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JotSpot

TWiki in a Nutshell for JotSpot Customers

Founder PeterThoeny: "On behalf of the open source community I would like to make this offer to JotSpot customers: You are invited to download a free copy of TWiki, install it behind firewall, and get started with an enterprise class wiki used by the majority of fortune 500 companies. Many consultants are available to migrate your data and to streamline your wiki at the workplace."

Update: JotSpot got acquired by Google in Oct 2006, and is moving into a hosted only model. With this there are only three major wiki players left in the enterprise space: TWiki, Socialtext and Confluence Right compare them. Among them, TWiki is the only Structured Wiki platform that enables users to build wiki applications; it also has the largest number of extensions to customize the wiki. JotSpot customers cannot register anymore until the JotSpot wiki is integrated into the Google offering. The TWiki community would like to help migrate JotSpot customers to the powerful and flexible TWiki platform.

Update 2006-11-03: Do you miss the JotSpot look & feel? Michael Daum, an active TWiki community member, put together a bit of css to style his TWiki site in the JotSpot look.

Update 2008-03-01: JotSpot is now reincarnated as Google Sites, http://sites.google.com/. Google Sites is aiming small businesses and schools; the word wiki is not used, it seems to be a simplified version of the JotSpot engine.

About TWiki: TWiki is the most widely used wiki behind corporate firewalls. The TWiki open source enterprise collaboration platform gets downloaded more than 10,000 times a month. It is a StructuredWiki and pioneered the concept of wiki as an application platform. TWiki is typically used to run a project development space, a document management system, a knowledge base, or any other groupware tool, on an intranet or on the internet. Users without programming skills can create web applications. Developers can extend the functionality of TWiki with Plugins. Over 300 extensions are available for download.
Learn more...

About JotSpot

Comparison list

Claims and facts about JotSpot, compared to TWiki:

Feature JotSpot TWiki
WYSIWYG editing: Yes. Custom version of open source HtmlArea Yes, WysiwygPlugin integration using open source KUPU editor (current integration is known to have a number of bugs).
Version control of wiki pages: Yes Yes
Version control of wiki attachments: Yes Yes
Version control of meta data: (unknown) Everything, including access control and preferences
Separate namespaces: Technically there but not enabled Yes, with TWiki webs
Storage backend: Multiple storage backends, pages with properties Pluggable storage backend. At this time flat file storage backends RcsWrap (using external RCS) and RcsLite (using RCS in Perl). Other storage backends are in beta (such as SVN store), or in discussion (such as DB backend)
Search wiki pages: Yes Yes. Flexible and powerful (SearchHelp)
Search attachments: Yes (common file formats) Optional, with SearchEnginePluceneAddOn, SearchEngineSwishEAddOn or Google Search Appliance.
Preview Word and Excel documents as HTML: Yes Idea discussed in AutoConvertAttachmentsToHtml
Mail to wiki: Yes. Every page has it's own email inbox. Sending or CCing a mail to a page will automatically attach it to the page. Optional, send e-mail to any topic with MailInAddOn.
Structured wiki: Give structure to unstructured Wiki data with forms. Create tables from forms by using syntax where you only need to specify the form, not the fields. It will create a table summarising all the pages with that form and automatically create columns for every field in the form. Supported since beginning with TWikiForms. Not as simple to set up as with JotSpot, but more powerful with polymorphic forms and FormattedSearch. Additional structure can be given with HowToShowParentTopics, template topics and specific Plugins (ActionTrackerPlugin, FormQueryPlugin, RenderListPlugin, SpreadSheetPlugin and more)
Calendaring: Yes. Calendars can be created from a form by just specifying the form. It will show a calendar populated with the pages with that form according to a dated field of the form (which does not need to be specified). Yes. CalendarPlugin has similar feature, although does not pull dates as intelligently from form fields
Date picker: Yes, with DHTML date picker Yes, DHTML date picker with preinstalled JSCalendarContrib and EditTablePlugin
News feeds, outbound: RSS RSS, ATOM feed per web. Both support search string for customized feeds.
News feeds, inbound: (unknown) Optional. Display RSS and ATOM feed in wiki topics with HeadlinesPlugin.
External data sources: Integrate external data sources into the wiki. For example, live mapping of Salesforce into wiki namespace. With the ability to add new fields to a wiki page, e.g. extend the database with a custom field without the need to touch the external database. Display external data sources from relational database with DatabasePlugin and DBIQueryPlugin.
Wiki application development: Support for mini-application development. Dream to create marketplace for people who want to create and market mini-applications TWiki's tag line is "web based collaboration platform" where people can create light-weight applications without reverting back to programming. This can be done by people with modest skill sets using the functionality of the TWiki core and installed Plugins.
Plugin API: N/A (hosted solution) Thriving plugins community that spawned 254 PluginPackages, 60 AddOnPackages, 30 ContribPackages and 14 SkinPackages that can be downloaded from TWiki.org's Plugins web.

"JotSpot was inspired by Wikis but goes a step further: Wikis as development platform." As you can see, JotSpot's features are striking similar to TWiki.

-- Contributors: LynnwoodBrown, SamHasler, PeterThoeny, GrahamSpencer, ArthurClemens - 18 Jan 2007

Comments

See JotSpot's feature list.

-- ArthurClemens - 09 Oct 2004

Just to be clear, that "feature list" is actually a list of "possible uses." We'll have to wait and see how many of those applications are actually offered. Conceivably, TWiki has all the same "possible uses."

-- LynnwoodBrown - 09 Oct 2004

Thing is, I think most of them would be easier to implement in Jotspot than in TWiki from what I saw in that demo video.

-- SamHasler - 09 Oct 2004

CodevCommunity: Please help in promoting TWiki in blogs and web sites where tools similar to TWiki are mentioned: Google:jotspot+wiki, News:jotspot+wiki. Your ammunition is TWikiAdvocacy01Sep2004.

-- PeterThoeny - 11 Oct 2004

Changed the response to "Every page has it's own email inbox" because SubmitTopicByEmail, MailInAddOn, WebServicesAddOn appear to be about creating Topics from emails, not attaching emails to existing topics (as far as I can tell). I presume some of the code would be common to both though.

The thing that's nice about Jobspot's "Every page has it's own email inbox" is that it keeps email attachments separate from normal attachments.

-- SamHasler - 11 Oct 2004

TWiki was one source of inspiration for us at JotSpot. (I'm the CTO.) We like a lot of things you're doing with the software, and maybe you'll be interested in some of the ideas we have.

I hope my comments aren't unwelcome in this forum. I just want to correct a few misunderstandings:

  • I changed the "storage backend" section to reflect the fact that we support multiple data backends -- flat files, relational database, in-memory, over SOAP, etc.
  • I changed the RSS section to note that we also do RSS out of the wiki.
  • Although we share the "forms" terminology with TWiki, our implementation is quite different. For example, we AllowMultipleForms. (I understand that this was a deliberate decision on TWiki's part.) We also have a rich syntax for searching, sorting, and filtering a structured search, but that was not shown in the demo.
  • All examples in the "feature list" are being used by JotSpot clients, so they are actual (not "possible") uses.

This isn't the place for JotSpot advocacy, but please feel free to contact us if you have questions.

-- GrahamSpencer - 12 Oct 2004

Graham, delighted to hear from you! Thanks for your clarifications. JotSpot looks great, and we all wish you success - some of us are all too aware of the problems of introducing such a technology. Your inputs here are more than welcome.

There's a huge amount of synergy between JotSpot and TWiki, as I'm sure you have seen. You have done a lot of the things that various contributors have been struggling to get done in TWiki - multiple back ends being the tip of the iceberg.

Perhaps we can persuade you to make JotSpot open-source....? hehe!

-- CrawfordCurrie - 13 Oct 2004

Why would I want to place my (potentially) critical and valuable colaboration IP on servers owned and controlled by GrahamSpencer. I don't think so. Maybe for some trivial use but not a chance I'd contribute to someone who is an obvious wannabe empire-builder. Don't get me wrong, more power to him, but just don't expect me to be dumb enough to sign up.

-- DougLee - 26 Dec 2004

As Crawford, I think that the JotSpot efforts are very interesting. Graham, you may consider going "Collaborative Source" like Jahia, http://www.collaborativesource.org/jahia/Jahia which is a very interesting concept:

  • The source code is freely downloadable and modifiable
  • you can redistribute the (potentially modified) code to others
  • you are free to use it for development purposes
  • If you really use it, you must pay the licence
  • You can pay part of the licence in code: this for instance could make jostspot free/cheaper for TWiki contributors

This is a very promising concept. jahia is gaining a lot of market share in europe now, due to the push from governments to use open source software.

-- ColasNahaboo - 06 Jan 2005

The most recent wiki application emerged this past October, thereby continuing the validation campaign for corporate wikis. Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer (the founders of Excite) released The Application Wiki from their Palo Alto startup JotSpot. Currently in beta, with availability by invitation only, this new wiki software has potential (Cole 2004). Approximately twenty days after the invitation opened, almost three thousand companies had signed up for the free beta-test in order to begin examining the potential benefits and applications (Evers 2004).

Application Wiki is boasting functionality beyond those aspects found in first and second generation wikis. An exciting addition to basic wikis is Wysiwyg (Whatyou- see-is-what-you-get) editing, allowing anyone who can type to edit pages (JotSpot 2004). Additionally, every JotSpot page has an email inbox whereby all emails cc'd to the page are automatically indexed and searchable (JotSpot 2004b). JotSpot pages also provide data repository opportunities that allow the attachment of any type of file to a page, both of which are indexed and searchable (JotSpot 2004c). Furthermore, JotSpot has an Application Gallery that includes prefabricated 'application templates' that can be added and modified for specific uses (JotSpot 2004d). These advanced wiki pages also allow for easy integration of real-time news feeds and web components such as Google search (Marshall 2004; Francisco 2004). The fundamental objective is to empower anyone to quickly create customized web programs solely through the use of Application Wiki's improved functionality (Hof 2004).

The predicted possibilities for JotSpot's Application Wiki have been numerous, including collaborative workspace initiatives, customer support management, job candidate tracking, project management and trouble ticketing, to name a few (Hof 2004; Evers 2004; Appendix Table 7). Proponents are attracted to JotSpot's possible applications, low cost and simplicity (Evers 2004). While Application Wiki has been described as a bottom-up technology, with popularity commencing at the workgroup level and spreading outwards and upwards, the strong belief is that they will grow (Evers 2004).

Fragment from Wiki and the Wiki Way: Beyond a Knowledge Management Solution (Februari 2005), see WikiInTheNews. The years in the text (Evers 2004) are literature references.

-- ArthurClemens - 18 Mar 2005

http://web20.weblogsinc.com/entry/2241471836968014/

-- MartinCleaver - 18 Mar 2005

JotSpot has recently published their pricelist here. Sure makes TWiki look like a great deal. wink

BTW, before my beta account runs out at the end of this month, I'm going to try to spend some more time looking at it's features/interface in depth to see what ideas of worth I can gather that might benefit further development of TWiki. If you'd like access to my beta account to help with this, drop me a line. When I'm done, I'll post some more notes here.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 24 Mar 2005

Yep, the pricetag definetely puts things in perspective smile

If anybody would like to just press "Edit" at a JotSpot page and play a bit around, you are very welcome to try out my beta account (it is open to guest access). Unfortunately, you can't register in your own name - that feature is not available yet, but I'll install it first chance. My beta account is at http://hotspot.jot.com/WikiHome.

Up front I can say that it looks like JotSpot currently has some hefty I18N/character set issues - it actually looks like initially they didn't pay the matter much thought at all. There are lots of reports on character issues in their bug forum (i.e. bug 611, bug 411, bug 329 and bug 289) - but it looks like they are putting some effort into getting this to work currently.

  • JotSpot now handles regional characters both in attachments and pagenames (no auto-wikiwording for ReginalCharacterPages though, neither in creation or linking). -- SteffenPoulsen - 10 Oct 2005

-- SteffenPoulsen - 29 Mar 2005

Jot released JotSpot 2.0 today, a few screenshots of some of the new functionality are available at http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/index.php?p=243.

Keywords: Office-like, page types, navigation, self service upgrade path.

Pricing is somewhat updated at the same time (pasting it here as the old price link is out of service): Free for five users/maximum of 10 pages; $9.95/month for 10 users and 100 pages; $24.95/month for 25 users and 300 pages; $69.95/month for unlimited users and 1000 pages; and $199.95/month for unlimited users and unlimited pages.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 24 Jul 2006

That is an interesting move of JotSpot. Lets see how long it takes Microsoft to address this trend of webifying the office tools.

-- PeterThoeny - 24 Jul 2006

Like SharePoint 2007?

-- ArthurClemens - 24 Jul 2006

http://news.com.com/JotSpot+pretties+up+wikis/2100-1032_3-6097320.html?tag=nl mentions that Jot are testing a VMware package for local deployment behind a firewall now - it looks like an internally hosted appliance is something there's a demand for, also in this case. This makes Online/Hosted/ASP+Appliance+Source versions now a de facto standard in this segment, and some (like i.e. Socialtext and ConfluenceWiki) is shipping an "Open" version in addition.

At some point (simple?) wikis will probably be a natural shipped part of the popular office / collaboration suites; I expect (hope!) some of the generated attention might spill over to TWiki once they get the PR engines running on this? smile

-- SteffenPoulsen - 25 Jul 2006

Some time passed. The bullet list on top is a bit outdated and could be updated to the current TWiki feature set (with Plugins).

-- PeterThoeny - 29 Jul 2006

Yep, could do with a little update that list.

Saw a blog entry today that Jot are apparently also getting the attention of spammers these days: PDX Web Innovators wiki removed.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 01 Aug 2006

JotSpot is now part of Google

-- SamHasler - 31 Oct 2006

It is a validation that wikis (and TWiki) are taking off in the mainstream.

See also related blog post by Ross Mayfield, CEO of Socialtext. And my personal view on the story.

-- PeterThoeny - 31 Oct 2006

Good that TWiki is open-source, so nobody can simply 'buy' it away. wink

-- FranzJosefSilli - 31 Oct 2006

I like your offer above, Peter, excellent initiative smile To potentially interested visitors, be aware that TWiki is also available as a virtual machine (virtual appliance); if you are on Windows this is a very easy way to get started.

I just wanted to mention that there's a developers blog at jot.com, which has at least one posting with an internal view on the acquisition, more might show up.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 02 Nov 2006

Could not resist: here's a demo of TWiki looking like JotSpot. NotSpotTWiki1.png

-- MichaelDaum - 02 Nov 2006

Great work Michael! smile

-- FranzJosefSilli - 03 Nov 2006

Desperately seeking JotSpot (Infoworld 17 May 2007) has an update on current state of JotSpot, seven months after acquisition. Focus are still on porting Jot to Google, but apparently no plans or dates are public yet. There are some worries whether the platform will remain open or not.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 18 May 2007

See TWikiOnClouds for a way of hosting TWiki on a similar 'cloud' to Google's infrastructure, which is going to host JotSpot.

-- RichardDonkin - 06 Dec 2007

JotSpot is now reincarnated as Google Sites, http://sites.google.com/

-- PeterThoeny - 28 Feb 2008

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