[OOTB-hive] OOTB concepts: mission and code of practice

Heiko Robert heiko.orderofthebee.info at ecm4u.de
Wed Aug 20 10:57:39 BST 2014

Dear bees,

I read the whole OOTB-hive emails and have some feedback:


I think it is very important to have a clear mission which is 
transparent, visible and published. I had so many discussions with 
customers, developers, analysts about the Alfresco community 
understanding. Most people mismatch Open Source with working all 
together and for free. As for now the perception in the market is: there 
is no real Alfresco community - there is only a free Alfresco Community 
Edition which is maintained by Alfresco only - similar to Magento, 
Sugar, Zimbra, ... The main difference to these other examples is the price.
I always say: don't blame for missing features and bugs in the Community 
Edition - it's a gift! Love it or leave it ... we can help and support 
you to create robust solutions. We (ecm4u) never make a recommendation 
for EE or CE or bash on EE - this conclusion has everyone to find out 
for itself - but what we can do is to clarify the facts. Sales (Alfresco 
or Partners) very often tell tall stories and it would help if there is 
a independant voice.
So I would be happy if this is a starting point to found a real 
independant community pushing the Alfresco platform in any flavor and to 
discuss models how to put professional work together to create better 
solutions. It would be the best live insurance for Alfresco Community 
Edition if Alfresco Inc realizes there will allways be the option to 
continue as an independant fork if Alfresco changes its mind. Oracle can 
can sing a song about this with libreoffice and mariadb. But for now the 
community is not that far and we should clarify our position to this and 
were we want to go. If some day a fork is an option we need to 
understand that someone has to pay for all the required developers. But 
as long Alfresco doesn't change its mind there is no need to follow this 

I worked for Oracle several years and I prefer a mission similar to DOAG 
(http://www.doag.org/en/ - the german oracle user group). This is a 
registered association and their members have different roles: expert 
members, members, professional members, employees, sponsors, ... Their 
events have an excellent reputation and Oracle is doing well to promote 
this oranisation.
If Oracle or Alfresco organizes and pays the party all the vistors know 
what to expect. Both models have definitely its reason to exist but 
noone would expect a presentation as mentioned by Andreas (the Magento 
Enterprise bashing). This doen't mean that I follow this kind of 
discussion but I appreciate a vital competition which is always helpful. 
A reallity shower can help everyone from time to time ... ;-)

To make the long story short:

I would vote for:

* OOTB should be postioned as a independant, visible moderator and as an 
organisation of Alfresco Experts, Customers, Partners. Alfresco 
employess can contribute content, feedback, working time but should 
never have an active role or vote - otherwise it will never be independant.
* the organisation should be open for comercial interests but this 
should always be visible and shouldn't be mismatched. OOTB needs budget 
for doing its job. So we we need an idea how to sponsor our mission.
* ECM and Alfresco is nothing just for fun. It would be great if we 
could combine this but we should present ourself as a professional 
organization which is also visible for the end users: the companies and 
the ISVs - but these companies don't care about t-shirts, drinking beer, 
they prefer solutions, expertise and skills - so the mission should have 
also an answer to this. This should be also reflected in the 
accessability of the organization (PR, internet presentation, official 
speaker, ...).
* OOTB could be an excellent platform to organize and moderate the 
requirement specs, creation, maintainance of missing features - no 
difference if it will be open or closed source, if the result will be 
for free or not. We have to be creative to find out working models which 
work long term.
* I would prefer a better name which includes Alfresco in any way. OOTB 
is complicated, long and nobody sees a relation to Alfresco and the 
mission. The name could be a slogan but only insiders understand what is 
the story about. Transparency should be also a subject for the name - 
otherwise we will have allways the smell of geeks, nerds and complicated 

I think a clear mission is very important and should be documented as a 
very first step to avoid misunderstandings, disappointment or 


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