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Foswiki on Cebit 2010

| Michael Daum | | , ,
Cebit has proven to be the most important event for the IT branche again with over 4,100 companies from 68 countries. For the first time, Foswiki was part of this mega event kindly invited on the booth of the Perl Foundation. This has been a very positive experience talking to a lot of people about Foswiki, Perl and Open Source in general.

It really was a pleasure to meet the Perl::Staff. I've been talking to Gabor Szabo and he outlined his idea of a new foundation to promote Perl on a more professional level in order to overcome its somewhat geeky reputation. So the Foswiki community as well as companies using Foswiki - and with it Perl - might have an interest to participate in a campaign to promote Perl in a way similar to what we see for PHP, by installing a kind of "Proud Perl User" banner people could download for their website, by participating on Perl-related conferences and events. I think that this is a really good idea to build up a kind of network among Perl users and projects to mutually boost popularity of Open Source projects.

Compared to Perl as a programming language, Foswiki has got additional vectors to promote itself, and these haven't been followed with the required intensity yet.

That's one of the reasons I went around the Open Source campus and visited the Joomla! booth. I was quite impressed how well organized their booth was including excellent handouts and brochures. I talked to one of the developers there to learn more about their own Joomla! e.V.. While Perl as well as PostgreSQL, Koffice and 12 other Open Source projects were located on the Open Source Projets Lounge sponsored by the Linux New Media AG, projects like Joomla and Open Office were able to fund a booth of their own.

So I contacted Britta Wülfing from Linux New Media AG how and when the next Call for Projects will take place for Cebit 2011. The rules are quite simple, mostly you don't have to sleep away the deadline (grrr). There have been about 60 submissions this year with 15 projects being accepted by a committee. Only projects that did not exhibit the year before were accepted.

I talked to Renee Bäcker and Andreas Scherbaum about Cebit 2011 and the idea to share a booth among the three projects of us which is kind of a good middle ground between finding a sponsor for a pure Foswiki booth and being accepted by chance on behalf of the Linux New Media AG.

Then I met Chris Hofmann from the Mozilla Foundation who gave a talk at the Open Source Forum next to the Perl booth about the history of Netscape and the emerge of the Mozilla Application Suite. I took the chance and talked to him about other browser vendor's adoption of HTML5 and the File API as recently been implemented in Firefox 3.6. As we know, uploading files is an important part of nowaday's web applications. The new File API will make this a lot easier. Meanwhile projects like Plupload do a great job walking between the worlds of Flash, Silverlight, Gears and good old HTML4 based uploading providing a very elegant way to test and fallback to the different backends. So the landscape is pretty much shifting. Too bad that Google abandoned Gears out of a sudden. Things are not always proceeding forward, judging from this point in time.

Overall, Oliver and I would really like to repeat this experience on different occasions as exhausting as it was, and last but not least plan ahead for Cebit 2011 early enough.

Meanwhile, Oliver will organize a booth on the FrOSCon in August this year and meet Renée again together with the other guys of the Perl::Staff.

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