Is Open Source Bad for Your Career?

ComputerWorld Canada recently published an article about the closing keynote on open source that I had given at the Free Software & Open Source Symposium in Toronto last year. The basic tenet of the article is that I had claimed that software developers will fall on hard times due to open source. This is obviously not true, at least not in a naive sense.

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Towards End-User Programming with Wikis

Authors: Craig Anslow, Dirk Riehle

Abstract: When business software fails to provide the desired functionality, users typically turn to spreadsheets to perform simple but general computational tasks. However, spreadsheets enforce a view of the world that consists mostly of tables and numbers rather than the domain concepts users have in mind. We are using wikis as a platform for empowering end-users to perform computational tasks of their choice. This paper discusses how core properties of wikis can support end-user programming. We illustrate our approach using wiki prototype software for working with business objects as made available by SAP’s business application suite.

Reference: In Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop in End-User Software Engineering (WEUSE IV). IEEE Press, 2008. Page 61-65.

Available as a PDF file.

How to Benefit from Open Source

Title: How to benefit from open source

Presenter: Dirk Riehle

Institution: SAP Research, SAP Labs LLC

Abstract: Open source is changing the game of how software is built and how money is made. This talk analyzes the economics of open source software from three main perspectives: The system integrator perspective, the start-up firm perspective, and the individual software developer perspective. A focus is on the distinction between community open source and commercial open source, and how the different stakeholders use different approaches to win in the market, e.g. to gain market share or to keep a job. The dual-license strategy is explained as well as why committers to important open source software projects can expect a higher salary. The talk shows how every stakeholder can benefit and thereby explains why open source is here to stay.

Event/location: Software Engineering Today 2008 (SET 2008) in Zurich, May 6-7th 2008

Wiki Creole Grammar, Schema, Transformations Made Available

For wiki research purposes as well as the Wiki Creole community‘s convenience, we are making our EBNF grammar, the XML schema definition, and the to/from XML transformations available. You can use these specifications to create your own wiki parsers (using parser generators) as well as use standard technology (DOM, XSLT) to work with wiki pages and display or save them.

For more, see the dedicated wiki-creole page.

An XML Interchange Format for Wiki Creole 1.0

Authors: Martin Junghans, Dirk Riehle, Umit Yalcinalp

Abstract: Wikis have become an important application on the web and in the enterprise, yet there are no interoperability standards between different wiki engines. We present the first complete XML representation format of Wiki Creole 1.0. Wiki Creole is a community standard for wiki markup, the language used to write wiki pages. This report presents the complete XML representation format using a validating XML schema. In addition we present XSLT definitions for transforming the XML representations to XHTML on the one hand and for transforming the XML representations to Wiki Creole markup on the other hand. Our work shows how using XML technologies we can make wiki interchange, wiki upgrading, and wiki conversion independent from a specific wiki engine implementation.

Reference: In ACM SIGWEB Newsletter, Volume 2007, Issue Winter (Winter 2007), Article No. 5. ACM Press, 2007.

Available as a PDF file.

An EBNF Grammar for Wiki Creole 1.0

Authors: Martin Junghans, Dirk Riehle, Rama Gurram, Matthias Kaiser, Mario Lopes, Umit Yalcinalp

Abstract: Today’s wiki engines are not interoperable. This is an unfortunate consequence of the lack of rigorously specified standards. This technical report presents a complete and validated EBNF-based grammar for Wiki Creole, a community standard for wiki markup. Wiki Creole is also the only standard currently available. Wiki Creole is being specified using prose, leading to inconsistencies and ambiguities. Our grammar uncovered those ambiguities which we fed back into the specification process. The Wiki Creole grammar presented in this report makes the creation of Wiki Creole parsers simple using parser generators, ANTLR in our case. Using a precise specification of wiki markup lets us decouple wiki editors from wiki storage from further wiki processing tools. Based on this decoupling layer we expect innovation on these different parts to proceed independently and at a faster pace than before.

Reference: In ACM SIGWEB Newsletter, Volume 2007, Issue Winter (Winter 2007), Article No. 4. ACM Press, 2007.

Available as a PDF file.