Mark your calendars for tomorrows Webinar Wednesday series, Wednesday, April 8 at 11am (PDT). This Wednesday one of our experts will take you through MindTouch; starting off with the basics of using MindTouch and then focusing on a more specific topic (creating mashups and composite applications) for the remainder of the hour (Q&A time also included in the hour). In this session youll discover how to:... read more
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to participate in the Government 2.0 conference together with our CEO, Aaron Fulkerson. This was the second government related unconference that I have participated in, and believe me when I tell you, these are exciting times; over 500 people from both government and the private sector came together to discuss transparency. The mandates for transparency passed down from the executive branch are opening up access to an amazing amount of data, and users are quickly accessing and building upon this massive amount of data.
One of the most amazing realizations that we had at the conference was how many of the attendees are already MindTouch customers, and on top of that, how many more are using the open source core of MindTouch to build upon for their own applications.
Last month, I hosted a session at Transperancy Camp to demonstrate how users can utilize MindTouch to query this data and mash it up together to create new intelligence and visualize the results. At the time, I demonstrated some very simple API interaction and how a person could easily query data into our environment, and once there, analyze that data in powerful ways. Two things became apparent during that first session; first, there is a huge demand for a unified platform upon which to analyze this data and second, MindTouch is uniquely positioned to allow users to rapidly develop applications that utilize this data.
Following my return from Transparency Camp, and with the Government 2.0 conference only 3 weeks away, we set about creating extensions to some of the more popular APIs, including the Sunlight Labs API and the Capital Words API. Over the course of just a few days, one of our engineers, Robert Mason, built these APIs into full MindTouch extensions. Now users can query this data with just a few clicks from within the page editor. Robert has also written tutorials on both the use and the creation of these extensions.
At the Government 2.0 conference, Aaron presented a several use cases for these new extensions, including a template that calls several of these extensions and displays the results using Google charts.
For those of you that have never attended an unconference, they are based on the premise that no one is a spectator; rather, everyone is a participant. Anyone is free to host a session, and many of these sessions tend to be very interactive and engaging; Aarons demonstration of these extensions spurned some fantastic interaction from the audience, including discussions with government officials regarding the best ways to package this data for release.
In the past, users were expected to digest data like this from within agency websites, through forms for queries and tables or text files for results, but now, with the rise of external data access methods, this data can become much more powerful. True intelligence comes not from looking at a single data set, but rather pulling data from many sources.
Here at MindTouch we believe that free knowledge is the cornerstone of a free society, and were excited to be a part of this data revolution. In this same spirit, all of these tools are built on the MindTouch Open Source core, and are released to the public free of charge, so visit our community, download MindTouch and start a Revolution!... read more
In April we're celebrating our users and their stories. I hear stories all the time about how MindTouch makes a difference and now I want to hear yours …on camera! Submit your story about how you're using MindTouch and get $500 off*!
Naturally we had to post a video announcement so watch the short clip below to get all of the details!
After Submitting You'll…
- Receive $500 off any new/renewal license or support plan
- Get a BIG Thank You
- Receive a MindTouch T-Shirt for FREE
- Be Included on the Official "Cool" List
How to Get Involved…
Tell us your name/company/URL and how you're using MindTouch. Then submit the video to the MindTouch Group on YouTube (www.youtube.com/group/mindtouch) and spread the love.
*Discount applies to new licenses, renewals, or support plans. No reimbursements to current license agreements will be made.... read more
Mark your calendar for this weeks Webinar Wednesday series, Using MindTouch Deki to Create Simple Workflow Using Forms & Templates, Wednesday, April 1 at 11am (PST). This Wednesday one of our experts will take you through MindTouch Deki; starting off with the basics of using Deki and then focusing on a more specific topic (creating simple workflow using forms & templates) for the remainder of the hour (Q&A time also included in the hour). In this session youll discover how to:
* Create and edit pages
* Invite users and collaborate immediately
* Connect your enterprise systems
* Seize opportunities for your sales teams
* Utilize the hundreds of pre-built social and enterprise extensions
* Increase collaboration and efficiency within your enterprise
* Create situational applications to provide intelligence for your business
* Use tools within Deki to create interesting mashups and business automation for your business
For more information and to RSVP for the Webinar visit our Webinar Wednesdays page. And if you have any additional questions about Webinar Wednesdays please email webinars (at) mindtouch (dot) com.... read more
Hi, Sean here from JumpBox. Our company makes virtual appliances for Open Source server applications and this morning we released one for the community edition ofMindTouch Deki. Aaron invited me to do a guest post here to explain what it is and why it may be relevant to the readers of this blog.
Its no secret Open Source offers some powerful advantages over proprietary software. But for as many benefits as Open Source has, it has an inherent quality that precludes many people from ever using it: the time and expertise required to deploy and manage the software. Not only does it require fluency with the underlying technologies but you can be the most technically-competent person in the world and simply not have the hours in the day to devote to properly installing and maintaining the code. This is where we come in.
With JumpBox itt support the many other virtualization systems that are out there. In an ideal world you should be able to sidestep the details related to installation and maintenance and focus your valuable time on using the software productively. As patches and new versions of any component in the software stack become available, bringing your instance current should be as simple as turning on a computer and clicking one button.
And this is precisely the experience we make possible with JumpBox. We provide the easiest way to get started with Deki and 40+ others. All the characteristics that make Deki a powerful platform for enabling collaboration make the JumpBox collection an increasingly useful toolset for developers. Convenience, speed of development, consistency, s a world of flexibility that opens up as to how you can develop.
While the JumpBox provides an extremely simple way to get started with Deki, it doesnre a developer that works with Open Source regularly, visit our site to learn more, download any of the freely-available JumpBoxes, join the conversation on Twitter and take the JumpBox for Deki for a spin online by clicking the orange button on this page.
Thanks to Aaron and his team for the opportunity to guest post here. We look forward to helping play a role in spreading the Deki goodness.
-Sean... read more
There can be no doubt that one of the hottest spaces in enterprise software today is collaboration. Its no surprise collaboration is getting a lot of interest. The old metaphors for capturing, authoring and sharing information are stale and inefficient. As such, there is a lot of room for achieving productivity improvements through improved user experience. This has been true for all software, but especially so in the enterprise software space where collaboration is essential to daily operation and where every ounce of productivity translates into big dollars.
In the last several years a software renaissance has been taking place in the consumer space that has begun seeping into, and benefiting, business and enterprise systems. The innovation in software during this renaissance, more commonly referred to as Web 2.0, has been almost entirely about improving user experience metaphors. AJAX, new social metaphors, lessening of the file/file system metaphor, making structure implicit rather than explicit and just generally simplifying user interfaces are all trends evidenced in this new wave of software. While most pundits think Web 2.0 has been about making the Web participatory, enabling social connectedness and conversations these are but side effects of the improved ease of use and increased stickiness (fun of use) software has experienced.
As mentioned, the innovation in the consumer space is now seeping into business and enterprise software. To date, this has largely translated into a repurposing of consumer applications for the enterprise in an almost direct mapping. That is to say, not a lot of innovation is happening there. Enterprise social networking startups are trying their damndest to convince companies they need Facebook in the enterprise. Social bookmarking, video sharing, blogging, microblogging, mind-mapping, etc. are all attempting to re-imagine how people work. Alas, individually these applications dont deliver for the enterprise in a meaningful way without the network effect of their consumer counterparts. Enter the suites.
Enterprise 2.0 Suite vendors have recently captured media and analyst attention and are hastily developing products that combine aspects of many of the aforementioned Web 2.0 / Social Media tools in a race to fulfill the feature check list. Trying to be everything to everyone, the feature check list approach to software development, is never pretty. We played this out in the 90s and learned that it leads to crappy unusable software that may look good on paper, but is useless in practice. The Enterprise 2.0 Suites consistently force the enterprise to adapt their workflow to this new application instead of enabling the application to be adapted to the needs, workflow and existing systems of the enterprise landscape. The result is yet another silo that is difficult to get data into, out of, integrate, extend, reuse, secure, maintain. Moreover, in the haste to check the feature boxes vendors are making rookie engineering mistakes regarding scaling and security. In short, its a band aid thats sure to cause an expensive infection.
And then there is MindTouch. When Steve and I first approached the problem of collaboration we came at it with a background in distributed systems. This lead us to solve the problem of enterprise collaboration with a completely different approach than any one else attacking the problem. We saw collaboration as a distributed heterogeneous network that needed an easy to use canvas to surface data and behavior. Think about this a moment. Any modern company has a multiplicity of disconnected data and application silos. Email, databases, files, file serves, Intranet, CRM, ERP and a growing cloud of useful web-services. Its clear the enterprise desperately needs a new kind of tool to connect all these systems and services and enable easy collaboration across all of them.
Lets think a little more about the problem of the modern enterprise. This isnt a problem that would be nice to solve. This is a problem that desperately needs to be solved for the enterprise. We are bleeding here! We are hemorrhaging money! Please make it stop! Just getting access to information we need to do our work is difficult if not impossible. When, and if, you get access to requisite data from CRM, databases, web services, etc…massaging these pieces into actionable information is again painful and time consuming. When successful, what fruits do your labors yield? A static (dead) document or file that is likely trapped in email, a network file server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server or your local computer. In short, this is yet another disconnected silo. Never to be seen again or reused. The next time you need similar actionable information you repeat the process anew and it is just as time consuming and painful. This is fundamentally broken and its killing the productivity of every company.... read more
It might be hip, it may be the next big thing, or maybe its already a very popular tool for personal use, but at some point your employees are going to demand enterprise versions of the social collaboration applications they are already using outside of work. In anticipation of this demand, many social media companies are beginning to deploy “enterprise” or “commercial” versions of their software, although very few of these show any major strategic differentiation from the open-source or consumer versions of the product.
There are many companies that claim to be “enterprise ready”, but firms that can actually execute successfully within an enterprise environment are far fewer in number. There are some very important concerns when deploying any system in an enterprise; although much of the talk recently has focused on the “flattening” of org charts in the modern corporation, this does not mean that all employees should be privy to all of the information within your organization.... read more
All of us at MindTouch are very excited about the launch last week of WhoRunsGov, a Washington Post Company Publication. I wrote about the launch and reflected on the last few years at MindTouch at my personal blog. I will write more about WhoRunsGov in the January Newsletter, which will be sent out this week. I excerpt the following from my original post:
MindTouch has many millions of users. Is ranked in the top ten open source projects in the World. Is the most popular open source collaboration product in the World. Strangely, has an Alexa rank of ~37,000, this is an indication of www.MindTouch.com popularity, which is remarkably high for a young enterprise software company. A massive community of many thousand developers. A large and growing ecosystem around the world of companies employing MindTouch technology to build businesses and new products including: Amazon, IBM Global Services and NEC. MindTouch has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and every technology publication there is. And a long list of marquee customers like: The Washington Post, Microsoft, Intel, US Army, USA Department of Defense, Mozilla, The United Nations, Harvard-Kennedy. MindTouch Deki turns three years old this July, 25. Astounding…. ... read more
Erm… sorry for the false alarm.. Misposted on the main blog instead of the dev blog. If still interested, the post has been moved here
Today the Washington Post announced the launch of WhoRunsGov.com, a MindTouch powered, political community that features profiles of influential political officials including members of the new presidential administration, Pentagon officials, lawmakers, senior Congressional aides and committee staff. This new collaborative publishing platform is a remarkable example of how MindTouch Deki can unite politics with social media and contextually-placed content. No other traditional media publication has taken such an innovative approach to facilitate collaboration and content syndication within the political sphere like the Washington Post has today.
Hands down this platform will change the way we look at the world of Washington through its key players and personalities. The site features concise profiles of influential political officials who shape government policy, including members of the new presidential administration, Pentagon officials, lawmakers, senior congressional aides and committee staff. The first several hundred profiles are being crafted by a newly created editorial team at the Washington Post Company, as well as a group of experienced outside contributors.
Unique features include a navigation that is dynamically and automatically generated (for example, the profile of a Democratic congressman will immediately provide itself in the appropriate places in the navigation based on search), contextually relevant news pulled from the Washington Post and Google News and is generated dynamically for each profile page and automatic updates to the page pulled in from a variety of sources.
With MindTouch Deki, Washington Post benefits from the following unique attributes:... read more
Mark your calendar for this weeks Webinar Wednesday series, Using MindTouch Deki as a Content Management System, this Wednesday, January 21 at 11am (PST). This Wednesday one of our experts will take you through MindTouch Deki; starting off with the basics of using Deki and then focusing on a more specific topic (using MindTouch Deki as a CMS system) for the remainder of the hour (Q&A time also included in the hour). In this session youll discover how to:... read more
The extension I’m focusing on this week is the Xbox Live extension. The Xbox Live extension allows you to include your Avatar or your Game Card widget onto a MindTouch Deki page. This is a good one to get users contributing to Deki along with letting them get comfortable with the Extension dialog.
To get started install the Xbox Live extension.
Once installed edit the page that you want to include the avatar or game card on and then click the extension button in the editor: This will then give you the insert extension dialog where you can select Xbox Live. To add your Avatar or your game card include your gamerTag in the provided field. In this case we are going to use the gamerTag of an avid Xbox player here at MindTouch, wikinaut:... read more
Mark your calendar for this weeks Webinar Wednesday series, Using MindTouch Deki to Create Simple Workflow Using Forms & Templates, this Wednesday, January 14 at 11am (PST). This Wednesday one of our experts will take you through MindTouch Deki; starting off with the basics of using Deki and then focusing on a more specific topic (creating simple workflow using forms & templates) for the remainder of the hour (Q&A time also included in the hour). In this session youll discover how to:... read more
Mark your calendar for this weeks Webinar Wednesday series, Using MindTouch Deki for Business Automation of Your CRM System, this Wednesday, January 7 at 11am (PST). This Wednesday one of our experts will take you through MindTouch Deki; starting off with the basics of using Deki and then focusing on a more specific topic (using MindTouch Deki for business automation) for the remainder of the hour (Q&A time also included in the hour). In this session youll discover how to:... read more
Its the end of the year and everyone is publishing their top 10 lists. In this spirit, I thought I would do one too. The fact is MindTouch Deki is so robust and feature rich there are very few people that fully grasp the power of the platform. Hence this list.
1. WOA. A Web Services Framework and Web Services Orchestration Engine
I have to start with this one because Im often surprised with the notion that MindTouch Deki is a wiki. Yes, there is a very polished wiki-like interface that exposes most, but not all, of the capabilities of the web services layer. Anything you can do through the wiki-like interface, and more, can be done through RESTful interfaces. In fact, every Deki page is an XML web service that is RESTful. We call this a Web Oriented Architecture (WOA). This has many profound and interesting benefits for developers and enterprise IT architects alike. To start with, you can extend the platform in any programming language. It is easily embedded into other applications and easy to connect other systems, web services and data sources. Also, many use MindTouch Deki as a specialized application server for developing social or collaborative applications. A great public example of this is www.Shelfari.com. This was acquired by www.Amazon.com in mid-2008. Most importantly, while all other social and collaborative enterprise applications provide you with a walled-garden/point-application that forces you to adapt to their pre-defined workflow, MindTouch, with the WOA and DekiScript, allows you to adapt the platform to suit your workflow, needs and existing enterprise ecosystem and you dont need an army of engineers to do this.
2. Agile Content Management System (CMS)
MindTouch Deki makes a fantastic CMS. For an example, look no further than www.MindTouch.com. The fact is, websites are a collaborative effort and most often involve a team of people of varying degrees of technical acumen. Usability, content versioning, file/asset management, automatic page redirects and search are all aspects of content management for web publishing that MindTouch Deki excels at. Moreover, MindTouch makes it easy to connect other systems and surface data from other properties and services. Indeed, MindTouch Deki provides a high water mark for a social media enhanced website with automatic connections to video, blogging, photo sharing services as well as hundreds of other pre-packaged web services that are useful to website builders. Download and install the Deki CMS skin.
From a single Deki application host one can run many distinct instances of MindTouch Deki. The largest such farm instance (that I know of) is the one MindTouch powers for Deki Express at www.wik.is where a single application host runs as many as 30,000 unique MindTouch Deki Express instances. There are many others that configure MindTouch Deki in this manner. This is done by sub-licensors of MindTouch software, such as www.dekiwiki.jp and other hosting service providers, but also is common among large companies and organizations that want to minimize the cost to maintain and secure Deki. Specifically, this is a wonderful way to keep the smallest possible footprint, provides a single point to upgrade, patch, secure and configure, and allows auto-provisioning of Deki sites for projects, work teams, micro-sites, etc
When MindTouch first launched the SaaS offering Deki Express (www.wik.is) we needed an infrastructure to help us maintain the Deki Cloud. We had already developed the multi-tenant capabilities in order to provide a cloud infrastructure and the WOA gave us significant benefits in scaling, but we needed an infrastructure to ease the complexity of managing hundreds of thousands of Deki instances. Hence, DekiCloud. This is a Cloud management and analytics console that greatly improves administrators ability to manage a cloud of MindTouch Deki instances. This makes provisioning, configuration, analytics, etc a snap and is especially useful for companies and organizations running more than a few MindTouch Dekis.
5. Native SVG and Silverlight Support
Thats right, you can edit SVG and Silverlight natively with Deki. For that matter, with the built in syntax highlighting for about twenty programming languages you can present syntax highlighted code samples adjacent to working SVG and Silverlight. Among other things, this makes MindTouch Deki uniquely suited for documenting SVG and Microsoft Silverlight; so, take note SVG W3C WG and Microsoft Silverlight team.
6. Multiple User Interfaces
The most complete user interface of MindTouch Deki is a decoupled PHP client that provides the wiki-like interface most familiar to Deki. Beyond this there are also interfaces for the iPhone, Windows desktop (Winform) and Microsoft Office. Given the architecture of MindTouch Deki being WOA (entirely RESTful) building new user interfaces is quick and easy.
7. Multi-Lingual Polyglot
This is a tough one to explain; so, Ive embedded a video below that demonstrates the preponderance of this very innovative and unique capability. Suffice it to say, Im not aware of any application that provides this kind of groundbreaking capability for internationalization and localization. Mozilla was a major impetus to the development of this functionality. The Mozilla Developer Center was able to be consolidated from 16 distinct Mediawiki instances into a single MindTouch Deki instance that vastly improved how Mozilla community members from all over the World collaborate.... read more
There are many reasons to upgrade open source installations to MindTouch Deki Standard and Enterprise (commercial builds). Some reasons include the stable build, a MindTouch certified stack, more enterprise adapters, installers and updaters, Microsoft Office integration, support…. Now there is yet another reason to upgrade existing open source installations. Any MindTouch Deki Open Source user that upgrades to MindTouch Deki Commercial (Deki Standard or Enterprise) will have a donation made on their behalf to the World Wildlife Fund, which will pay to save an endangered emperor penguin.
Penguins represent a lot to those of us in the tech and computer industry but believe it or not, this magnificent Antarctic bird means a lot to conservationists, scientists, kids and even recently, Hollywood. For those of us living in San Diego we have a special, soft spot for penguins (especially emperor penguins) because SeaWorld, San Diego is one of only two places in the world where emperor penguins are kept in captivity.
What’s really neat about this time of year is that people are wrapping up the year and bringing out their giving spirit - let’s not forget to include our precious endangered species on our list. So this year MindTouch will donate and adopt, from the World Wildlife Fund, an emperor penguin in your company’s name when you upgrade to MindTouch Standard or Enterprise license from an existing Deki Open Source installation.
Benefits of Upgrading from Open-Source to Deki Commercial:... read more
Until now the only portion of a page that has been editable by the user is the content inside the editor. Logically this makes sense, however, there are times when a user or administrator may want to add additional content to the skinning template*. For instance a user may want to add advertisements, navigations, widgets or some custom html. Such functionality has been available since November, 2007 but was fairly basic. Users could add site-wide content into numerous different custom HTML areas and were limited to HTML and client side scripting languages.... read more
This release is our last minor release within the Jay Cooke family before Kilen Woods. The main driver of features for this release was the Topsan project, which is a collaborative effort to describe proteins and their functions. The most notable feature is the addition of global templates - these are Deki templates which are loaded on every page. In combination with our skin template targeting in 8.05.1, this allows you to target any part of the skin on all pages with output from DekiScript. We’ve also added more control over the default content of user and home pages - this’ll let you embed templates and more personalized content whenever somebody joins your Deki community; this is a part of a long-term effort to emphasize features which assist user adoption.... read more
With the roll-out of MindTouch Deki “Jay Cooke” v 8.05.2 we introduced MindTouch Deki Enterprise Edition. MindTouch Deki Enterprise Edition is production ready open source software and our only platform that is stress-tested, certified and supported. MindTouch Deki Enterprise Edition includes services tailored to saving organizations time and money by helping getting projects completed securely and quickly. MindTouch is always there when you need support.... read more
The 8.05.2 release of MindTouch Deki has a many noticeable improvements, particularly regarding skinning template targeting. Additionally, 8.05.2 shipped with a fairly drastic series of updates to the most popular MindTouch Deki skinning template, Fiesta. The updates were introduced to increase skinning efficiency, to provide a better CSS file structure and to reduce the CSS filesize and load time.... read more
I’m going to be blogging once a week about an Extension that is available for MindTouch Deki. The extension I’m highlighting this week is the FlowPlayer Extension.
FlowPlayer enables a user to embed FLV media into a Deki page. This will help liven up your MindTouch Deki site while allowing you to keep media relevant to your organization on your Deki site as opposed to hosting it on a third party video site.... read more
“What is OpenGarden?” Originally, it was supposed to be a site to grow our open-source community, but then we realized that MindTouch itself was doing the exact same thing! A few months ago, we made the decision to start phasing out OpenGarden - we finally took the first huge step towards completing that task today.
We’ve migrated our bug tracker, our forums and our wiki (http://wiki.developer.mindtouch.com) all over to our new site: MindTouch Developer Center.... read more
With all the discussions about about Cloud Computing going on, it’s time to draw lines and explain what the big differences are between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Cloud Software.cloud-jail.jpg
SaaS: The dawn of Cloud Computing
SaaS has been attractive, because it removes all complexity from installation, deployment, maintenance, is globally accessible, and affordable. By its nature, SaaS resides in the “cloud” and overcomes the traditional headaches of VPNs for efficient collaboration. An added bonus is transparent backups (assuming there is backup strategy).... read more
I’m proud to announce the availability of Deki Wiki 8.05.1 RC1 today! Deki Wiki 8.05.1 is an incremental Jay Cooke release with a high focus on improving performance of Deki Wiki. Performance gains were realized primarily in the API to support the millions of pageviews per month for Mozilla’s Developer Center. All of the performance development gains are documented; check it out for details and hard numbers. On our test environment on an Amazon EC2 large instance, we saw performance gains from 8.05 up to 1200%!... read more
Since first launching Deki Wiki Hayes in July 2007, we’re on track to deliver three major releases by July 2008: Itasca (1.9.x, December 2007), Jay Cooke (8.05, May 2007) and Killen Woods (8.07 expected July 2008).
One of our internal development goals since the launch of Hayes back in July was to get into steady releases. And to our credit, we did that pretty successfully! Deki Wiki 1.8.2 and Deki Wiki 1.8.3 followed the initial July release in three-month increments. And we’ve gotten better - we’ve cut down our 3-month release cycle down to a two month release cycle (Jay Cooke shipped two months after Itasca, while Killen Woods will ship in July).... read more