Technically Speaking

Rex Dixon – Professional BlogCaster

Interview with Benjamin Mestrallet of eXo Platform

Posted by rexdixon on December 30, 2006

UPDATE January 1, 2007http://rexduffdixon.comTechnically Speaking

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Q1: Today we are speaking with Benjamin Mestrallet of eXo Platform. This is a webOS that I talked about briefly right here.  First off, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Let’s get started – How long has your company been around? I’m talking about total time here, as in when you came up with the idea or who ever did, and how you came on board with running with it?

Hello Rex, the company was created in November 2003. We sell an Open Source product line that goes from Portal to Enterprise Content Management (ECM). Our products have been deployed in quite large companies and organization mainly in the military market (our first customer was the US department of defense) and in public organization (such as the Venice tourism portal in Italia). The funny thing in our story is that we had customers even before I created the company with Tuan Nguyen!

Hence, we have been around for quite some time, building mission critical application in portal environment where data can be classified and security issues are extremely important. We also leverage the Java Enterprise Edition stack and we collaborate to the Java standards such as the Portlet API or the Java Content Repository which is extremely important for Fortune 500 companies that want to avoid vendor locking.

So we have spent quite some time building a strong server environment and now thanks to technology like AJAX we have been able to apply all our experience on also implementing a powerful and beautiful user interface…but once again this is just the top of the iceberg, building an operating system is a complex and hard work!

Q2: What distinct advantages do you feel your webOS offers over rival webOS startups? I’ve talked about quite a few here on this blog, so make sure you tell the readers exactly “why they should use your exoPlatform webOS” over the other players in the game.

If you look at the existing WebOS on the market that are mainly flash based or with and AJAX front end but a PHP backend. Those are built for quick UI experience and server side work is not the main concern (they maybe hope to be quickly bought by Google :)). Hence integration in existing IT systems will be a big problem if they want to also target the enterprise market.

eXo Enterprise WebOS is taking a different path. We have spent 3 years to build a strong server side platform based on Java standards (Portlet API and Java Content Repository) and we now apply AJAX and other web 2.0 technologies to the UI to provide a strong new paradigm for our existing Portal customers. And they like it, so other portal companies will go that way too (IBM, BEA…) which will make a much faster adoption in the enterprise than we can imagine.

For example the Java Portlet API is used as the backbone for our WebOS windowing framework which allows extensibility, modularity and portability of WebOS applications. Our WebOS File System is based on the Java Content Repository specification which standardizes content structures, search, versioning, locking and export. Furthermore, existing applications like ERP or CRM already have JCA connectors that can be reached in portlets and hence in eXo Enterprise WebOS windows.

Of course pure JavaScript components like MacOS widgets or Vista gadgets are useful, especially for simple mash ups where services are exposed through web services or REST APIs but that is not the case of most enterprise applications (and I do not talk about mainframes). That is why we are also building a widget infrastructure à la MacOS, built as a portlet application to aggregate different existing JavaScript gadgets (Mac OS, Netvibes, Google, vista…).

Hence, for a WebOS to be really used in enterprise, it will have to be based on what corporation already use and are familiar with. The server side makes the difference and it is a huge one if we want to see that type of technology inside medium and large corporation. As we come with a new paradigm, we can not lock user data and applications with new middleware.

That is our main concern when building eXo Enterprise WebOS.

Q3: What would be the main goal of the company in 2007?

We are building a full OS stack from the kernel to the most advanced applications.

We already have the windows while still supporting older portal layouts, we have a strong File System with JCR and we leverage it to build our Enterprise Content Management (ECM) offering. That one includes BPM, DMS, CMS, Records Management and WCM.

Furthermore we are integrating BI solution as we were already doing in our previous web 1.0 portal.

We also work on a full groupware suite that includes forum, email, shared calendar, wiki, contact management and much more.

The only part we are not building yet is the office application like a text editor or a spreadsheet as we look more for an OEM solution. If we don’t find one, we will do it too.

On the business side we have just opened an office in US (Houston) and we truly think that this market will be the main driver for the adoption of WebOS in enterprise.

So as you see we have quite some work for 2007!

Q4: Tell us some more about the company. Are you growing, looking for new people, how many there are currently, etc… Whatever you can release to the public at this time about your company would be great information to share here.

eXo Platform Inc is a profitable venture that employs 35 people in 5 offices in US, Brazil, France, Ukraine and Vietnam.

We are still a private company owned by 4 individuals with no VCs and a huge growth!

Q5: It is truly a fact and a pleasure to interview people that are true cutting edge players. I have loved learning more about every person that I have had these 5 questions interviews with. Once again, thank you Benjamin for taking the time to answer these for the readers here. Now, as usual, it’s your turn – you can say whatever you would like everyone to know that I didn’t cover above.

Thank you Rex for covering such a new market but still a very exiting one!

UPDATE January 1, 2007http://rexduffdixon.comTechnically Speaking

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Posted in BEHIND THE SCENE (Q&A INTERVIEW), Benjamin Mestrallet, exoPlatform, interviews, Startups, Technically Speaking | 2 Comments »

The Blogging Business

Posted by rexdixon on December 30, 2006

Entrepreneur magazine has now started selling the book “9bloggingbook.jpgStart Your Own Blogging Business” – Books like these always crack me up. I guess if you have never tried blogging at all, it would be a good place to start.

Now here are some of Rex Dixon’s blogging tips:

1. Be prepared to spend long hours in front of your computer and laptop.

2. Be prepared for criticism from all corners of the world.

3. If you write something you think was fantastic, and hardly anyone reads it, you better be prepared for the letdown.

4. If you see something that works, try it with your own spin.

5. Don’t give up! According to Technorati there are over 55 million blogs.

UPDATE January 1, 2007http://rexduffdixon.comTechnically Speaking

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Posted in Bloggers, blogging, Technically Speaking | Leave a Comment »

Bloggers on the road with John Edwards

Posted by rexdixon on December 29, 2006

Scobleizer brings up a valid point in his latest entry from Reno; on the road with John Edwards. How will the average every day blogger, such as Rex Dixon be able to under take a week long or more trek with John Edwards and crew? It is a question of ethics and as Robert suggested, perhaps some sort of blogger fund needs to be established.

To be a blogger or reporter you have to watch the fund line. Full disclosure. Kind of reminds me of the whole Ferrari incident. Enough of that though. I think we all have read enough on that for now.

Going on the road with John Edwards and watching the political process and reporting back to the web daily is something that should be the way this election in 2008 is covered. While the mainstream media is catching up, the bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and other internet media types have know all along how to effectively get the word out there. It is the power of the people that should decide things. To do that, and to also have an unbiased by any monetary consideration view of the events that transpire around you, the blogger must some how be self funded. It is either self funded or have a blogger fund so that all costs associated with the undertaking will be covered adequately.

Technically Speaking, I can bet Robert Scoble along with the other bloggers out there now are having the experience of a lifetime.

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Posted in Bloggers, blogging, John Edwards,, Robert Scoble, TechCrunch | 7 Comments »


Posted by rexdixon on December 29, 2006

60,000 page views over that darn computer of Marshall’s. That is quite impressive for one post about a Ferrari that became the talk of the internet the past few days. I think the controversy helped Microsoft in the Vista launch. Why do I say this?

Well coming from a rock n’ roll background such as mine, I know that controversy sells. Look for Microsoft’s PR agency to make this whole event come out looking like gold by the time Vista rolls out to the masses.

I predict Vista will be flying off the shelves. Of course as I have stated many times over, Rex Dixon does not have a computer or laptop that can run the new Microsoft OS. It will probably be as I have already said before, around 3rd quarter or later in 2007 before I will have gear good enough to run Vista.

Technically Speaking, unless someone such as Microsoft donates a laptop to Rex Dixon like they did for the bloggers to use, review, and return, or give away, or keep – Rex Dixon is using XP and also Linux for the time being. 🙂

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Posted in 2007, Ferrari, Free, internet, laptops, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Microsoft,, SplashCast, Technically Speaking, Vista | Leave a Comment »

FCC finally approves the merger

Posted by rexdixon on December 29, 2006

ATT and BellSouth merger, the $86 million billion megamerger is now on. It was approved by the FCC this afternoon. I still say this is totally defeating the original monopoly break up that was done in the 1970’s, but hey – 2007 is rolling ever so close, and we may as well finish up this deal this year. Technically Speaking that is.

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Posted in 2007, ATT, Bell South, mergers,, Technically Speaking | Leave a Comment »

BloggerMania I – Rex Dixon feels like the 1-2-3 Kid

Posted by rexdixon on December 29, 2006

Yes, good old Sean Waltman, Syxx Pac, X-Pac, and the original 1-2-3 Kid. What am I babbling about? Well it’s BloggerMania I which is being put on by CenterNetworks. I see the 4 teams of 8 bloggers, and quite frankly I’m quite honored to have been included in this event of 32 bloggers.

The names rip off the page like main event stars of the past Mike “Hulkamania” Arrington, Om “Savage” Malik, Robert “The Brain” Scoble, Steve “Stunning” Rubel, and there is more. They have kindly included the lovely ladies, which feature Amanda “Stratisphere” Congdon, the lovely “Miss” Liz Gaines, and others. Yes it is an all star event, and you can read more coincidently enough on the day this site officially comes out of the beta simul-blogging mode – January 1, 2007.

Technically Speaking, I was being a bit of a goofball there I suppose, but it should be a fun tournament of bloggers. Any support you can throw Rex “1-2-3 Kid” Dixon’s way, will be much appreciated. Be sure to keep up with the all the wild tournament action by grabbing their RSS feed.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks – moving – January 1, 2007 – – Technically Speaking’s new home.

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Posted in BloggerMania I, Bloggers, blogging,, Technically Speaking | Leave a Comment »

YouTube To Throw Kicking Online New Year’s Party

Posted by rexdixon on December 29, 2006

Forget about the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Dick Clark, er, Ryan Seacrest. The new generation will be on YouTube. YouTube wants everyone to get in on the New Year’s Eve celebration or

New YouTube Way

of bringing in the new year 2007.  Could this be the start of something new and big? I am hearing all sorts of new 2007 things lately; along with my own predictions, I think this is finally ushering in the 21st Century. Yes, it just so happens to be 7 years late, but still the same, with John Edwards harnessing the internet for the election in 2008 and now this latest tidbit. YouTube rings in the new year 2007 online.  

Technically Speaking, I probably will be conversing with real people, drinking real alcoholic beverages, and playing cards (real game; not the video game type). The only time I will be near a computer is to post the cut over message (blog post) that will officially signal the beginning of the new domain. That will be shortly after midnight, central time of course. 🙂

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Posted in 2007, John Edwards,, Technically Speaking, YouTube | 1 Comment »

Mapping sounds like a fun job!

Posted by rexdixon on December 29, 2006

In an SUV crammed with high-tech gear, Dan Donovan and Ben Woodley trolled last week through a new and virtually treeless subdivision in
Troy, Ill. –— Hold on now —- that is from my local newspaper or local online news source – the St. Louis Post Dispatch! Well I’m sure Rex Dixon applied at this company many moons ago. Needless to say, I never was looked at.

From what I am reading, it appears to be a great job to have. Ride around in a truck all day and make corrections to maps. Kind of like the people who are the “real” “Can you hear me now people?” for Verizon. That has to be another cool job. Jobs such as the m where you get to ride around all day in a vehicle and you are not just doing the same task over and over again. 

Technically Speaking, I just couldn’t over look an article from the neighborhood that I currently live in and call home!

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NSFW attribute is a great idea

Posted by rexdixon on December 29, 2006

The NSFW attribute would be a really good one to have. I can see allot of content owners utilizing this attribute. NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work. I bet allot of you readers can now see a good reason to have that attribute. I believe it would be something that could be used right from the get go if added. There are tons of links that you do not need to click on while you are at work, or even if there are younger people viewing a site with you.  

The article goes on to explain the full reason why there should be a NSFW attribute. Technically Speaking, this would be a great new HTML standard for 2007.  

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Posted in HTML, internet, NSFW,, Technically Speaking | Leave a Comment »

When is enough just ENOUGH?

Posted by rexdixon on December 29, 2006

On one hand, yes, e-mail is like a postcard that can be viewed by anyone seeing it. There are no envelopes to open so I can see where the government would say that. On the other hand, how do you get into the e-mail? The most obvious scenario is with a username and password.

There is your “envelope”. I think that a search warrant should be required. The Fourth Amendment is still law is it not? Why should the FBI, NSA, FTC, and other 3 letter government authorities have carte blanche on your e-mail? I can see them wanting access to this person’s e-mail, but they should have to go the proper route. I mean, the guy is not a terrorist or anything. He is a con artist. A con artist that is out to make money on the internet should not be treated the same way as what the United States government has termed as an “enemy combatant”.

Technically Speaking, the government here in the United States tries too hard to sometimes to protect our rights, while trampling the rights of others. Two wrongs never make a right.

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Posted in e-mail, privacy,, Technically Speaking | Leave a Comment »