That which we call a rose…

Sometimes I wonder how startups with plenty of VC and marketing funds,manage to choose stupid names without any research. The new kid on the block is yet another company building yet another CMS with an Open Source license and no community: boring enough in itself. Finding out they decided to call themselves Alfresco just makes me laugh: “al fresco” in italian is slang for “in jail”. Oh well, at least our small Open Source CMS market in Italy won’t be threatened that much…

Upon further reading, actually this isn’t much of a surprise: from the “we don’t have a clue about Open Source” department, here is the only information about community I have been able to find on their website:

Alfresco provides forum-based support to:

  • Our customers (with whom we have contracted services)
  • Organizations during the software evaluation process

In the future a valid serial number (purchased or evaluation) will be required to access the forum

The rest of their website is just too sad to comment: it would probably be a great foundation for a “Open Source business mistakes to avoid” presentation. I understand how these guys don’t deserve so many pointed fingers, but I’m just fed up: as someone who’s been building business and reputation with and around Open Source for a while, I just don’t want to be in the same boat with this kind of companies, yet there are just too many of them, and they seem to be great honeypots for VC funding.

Bottom line: if this is what “professional Open Source” is going to be, I’m off to carrot farming.



7 thoughts on “That which we call a rose…”

  1. Sorry to say, but Carrot farming is pretty cool. I used to work on a carrot farm, and while I think I would have gone nuts if I worked in the factory any more than I did, it was mad fun.


  2. Just as a side comment on your Al Fresco. Did you know that is one of the co-founders of Documentum ( that is running this initiative, John Newton. Just to put it in the right context for you. Documentum is one of the biggest CM systems in the world and they are certainly not Open Source!! The company is based in CA and is now part of EMC2, making millions having the top 100 as their customer base.

    So the fact that Mr Newton is getting involved in this type of initiative is very impressive and you should read the web page again specially the part about “why open source”.

    How am I? Accenture consultant that is an expert on Documentum. Just to give you something else to scratch you head on. My clients (the biggest companies in the world) would never accept and Open Source as part of their core components. Why that is another story. Oracle, Sible, Documentum are the ONLY choice. The only time I have successfully managed to convince the client to use an open source component has been to service a non-critical part of their infrastructure. In this case Documentum and cocoon at a major UK bank.

    So Alfresco is a revolution in the CM arena and as history taught us revolutions can go either way: to a radical new direction and change the current scenario or just self absorb and die. What is alfresco future – remains to be seen.

  3. I agree with your opinion on the CMS market, it is really silly to think, that creating a new CMS system will be any good, if there are well supported systems like our beloved TYPO3, that could just be supported more instead of trying to re-invent the wheel. Alfredesco is just one of many hundred sad systems that will never be able to reach up to TYPO3, Joomla or Drupal of which I prefer TYPO3 by far.

  4. I agree Kian in part too that there are too many CMS Systems and only few usefull and powerfull like TYPO3 with such a supported backgroundcommunity. but i think a lot of cms will be good to for very specialised use.

  5. I agree with you, there are a lot of good cms on the market. And in my opinion, Typo3 ist the best – but for smaller projects I can imagine, that a new open source cms can be a possible alternative.

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