xWiki: 10 years and a WebRTC success story

Six months ago, I wrote to the leaders of several open source web frameworks and asked them about their vision for WebRTC and if they would come to the WebRTC Conference in Paris this week (now finished). The most promising response was from Ludovic Dubost, founder of the xWiki project.

Ludovic successfully demonstrated their shiny new WebRTC capabilities today in front of an audience including many far more experienced telephony operators who are still only getting to terms with this technology.

What is xWiki?

Don't let the wiki name limit your perception of this project. xWiki is a lot more than just another wiki hosting framework. As a bare minimum, you can certainly use it in the same way as other wikis, doing lightweight markup that is easier than HTML. On the other hand, xWiki really shines when it comes to extensibility. The xWiki team are Java developers and so xWiki appeals most to other Java developers who may want to leverage some library code from their web portal from time to time, without even having to compile anything. Here are some examples and here is one of the most trivial ones:

Your username is $xcontext.getUser(), welcome to the site.

WebRTC capabilities

The xWiki team chose XMPP as a chat protocol (using the Candy XMPP JavaScript chat) as the foundation for real-time communication. They have then extended this by creating a custom signalling mechanism and making it convenient for users of a chat session to upgrade the session to voice/video with a mouseclick. The whole experience works within the browser without any plugins.

10 years of xWiki

It was also xWiki's 10th birthday today and this provided the perfect opportunity for a party:

cjdns and enigmabox

While at the xWiki office, it was interesting to see a lot of innovative work taking place, including this VoIP setup where a Grandstream phone is attached to an Enigmabox operated by Caleb from the cjdns project.