Tag Archives: Open source

CMIS Interoperability

CMS Wire recently picked up the development of CMIS Explorer by Shane Johnson (@shane_dev) at CityTech. CMIS Explorer (download) is a browser application written in Adobe AIR and Flex that uses the RESTful AtomPub binding of the proposed CMIS standard to interact with CMIS-compliant repositories.

Already early access support for CMIS is available from EMC, IBM and Alfresco. Such support makes it possible for applications like CMIS Explorer to be applied to a variety of content repositories in ways not possible before CMIS.

As fellow OASIS CMIS TC member Florent Guillaume from Nuxeo comments, though, CMIS is not yet a formal (fixed) standard. It is under development and somewhat fluid.

When a content repository vendor provides draft support, don’t assume that such support fully conforms to the current draft specification (e.g. v0.5). If you’re an application developer like Shane, you can know conformance exists by first building against what is specified on the OASIS site for CMIS and then pointing your application at desired content repository or repositories.

For example, you can point CMIS Explorer at a Documentum content repository via EMC CMIS support EA2 to search and to see types.

Searching a Docbase via CMIS Explorer

Reviewing Docbase types via CMIS Explorer

However, while basic interoperability seems OK, something prevents actual browsing functionality in CMIS Explorer from working with Documentum. In its com.citytechinc.cmis.Repository.setFolder() method, CMIS Explorer tries to get folder objects from root children via the following condition:
f.object.properties.propertyString.(@name=='BaseType').value == "folder"
However, draft CMIS specification v0.5 does not define a BaseType property, not does the EMC CMIS support EA2 contain this property. As a result, CMIS Explorer cannot find any folder object in root children, which prevents it from being able to browse a Docbase.

To be fair, my colleague, Norrie Quinn, has already pointed out this matter on Shane’s post, and Shane has replied.

My focus here is simply as follows: It’s important for applications to leverage the currently proposed CMIS bindings from OASIS rather than a particular vendor’s implementation of these bindings in order to promote interoperability.

It will be good to see the emergence of CMIS-based applications that go beyond exploration, navigation and portal-style user experiences. Such applications will help to influence the CMIS roadmap beyond version 1.0.

In the meantime, it’s great to see open source efforts like CMIS Explorer take root today. Thanks, Shane.

P.S. It would be good to see a community form around CMIS-based application development (e.g. shine a light on individual efforts, potentially pool interest and resources, solicit ideas and challenges, etc.). If you’re interested in something like, please leave me a comment. In the meantime, I plan to promote community efforts here as best I can. Thanks.

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.