Events we've attended in November and December

20 Dec 2023 5 min read

Written by

The XWiki Team

November and December kept us busy with preparing and participating in a lot of open-source events. On these occasions, we took the opportunity to network, interact with students, open-source enthusiasts, and potential partners and clients and take the pulse of the open-source tech market. Overall, the talks were fruitful, and the rooms were packed with curious and enthusiastic attendees. 

πŸ’» FII IT-ist

On the 4th of November, we attended FII IT-ist, a Romanian event whose aim is to educate and guide university and high school students interested in IT. The conference takes places annually and is organized by the Computer Science Faculty in IaΘ™i. Our stand has received good attendance from both university and high school students, and we enjoyed the opportunity to educate them about the value of open-source software for society and companies. They were either already open-source adopters or curious to learn more about the field, and many of them were also inquiring about potential career opportunities with XWiki. Session-wise, the most popular topics were by far those approaching AI.

Our colleague, Paul PanΘ›iru, held a presentation on “Navigating the AI Landscape in Open-Source Development”, in which he broke down the complexities of large language models. The purpose was to showcase their real-world applications, and discuss the architectural best practices, all against the backdrop of XWiki's cutting-edge intelligent search project sponsored by NGI Search – WAISE (Wiki-based Artificially Intelligent Search Engine).

🎦 Open Research Webinars

This online event, which took place on the 7th of November, consisted of a series of webinars organized by OW2 and the Eclipse Foundation. It aimed at presenting software research projects that help shape the future of open-source software and the IT industry. Our colleague, David Benqué, held a webinar about CryptPad, our end-to-end encrypted and open-source collaborative office suite. One main key takeaway from his presentation is that collaboration and privacy are not mutually exclusive and CryptPad is the proof. If you want to find out more, you can watch the recording of his session or view the full presentation. You can also take a look at some slides below:

πŸš„ NGI Forum

In November, Ludovic Dubost, our CEO, travelled to Brussels to attend this event that was organized by the European Commission as part of the Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative. NGI is a funding program that supports innovation through open-source technologies with the aim to reimagine the future of Internet. By funding European ingenious research projects, this contributes to the development of an Internet that is safer, more open and inclusive and ultimately useful to all citizens. Recently, our end-to-end encrypted collaborative suite CryptPad has received significant funding from NGI for the Blueprints and CryptPad Auth projects. Besides these, XWiki also received funding through NGI Search for the WAISE Project for building an LLM-based search engine for XWiki.

The event is held every year, and it gathers policymakers, researchers, industry representatives, non-profits, and corporations in Europe. Overall, the topics of panels, presentations, and workshops revolve around digital commons, web search, large language models, digital identity and others. Also, it was a great occasion to meet other projects leaders and exchange with them about their projects.

I'm very happy that the European Community is continuing its investment in Open Source. We, at XWiki and CryptPad, can witness that the program has a significant impact on the open-source projects that get funded. Over these last years, the funding from NGI has helped us gain competitiveness which has allowed our software products to increase their user base but, most importantly, their customer base. - Ludovic Dubost, CEO and Founder of XWiki SAS and CryptPad

πŸ‘€ Capitole du Libre

Talks will be updated with videos when available.

On the 18th of November, Anca, Ludovic and Clément were present at Capitole du Libre and delivered 3 insightful presentations. This is yet another open-source event of interest for both non-technical audience and tech enthusiasts. Besides the presentations, our 3 colleagues were happy to interact with participants and network while answering questions about our products. There was a lot of interest around openDesk and the role XWiki and CryptPad are playing in this initiative to regain digital sovereignty and provide open-source collaborative solutions to the German public administration. 

Ludovic Dubost — Building open-source software within an ethical business model company

This presentation proves that it is possible to finance an ethical business model by creating, developing and maintaining our open-source products, namely XWiki and CryptPad. Ludovic explained the reasons behind the choice to create open-source software and the methods that make it possible to finance them.

Clément Aubin — The openDesk project as an alternative to Google Workplace and Office 365

If Google Workplace or Office 365 are such popular solutions, it's because these suites offer a coherent, integrated set of different tools. To meet the sovereignty needs of public services, the German Ministry of the Interior (BMI) initiated the Sovereign Workplace project in 2020, recently renamed openDesk. The aim of this project is to build, with the help of several European open-source software publishers, a sovereign collaborative suite capable of competing with Office 365 and Google Workplace. Today, the project brings together renowned open-source software providers.

Clément's session gave an overview of the openDesk project as a whole. Then it continued with a demonstration of the latest development version of the project, whose first final release is scheduled for the end of 2023.

Anca Luca — The enterprise wiki in 2023: evolutions and trends

Wikis have been around since 1995, used both by developers to manage their projects' information, and by less technical users to build knowledge bases. Today, these tools have been rebranded as “enterprise collaboration tools”, with major players proposing their answers to this need, be they open source or not, and with the contribution of artificial intelligence as well.

Anca's presentation deep dived into these recent developments and visions of enterprise collaboration, showing how the XWiki open-source platform integrates all these innovations and practices.

🌟 Open Source Experience

Talks will be updated with videos when available.

We're wrapping up this last quarter (and year) full of events with one we couldn't have possibly missed. Open Source Experience Paris (OSXP) is a bubbly event gathering the open-source community, dedicated to showcasing open-source professional IT solutions through talks, conferences and round tables. During the 2 full days that the  event lasted, we were proud to be deeply involved. We were actively present with 2 talks gave by Anca and Ludovic. Additionally, our colleagues Clément, Cédric, Anca, Lavinia, and Dorina were also meeting and discussing at our stand with people interested in XWiki and CryptPad, knowledge management and end-to-end encrypted real-time collaboration. 

OSXP stand
From left to right: Anca, Clément, Cédric and Lavinia during OSXP 2023

Ludovic's presentation brought light into the importance of collaborative applications for European Digital Sovereignty and can be broken down into several key takeaways:

  • The European Digital Sovereignty is gaining ground in front of the Big Tech companies.
  • During the last years, several European providers of open-source solutions have made significant progress: NextCloud, Matrix, BigBlueButton, Jitsi, XWiki, CryptPad and others.
  • There are some important European initiatives to regain Digital Sovereignty such as the German openDesk project and the French initiatives such as the French Cloud Collaborative projects from France 2030, the DINUM project and the French National Education projects.

Besides her presentation about the evolutions and trends of enterprise wikis, Anca was part of an inspiring and eye-opening panel discussion. Together with 3 other women from the open-source digital industry, she shared her experience as a woman in tech who is embracing open source in her career as a CTO for XWiki SAS. This round table was part of the French Digital and Computer Science Week, aimed at educating about digital careers, and promoting the teaching of Digital and Information Science (NSI) in French high schools. 

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