GPLv3. I am very excited about this step, it is one of the most "uncertain" steps we made since we originally released Magnolia 4 years ago. The reason for this uncertainty lies in the fact that we have had 16 years of GPLv2 (which we used in the form of its lesser variant, LGPL), but the version 3 has been around for less than 6 months, and very few mainstream applications have adopted it so far, so nobody knows how the "market" – in the form of open source developers, system integrators and our commercial clients – will react to this.

We have been thinking about GPL for a long time, ever since the Geek Meet (I think that was in 2006, right? time flies). We have discussed this step with all contributors months ago, and converted all source headers in the trunk to the new version a couple of hours ago. The headers now state that the code is dual-licensed - your choice of GPLv3 or the Magnolia Network Agreement (in which case presumably you have to sign the MNA and pay the license fee involved).

Let us see where this leads us. I certainly hope that more applications will follow where we lead. (No point in leading without followers, right? ;-))

Alea iacta est.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Something cool for a change

I am just testing the first snapshot of next week's first major Magnolia release in a year. Quite amazingly, after less than 30 seconds I can call Magnolia in a browser and get this beautiful screen:

Now that looks great. So I click that link and it gets even better:

Now that just looks amazing. Fantastic work! You can see just how far we have come with our modularization efforts. Everything is a module now, even the core. I press "Install".

And after the successful installation, I get a friendly:

Fantastic user experience! Great joy seeing something new in Magnolia. Great work by our team! Am I looking forward to that release!

Open source business and RFI/RFP's

I have had it. As an Open-Source startup that we still are, I believe we give a lot. Magnolia is one of the top 30 CMS vendors/systems on the planet, as exemplified by the CMS Watch report, the most relevant report of our industry. We give it away for free. We provide free infrastructure to the community. We provide free webcasts. We provide free trial versions of our supported Magnolia Enterprise Edition. You can call us, we provide free feedback on your ideas. We provide a free Evaluation Center and discuss your architecture – for free. We write new modules like the first ever JSR-170 forum (nearly released now) and give it to the community, for free, of course. We even stop by your office and present Magnolia without even getting a glass of water from you. Still free.

Now, there are those companies out there that have marketing budgets of billions. Staff of 100 thousands. IT departments the size of a small village. And someone gets the job to evaluate content management systems. So what do they do? They craft (or download) an RFI – a request for information – they send out to everyone they find in CMS Matrix. Never mind that all of this information can be found in the excellent CMS Watch report, or in the technology evaluation center report (for which I answered more than 3000 questions). No, they want us to answer all of their exact questions (however out-of-this-world and far away from their real needs they may be) in exactly their format within their deadlines – for free.

Well, the buck eventually stops somewhere. Do your own homework, or pay gazillions for the likes of Vignette to provide that service to you. In my world, I have to focus on what is effective for me. And I have decided that RFI's don't work for my company. I'd rather help those that go the extra mile and do their own evaluation.

I don't believe in check lists. I believe in working software. Download Magnolia now. And trash that bullet list.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Maintenance note: I added twitter to this page. Maybe I have outgrown using Skype mood messages to communicate what's on my mind? Micro-blogging seems at least an interesting idea, one way to foster a virtual social network.