The first international open source CMS conference last month in Zürich, Switzerland
showed a strong movement to be growing stronger.
According to observers, OS-CMS could compete and outplay many vendors of proprietary software, even more so the larger commercial players in the international market.
One example is Vignette, that is said to have lost a 1200-site client, the Zürich polytechnic, to open Source alternative, according to sources.
An Open Source Content Management Organization was also formed at the conference, Oscom.org, that will set up a meeting in San Francisco in the fall.
The 100 attendees in Zürich last month met all major international makes,
including Cofax, OpenCms, Swiss-based conference organizer Wyona, bitflux,
AxKit, Midgard, Zope, Cocoon and Linux-based PostNuke.
Keynote speaker professor Charles Nesson, director of the Berkman Center for
Internet Society at Harvard Law School, stressed that especially the non-profit world such as governments and schools should make more use of open source solutions in stead pf paying dearly to the commercial players.
Harvard has already taken this step.
The Zürich polytechnic ETH, the host, obliged by announcing it would stop
using Vignette and switch to open source also, but could not yet name the new system.
The polytechnic currently runs some 1200 sites and pledged it would freely share the open source code it developed.
According to two reports, the audience was amazed by a new WYSIWYG XML-editor, Xopus from Q42.nl, by author Lon Boonen.
It claims the advantage that a person editing a site can see step by step how changes in the layout progress, and can so eliminate unwanted effects. Wyona has implemented it,
while other makers are preparing to do so.
Boonen has made Xopus open
source, inspired by the the proceedings in Zürich.
Paul Everitt from the leading American system Zope saw good chances for open
source CMSses in the commercial market.
He estimated Vignette's market share at 18%, set off against 43% for home grown systems making the market very fragmented and in his reasoning accessible.
Mr Everitt also pointed to the losses practically all larger commercial players are suffering, notwithstanding license fees of half a million
dollars or more.
The threesome hardware, software and services, each taking about one third out of the average website budget, shows the way to lower
costs for users via open source, where software is almost free, he said.
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