The State of Midgard - August 2001 Midgard is a freely-available solution for managing content on web and WAP services. It is also a toolkit for building dynamic applications to power eBusiness and Information Management processes. Midgard has been built and is actively maintained by a global group of software professionals working together in this Open Source project. http://www.midgard-project.org/http://www.nemein.com/midgard/http://www.aurora-linux.com/EN/produits/midgard/midgard3/ The software Midgard currently works very well with its PHP4 bindings. While few functionalities have been added since 2000, the feature set is quite enough for almost any Web application development needs, especially by embedding external systems using integration standards like XML-RPC. The feature set includes: * Easy and documented PHP4 Application Programming Interface (API) * Tree-based content storage * Attachment of meta-data to all content objects * Multiple levels of personalization * Replication between servers for clustered environments and staging * Separation of layout, content and site logic * Support for editorial workflow and approval mechanisms * Multilingual support and localization * Transparent file and attachment management * Completely Open Source and based on common standards The 1.4.1 release made in March 14th 2001 is the current stable version of Midgard. However, it suffers from some severe bugs, and so usage of the latest CVS version is adviced. See: http://nightlybuilds.midgard-project.org/snapshots/ The core developers are working on a bug fix 1.4.2 release, that should appear around late August - early September, depending on how quickly some segmentation fault issues are tracked down. See: http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=midgard-dev&m=99710702212898&w=2 However, the 1.4.2 release should be the last of the 1.x series, as the development focus is being moved to the Midgard 2 series. The first commercial implementations of Midgard 2, particularly its internal search system have already been made in May 2001 by Nemein Solutions. The experiences from these implementations prove that parts of Midgard 2 are ready for production use. The next anticipated release of Midgard 2 search implementation is scheduled for late August. Installation With the coming 1.4.2 release, the installation process seems to be easier than ever. Although already simple to install on popular Linux platforms like Red Hat and Mandrake, more work would be needed to make binary packages available to the user community. Documentation Midgard's documentation project has been on hold since late 2000, causing the documentation online to be outdated and lacking in information on newer features. Partly this is because the project has been looking for new documentation tools, but also because there are no paid documentation authors. As in most Open Source projects, the actual development in Midgard progresses quite well but resources for doing the documentation work are harder to find. Applications During spring 2001 Repligard has finally become a viable packaging platform, and so some early Midgard applications have already appeared into the market. Asgard is an improved administration interface to Midgard developed by Aurora. It has been included in the midgard-data package since the 1.4 release. CommenText is a collaborative document authoring system for transforming discussion into structured documents. See http://www.commentext.org/ DocStore is Nemein's Web-based document management solution for project workgroups. See http://www.nemein.com/products/docstore/ MidHoo is a Midgard implementation of a Yahoo!-like link directory application produced by Link-M. See http://home.link-m.de/phr/midhoo-2.0.2a.tar.bz2 Nadmin Studio is HKLC's advanced content management interface to Midgard that is available as a commercial application. Nadmin Studio has made Midgard suddenly a viable content management solution for even large companies, and has an extensive reseller network around the world. See http://www.nadminstudio.com TimeTracker is Nemein's project management, invoicing and work tracking application that uses Midgard as the back end data storage system. See http://www.nemein.com/products/timetracker/ YAMP (Yet Another Midgard Packager) is front end to Repligard for packaging and moving Midgard data from Link-M. See http://users.nehmer.net/~classic/yamp-1.0.1.tar.gz Community The Midgard community has gained in numbers and activity during the year. The mailing list volume on the Midgard user list has climbed from 440 in May 2000 to 921 in May 2001. There is also a Midgard user group in Germany. Its previous activities have included localization of some Midgard material to German, and running a Midgard booth in LinuxTag, the largest Free Software event in Germany. Also, Nemein Solutions has started running a series of Midgard seminars and installfests in Finland. A Repligard seminar was held by Alexander Bokovoy on June 21st, and there will be an installfest on Aug 14th. The Midgard Web site is still sadly lacking upgrades. However, it has recently been moved from Teraloop's hosting to Envida's network. This, and the upgrade to the latest Midgard version on the server means that making new developments on the site should be easier for anyone willing to take the task. Core developers With the Midgard core developer team, the situation has changed quite much from last year. Most are not any more paid by Aurora to work full time on Midgard. However, almost everybody still involved in the project. While this somewhat reduces the number of resources available for the development work, it is also a great opportunity for new volunteers to get involved. Henri Bergius is kept busy by his work at Nemein Solutions. He would like to be more involved in the project, but at the moment can't find time for it. However, he tries to commit resources from his company to the project whenever available. Alexander Bokovoy is now working at SaM-Solutions, a software outsourcing company based in Belarus. In the Midgard project he works on core libraries and the PHP4 bindings. Ami Ganguli has recently moved to Finland for his position in Nemein Solutions. He continues to work on Midgard 2 as part of his work duties. Emile Heyns is currently enjoying a well earned vacation from the project. However, he still works on bug and issue reports as the come. Torber Nehmer provides bug tracking services for the Midgard 1.4.x series, and works for the Midgard hosting provider Link-M. In his spare time, he is also involved in Midgard 2 development. Armand Verstappen works in the Midgard hosting provider and consultancy Envida. He is also involved in managing Midgard's network services and is visible on the mailing lists. The Midgard Project Ry The Midgard Project Ry (MPRy) is a nonprofit organization founded in Finland on May 2000 to support the Midgard project. The registration papers on the organization were submitted to the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland in June 2000. The board requested changes to MPRy's charter in order to approve the registration. However, due to personal matters Henri Bergius, the chairman of MPRy was unable to call together a general meeting of the organization, and so the registration period has expired. Because of this, new volunteers will be needed for running the organization, and getting the registration process going again. There is still obvious need for MPRy, as the project's network infrastructure requires some financial support, and the intellectual property rights of the project need to be stewarded. Volunteers interested in helping out with MPRy can contact Henri Bergius or the Midgard mailing list on the matter. Commercial viability Midgard has continued to gain commercial viability through the year. As Midgard itself is a platform, and not a sellable product, many kinds of add-on businesses have been made possible. There are companies around the world that make their revenues through selling consulting and hosting services and applications based on Midgard. These include Aurora, CGX, Envida, Hexagon, Hong Kong Linux Center, Lanifex, Link-M, Nemein Solutions, Netrex, and others. With more and more Midgard-powered sites and information systems popping up every month, the services market keeps gaining attractiveness. Currently most providers of Midgard services are small, quite locally operating businesses, but it is only a matter of time before larger IT consultancies begin to notice the possibilities of the market.
August 7, 2001
The state of Midgard -- August 2001
Author: JT Smith
We're not sure if this is the case, but it seems that the weekly summary of Midgard-related news has been replaced by a monthly progress report. The August issue discusses documentation issues, the progress of a 1.4.2 bugfix release, and announcements of new applications.