[Foundation-l] Wiki work

Dirk Riehle dirk at riehle.org
Thu Feb 28 01:33:37 UTC 2008

I have no doubts that MediaWiki could be evolved rather quickly into a 
wiki engine that plays well in the enterprise, i.e. appeals to the 
corporate buyer. (There are a few features, like multi-instance 
capabilities, that haven't been done well yet. I'm still waiting for 
Wikia to release its code on this... hint hint.)

The biggest problem is that the GPL + the situation that main developers 
can't be hired into a startup pretty much prevents the by now 
"traditional" commercial open source model. So you can't be a MySQL 
because you can't gain the rights to the software and play the MySQL 
game. At the same time, because of the GPL, you can't be EnterpriseDB (a 
commercialization of PostgreSQL).

Finally, there was a rather devastating report recently that showed that 
there is much less support services revenue earned in open source than 
you might think, hence making money by providing 24h support for a GPLed 
project isn't lucrative either.

Too bad, if you ask me...


Tim Starling wrote:
> Dirk Riehle wrote:
>> Confluence is "enterprise ready" i.e. has a lot of features that
>> MediaWiki doesn't have and that the public Internet community
>> typically doesn't care about.
>> Confluence is based on an open source wiki engine, www.snipsnap.org,
>> which unfortunately is stalling. (But is still one of the best engines
>> out there IMO.)
>> Cheers,
>> Dirk
> "Enterprise ready" is just a marketing term. It doesn't actually say 
> anything about what features it has and what features it doesn't have, and 
> lots of enterprises are using MediaWiki out of the box.
> Which brings me to one big thing that Confluence has but MediaWiki 
> doesn't: a marketing team. Add to that a sales team and professional 
> support services, and you have a convincing case for any corporate executive.
> MediaWiki really needs very little development work done in order to take 
> over the corporate world. But there is no support organisation to pay for 
> it, so it doesn't get done. With commercial support funding development, 
> MediaWiki could easily become the MySQL of wiki engines.
> -- Tim Starling
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