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From "Alexey Petrenko" <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] JSPWiki
Date Sat, 08 Sep 2007 12:09:34 GMT

2007/8/30, Janne Jalkanen <>:
> Hello all!
> I am Janne Jalkanen, the lead developer of the open source wiki
> engine called JSPWiki, and I have a proposal for your enjoyment.
> This proposal is available in the web at
> ApacheJSPWikiProposal, should you wish to help us to make it better.
> /Janne
> ---------
> Abstract
> Apache JSPWiki will be a modular and user-extensible wiki-engine,
> based on the open source JSPWiki software.
> Proposal
> JSPWiki is a wiki engine available under the Lesser General Public
> License. It has a very modular construction, and integrates
> relatively nicely with a bunch of enterprise systems. It is also
> inherently embeddable, and has been incorporated as a component in a
> few different commercial and open source products.
> The latest JSPWiki, 2.6, supports AJAX and full I18N, pluggable
> backends, pluggable editors, an expressive markup, a plugin
> framework, a filter framework, and built-in URL rewriting.
> JSPWiki also has a nice unit test set of over 700 unit tests which
> have been invaluable in keeping compatibility between releases.
> Background
> In the past few years, wikis have become a common collaborative tool.
> They are light-weight, open, and easy to deploy. The English
> Wikipedia, currently the largest public wiki site, contains nearly
> two million pages.
> Wikis were originally designed to be small group collaboration tools,
> but they have proven to be scalable to a large number of users, as
> evidenced by the Wikipedia example. However, their most common use is
> still within companies and other entities which deploy them as
> collaboration tools, augmenting and even replacing traditional CSCW
> tools.
> JSPWiki was originally created to address the same group
> collaboration tool needs as so many other wiki engines. Its goals
> were from the start to provide extensibility and user power, while
> keeping the core functionality clear. Since it's inception in 2001,
> it has grown to be one of the more popular open source wikiengines,
> at least in the Java arena. It currently ships with the Sun Portal
> Server 7, and features as an integral part of the Intland Codebeamer
> development environment.
> Rationale
> JSPWiki has grown nicely over the past few years, and currently
> averages around 2000 downloads monthly. The users-list has at the
> writing of this 207 members, and the developers mailing list has 34
> members. There are currently six people with commit access to the CVS
> codebase.
> However, there is a chasm to how large an open source project can
> grow under a "benevolent dictator" –model. Many corporations are
> relying on the JSPWiki code base, and joining Apache would lessen the
> risks involved in using it, thus giving more entities an opportunity
> to use this advanced project. Joining Apache would make us less
> dependent on individual developers and would strengthen our community.
> We also feel that the introduction of Apache processes would increase
> the code quality, as well as bring more interested developers to this
> project.
> Apache is also lacking a wiki engine. It is currently using either
> commercial software (Confluence) or Python-based wiki software
> (MoinMoin) as its own projects. As wikis are becoming the workhorse
> of many projects, we feel that it would bring a good addition to the
> Apache community.
> Initial Goals
> The initial goals of the project is to release JSPWiki 2.8 under the
> Apache license:
>      * Bring in the JSPWiki 2.6 stable code base into Apache and
> apply Apache licensing and remove incompatible dependencies (see
> ApacheRelicensing for more discussion.)
>      * Release JSPWiki 2.8 as a clone of JSPWiki 2.6 - with some bug
> fixes and Apache licensing, however keeping compatibility with
> JSPWiki 2.6. This means that we cannot e.g. change the package naming
> from "com.ecyrd.jspwiki" or else all old plugins will fail. It is yet
> unclear whether this will be acceptable to ASF.
> After that, we will start working on JSPWiki 3.0:
>      * Clean up our metadata and backend support by adding JSR-170
> repository support
>      * Adoption of a more flexible web framework (Stripes, an Apache-
> licensed project)
>      * Multi-wiki support (so-called WikiFarms, or WikiWebs or
> WikiSpaces)
>      * Move to "org.apache.jspwiki" -structure, breaking
> compatibility with 2.x series
>      * Cleanup of the APIs and some refactoring which has been due
> for a long time
> Current Status
> JSPWiki code base is relatively stable, and even though some parts
> are certainly showing their age, the code is clearly laid out (we
> originally used the Avalon coding conventions, but since then it has
> been slightly modified), and is often thanked for its clarity. We use
> the Facade and Adapter patterns extensively across JSPWiki.
> The current development practice has mostly been a Linux-like
> "benevolent dictator" -model. There have been no major clashes on the
> mailing lists, and the community tends to be helpful, even if
> sometimes a little slow in helping others.
> Meritocracy
> JSPWiki has always tried to grant commit access to people who have
> proven themselves as willing and capable of contributing to the code
> base, UI design, documentation, etc. We will certainly continue this
> practice, as it has proven to be very useful. We hope that the Apache
> process will make it even more practical.
> Community
> JSPWiki has existed since 2001, and during its life, the community
> has been growing steadily. Currently there is some 200-odd members on
> the jspwiki-users mailing list, and 34 members on the jspwiki-dev-
> users mailing list.
> JSPWiki has also been a subject of some scientific papers, and is
> used as a development platform.
> Core Developers
> The core developers consist of Janne Jalkanen (Finnish, the original
> lead developer and still the person with the most commits), Andrew
> Jaquith (USA, a security guru), Dirk Frederickx (Belgium, our user
> experience specialist), Christoph Sauer (Germany, the maintainer of
> the WikiWizard editor), and Juan Pablo Santos Rodríguez (Spain, the
> i18n specialist).
> We are a diverse group, though concentrated mostly in the Western
> countries.
> Alignment
> We use Tomcat as our main development platform, and we are already
> using a large number of Apache components from Log4j and regexps to
> Commons Lang.
> In the future, we are planning to turn our backend to use JSR-170,
> which makes Apache Jackrabbit an obvious bit of the future, though
> the migration from our current repository model is still unclear.
> Our coding rules are also based on Apache Avalon coding rules.
> Known Risks
> Changing a large code base from one license to another always entails
> risks. There may be users who might object to moving from GNU to
> Apache on idealistic grounds, but most of the users will probably
> take a pragmatic approach.
> Another problem may be if we cannot locate suitable non-GPL options
> for our components. This may mean long delays, as we may need to
> develop alternatives ourselves.
> Also, the move is likely – at least initially – to divert resources
> from development to bureucracy. This is likely to strain a nerve or
> two. This can hopefully be mitigated by the Mentors by providing
> clear guidance.
> To be fully blunt, I (Janne Jalkanen) also feel a bit queasy on
> giving control of JSPWiki – my pet, which I have groomed for many
> years – away to a foundation. However, this is something which is
> better in long term for JSPWiki, and therefore it is worth the
> sacrifices.
> JSPWiki 2.8 is designed to be a low-risk, low-hanging-fruit type of a
> release, assuming that ASF is fine with the package not being in the
> "org.apache" hierarchy. If not, we have no choice but to wait until
> 3.0 since breaking the binary compatibility twice in a row would mean
> problems for all developers.
> Orphaned products
> Since JSPWiki has been lead using a "benevolent dictator" –model, the
> largest knowledge of the code base rests on Janne Jalkanen. Janne has
> no plans to leave JSPWiki development, but certainly there is a need
> to get more people who have an intimate knowledge of the code base
> (and the decisions thereof).
> Inexperience with Open Source
> JSPWiki was started as an open source project in June 2001, and has
> remained an open source project since. Issue tracking and mailing
> lists have been open to everyone from day one.
> Homogenous Developers
> The current list of committers includes people from five countries,
> four timezones and two continents. Regular patches come in also from
> other countries.
> Reliance on Salaried Developers
> There are currently no people on the committer list who get paid to
> work on JSPWiki. However, we do get patches from a number of
> companies with a vested interest in JSPWiki.
> JSPWiki is in no way reliant on salaried coders.
> Relationships with Other Apache Products
> JSPWiki uses quite a few different Apache projects already, and, of
> course, runs on top of Tomcat (though it has been developed to be
> pure J2EE only and in no way relies on any specific functionality).
> In the future, we expect to integrate somewhat with Jackrabbit.
> A Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand
> JSPWiki could continue on its own, no worries. However, we do feel
> that our customers and users would feel more comfortable if there was
> a "name" attached to it – because it lessens the risk of JSPWiki just
> going away some day.
> To be frank, we are more interested in the Apache processes and the
> stability Apache would bring to the project than the actual name. We
> also hope that Apache will adopt us as their wiki solution ;-)
> Documentation
> The chief JSPWiki resource is the web site.
> It is further amended by the JSPWiki documentation site (http://
> as well as the JSPWiki-users and JSPWiki-dev
> mailing list archives at
> and
> Initial Source
> There is an initial source base of approximately 70,000 lines of
> code. (According to an estimate by the Ohloh code search engine, this
> amounts to roughly 17 person years).
> Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan
>      * domain from Janne Jalkanen
>      * JSPWiki source code from all contributors (CLAs need to be done)
> External Dependencies
> JSPWiki is relying already extensively on a number of Apache-licensed
> libraries. However, we are also using some LGPL-based libraries,
> which will either need to be replaced or rewritten. The current list
> of dependencies and the migration plan is available here:
> Cryptography
> JSPWiki uses only cryptography methods (hash codes) available in the
> J2SE itself. There is one exception to this rule, however: we use a
> slightly modified version of the Apache Tomcat's HexUtils for
> converting byte arrays into hexadecimal digits.
> (org.apache.catalina.util.HexUtils).
> Required Resources
> Mailing lists
> JSPWiki currently operates on two mailing lists - jspwiki-
>, and It would be good to
> continue these both also under Apache Incubation, with the addition
> of the mandatory jspwiki-private. A jspwiki-commits -list might also
> be useful.
>      * jspwiki-users (contains the existing members of the jspwiki-
> users)
>      * jspwiki-dev (the members of the existing jspwiki-dev)
>      * jspwiki-commits (new list for announcing commits to the svn
> repository)
>      * jspwiki-private (for the PPMC, with moderated subscriptions)
> Subversion Directory
> JSPWiki code base should be named "jspwiki", as in
> Issue Tracking
> Current JSPWiki bug tracking is done at,
> using Bugzilla 3.0. It would be good to be able to move the current
> bug list to the Apache Bugzilla. The project name should be "JSPWiki".
> If the bug list cannot be moved, then we can continue to use the
> JSPWiki bug tracker.
> Other Resources
>      * website
>      *
>      *
>      * (wiped at noon GMT with a custom script).
>      *
> Some or all of these can be moved to Apache. However, deeper
> discussions need to be made on which ones Apache is willing to host.
> Initial Committers
>      * Janne Jalkanen (
>      * Andrew Jaquith (
>      * Dirk Frederickx (
>      * Christoph Sauer (
>      * Juan Pablo Santos Rodríquez (
>      * Murray Altheim (
> None of the initial committers have yet submitted a CLA.
> Affiliations
> Janne Jalkanen works as a Project Manager in Nokia, but his work has
> nothing to do with JSPWiki.
> Andrew Jaquith is a senior analyst at Yankee Group, an ICT research
> and consulting firm. He covers security for Yankee. Nokia, curiously,
> is one of Yankee's customers, but apparently not the part that Janne
> works for. :)
> Christoph Sauer is a researcher at the Heilbronn University, Germany.
> He is a Project Manager at the Heilbronn Universities i3G Institute,
> which offers business services for small and medium sized companies.
> Juan Pablo Santos works as a Software Engineer in Secuenzia, an IT
> consulting firm in Madrid.
> Sponsors
> Champion
> Champion: Dave Johnson
> Nominated Mentors
> People who have announced their willingness to be Mentors are
>      * Dave Johnson
>      * Sam Ruby
>      * Henning Schmiedehausen
> Sponsoring Entity
> Sponsoring entity should be the Incubator.
> The PPMC shall consist of initial committers and the Mentors.
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