Marc Laporte coming to town

As many people already know, SUMO as a support web platform is built around open source software. For the knowledge base and forum, we use TikiWiki, an open-source PHP-based content management system. What fewer people might know is that SUMO is currently based on TikiWiki 1.10, which is almost two years old today. The latest version of TikiWiki is 3.1 and in only a couple of months 4.0 will be released.

This week, TikiWiki community lead/member Marc Laporte is paying me a quick visit in Eskilstuna, Sweden to discuss our current situation and to figure out what to do with SUMO. We have identified three potential plans:

  • Plan A: upgrade SUMO to TikiWiki 4.x. This is what I’m hoping we’ll be able to achieve. The question is how much work it means to get to 4.x and how much better things will be once we’re there.
  • Plan B: fork our current codebase and continue to add our own features on top of it. This is essentially what we’re doing today, and it’s not exactly ideal since we end up doing work in parallel with TikiWiki, and we’re wasting precious resources.
  • Plan C: migrade our content to another CMS, e.g. Drupal. By far the most costly effort in the short term, and not clear whether the benefits outweighs the investment cost.

Now that Marc and I have the opportunity to spend two full days working face to face, I’m hopeful that we can not only pick Plan A, but come up with a solid plan for the first few steps to make the plan a reality.

If you’re part of the SUMO or TikiWiki community, I would love to hear what you think and if you think there are things we should focus on discussing!

2 thoughts on “Marc Laporte coming to town

  1. Majken "Lucy" Connor

    Well, I’m not sure if anyone is familiar with drupal *and* tiki, for example, who might be able to provide some insight as to which product is “superior”

    I think what it really comes down to is whether Mozilla would prefer a more modular product, like drupal or deki, or if we prefer the tiki philosophy, which has the trade off of knowing every feature we use will be compatible with the new version.

    Forking is almost inevitable, especially with the idea of productization. I think Tiki gives the highest chance of not needing to fork (or at least not having to maintain forks indefinitely), the issue with tiki is working out the development process so that everything is included upstream in the next release. If we go with something like drupal, chances are high that we’d end up maintaining our own modules, which is what’s happening for SFx.

    In terms of user experience, any software we choose has the capability to have the same features, with the same layout and same design. IMO this decision is really one for webdev, esp if all options are open.

  2. Thomas

    if it’s possible to make a tikiwiki “SUMO productization suite” (an enhanced tikiwiki with some “modules” or something else to get SUMO as it is) then I would wish to do Plan A. Forking is waste of resources and migration – what could it do for SUMO?


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