Tag Archives: Omea

Omea is open to the community

Now that Michael has publicly posted the official news in the Confluence wiki for Omea and in the newsgroups (i.e. coyly here via a three-part post featuring Esperanto and Alice in Wonderland), I want to also draw attention to this important open source event: http://svn.jetbrains.org/omeaopen.

I caught word of this milestone coming via Jeff Loftus. Serge was kind enough to cut Jeff and I in a couple of days early on the SVN link via the Omea multi-user chat room. (Using Miranda to access the MUC was painless).

I see, too, that David and Dmitry have picked up the news.

It took almost ten months since I posted my open letter to the Omea crew, but they have delivered.

Looks like I need to demonstrate “Omea Master” status. :-)

An open letter to Jetbrains about Omea

From: Craig Randall
Sent: 5/30/2007 7:45:19 PM
Newsgroups: jetbrains.omniamea.eap, jetbrains.omea.reader, jetbrains.omea.pro, jetbrains.omea.dev
Subject: When will the source finally become open for Omea?

Omea Team-

Many months ago Jetbrains announced that Omea was going open source. However, to date the source is still entirely closed. There has been very little explanation about the lack of follow-through (timely or otherwise) concerning progress (or challenges) in achieving the publicly announced goal of making Omea an open source project.

When you read through a significant number of posts since the Omea announcement, it’s obvious that the Omea community is loyal. But all loyalty has its limits, and I fear that Jetbrains is pushing this community to the point of writing off the announcement as vaporous. That is really unfortunate and completely unnecessary. From my correspondence separately with you, I know that there is still passion around Omea (i.e. the core dev’s at Jetbrains).

So, what say you? Can you give your long-suffering community a definitive answer about when you will finally make Omea fully open source?


It’s also been almost six months since version 2.2 was released. So regardless of the critical environment around open sourcing your product, you need to convince your community that, regardless of open/closed, Omea is alive and well, receiving its due care and feeding one way or another.

You made Omea free (as in free beer); now, please liberate Omea.

Sincerely, your languishing advocate…

Update 3/14/2008: JetBrains has finally released Omea under GPL v2, and the community can participate in its ongoing development (!!). More in a separate post

Open source Omea!

Earlier today JetBrains Omea Development Lead, Michael Gerasimov, made it public and official: “After collecting your opinions and having long internal discussions, we have finally decided to move both Omea Reader and Omea Pro into the open source domain.” Michael had alerted me to this excellent news privately before the newsgroup-based announcement, but once again I agreed to wait for JetBrain’s lead.

This is great news for Omea users like me, content management developers and solutions architects like me, and fans of open source… :-)

Here are some more details from this announcement:

  • The licensing of this new open source project has yet to be announced (e.g. GNU, Apache, etc.).
  • The repository for this project has yet to be announced (e.g. SourceForge, etc.).
  • Omea Pro is immediately available free of charge.
  • JetBrains will release version 2.2 of Omea Pro and Omea Reader before the product goes open source in the traditional sense.
  • JetBrains is going to ensure Visual Studio 2005 readiness before the product goes open source (e.g. project files, potential optimization for .NET 2.0, etc.).
  • Source code currently resides in a p4 repository. It will migrate into a Subversion repository before it goes open source.
  • The new build scheme will leverage JetBrains TeamCity.

Alas and unfortunately, omea.org is already claimed by Ottawa Musicians and Entertainers Association.

Update 3/15/2008: Although over a year later, Omea is finally open to the community In doing so, JetBrains has released the open source project via SVN off its domain and with a code base requiring .NET 3.0 and Visual Studio 2008–among other components.

An open source Omea?

Now that Michael Gerasimov, one of the last remaining Omea developers at JetBrains, has gone public on the jetbrains.omea.pro newsgroup with the state of affairs at JetBrains concerning Omea, I can comment here.

While JetBrains may receive more revenue and recognition from its IntelliJ IDEA product (e.g. leading edge refactoring support in a Java IDE), Omea represents a compelling and leading offering in the personal information management space. I certainly hope that Omea continues to thrive long from now in one way or another. Thoughts of an open source Omea project are particularly exciting, but I’d be just as happy for JetBrains to decide to maintain it as a viable commercial offering.

My worst fear is that Omea may simply die–be quietly taken offline and become forgotten…nothing more than archived code, binaries and docs…thoughts of what could have been.

There is certainly software deserving of such a fate, but Omea is not among it. Not by a long shot!

Update 3/15/2008: My fears have been relieved.

Content attractors

In my quest to become more digital I’ve become accustomed to set of tools that allow me to create, annotate, manipulate, access, … content more on my terms. What I mean of this software is that it works with me, with the way that I think. Sometimes it even causes me to realize the implications of my thought process (e.g. realization of relationships to other thought and expression).

Here is a short list of software that attracts me to content:

Having come from a hand-made blog, WordPress was a delight to discover. No more worrying about plumbing and infrastructure. WordPress had all the features on my to-implement list, it was a breeze to install and it featured a team of committers that was helpful and supportive to newbies and oldies alike. Now I can focus on producing content, which is the essential premise of most blogs–certainly mine. And when I have the time to personalize my blog, adding and/or creating themes and/or plugins is straightforward.

I can’t attend a meeting without OneNote, and I’ve converted a significant number of my colleagues at work do have the same perspective. When you read the passion behind this new edition to the Office 2003 family in the form of Chris Pratley‘s and Owen Braun‘s blogs and then use the product a strong sense of design fidelity comes across. To say that OneNote replaces Notepad is a gross understatement; it changes the way I take digital notes on Windows–and I don’t even own a Tablet PC! Read the tips; install the PowerToys; download and activate templates; record an hour of voice-quality WMA in 6~7 MB; roll-up TODO items and lists; etc. OneNote has a bright future ahead of itself, too (e.g. shared notebook enhancements, OneNote Mobile, OneNote to PDF conversion, etc.).

MindManager is the most recent application to make the above list thanks to my colleagues at work. MindManager allows me to more effectively capture brainstorming that doesn’t lend itself readily to lists–and this happens more than I would have otherwise known. While I may not have formally “mind mapped” pre-MM, post-MM the value of mind mapping has become clearer and more familiar–except that my hand-written scrawls on scratch paper can be captured and circulated far more effectively (e.g. convert to PDF, Office formats, etc.) Now I just need to take some time to familiarize myself with the full functionality of this powerful tool. You can join me by tapping into the well-written newsletter and blog feeds here. (Yes, passion behind product matters!)

Omea has already been blogged by me. It’s a daily participant and guide in my efforts to stay current on trends, technologies and practices that will impact my architecture. However, this is another tool that I’ve not yet fully exploited where aggregation and annotation of “resources” is concerned, and here I’d like to see further usability (discovery and accessibility) improvements made by the JetBrains team.

Back in July of 2004 when I first became aware of and began to leverage Lookout, life in Outlook became significantly better where message and content retrieval was concerned–important for pack rats like me. Yes, MSN Search Toolbar is where Microsoft is investing now, not Lookout, but Lookout addresses at least 80% of my needs where Outlook-based search is concerned.

Just as Advanced Find in Outlook is inadequate to my needs, straight search in Windows Explorer is similarly insufficient. Enter Copernic Desktop Search. The CDS UI, its taskbar augment and its ability to be extended to index additional file types are welcome improvements (e.g. Mindjet Labs’ CDS integration for MindManager). A complaint I have with CDS, though, is its habit of holding a write lock on my PST file. IMHO, an indexer should be as passive as possible–and still perform, of course.

Who doesn’t use Google? I mean, who doesn’t Google? When your product becomes a verb, you must be doing something right. In a sense Google is to me like Lookout is to me: it just works and does so consistently. Yes, there are other search engines with auxilliary services out there, but I find no compelling reason to switch. So, why don’t I use Google Desktop Search instead of CDS or even CDS and Lookout? To be honest, there may be some habitual inertia in play. There are conflicting views, for example, about GDS and security (e.g. fine vs. concerned), and this has given me pause. The recent addition of the GDS Sidebar and the large number of useful plugins is nonetheless compelling, and several of my friends and colleagues benefit from GDS. What do you think? Worth the switch?

What tools attract you to content? How do they make content management a delight?

What tools do you tolerate or avoid where content management is concerned? Why are they so frustrating or limiting?