CeBIT is one of the largest information technology (IT) fairs in the world. More than 300,000 attendees from all over the world come to Hannover, Germany for this showcase of IT manufacturers and service providers.
For the past 11 years, CeBIT has provided a space for open source software services; including sponsorship of some of the featured open source projects. Today, their Open Source Arena and the Open Source Park are well-known within the fair.
Both initiatives are organised by Wolfgang Frank and his company Pluspol. I sat down with him during CeBIT a few years ago (2011) to talk about these initiatives and sections of the fair. I was concerned that CeBIT's sponsoring of open source would be reduced in the coming years, so I asked him how we could work to ensure open source projects continue to be represented at the fair?
We thought that an initiative to support open source Content Management Systems (CMS) seemed like an obvious choice because there are many of them, varying in size, complexity, and target audience. The idea emerged to arrange a CMS challenge and have an area where the teams could work on the challenge before a live audience. We decided to call this area the CMS Garden because the same variety that you see in the open source CMS landscape bares resemblance to the unique and colorful flowers of a garden. This visual also represents the work community managers do in caring for and nurturing their community of developers and more.
In 2012 Mittwald, a German hosting provider, coordinated a booth for four of their most prominent open source projects: TYPO3, Drupal, Magento, and Wordpress. The different open source projects' teams interacted well together and there was synergy. The booth overall was quite successful eventhough it was located in the commercial area of CeBIT, next to proprietary CMS systems and vendors. We wondered how something like that would perform if it was located within the Open Source Park.
Something like a CMS Garden.
During CeBIT 2013 the CMS Garden went live. It featured 12 CMSs and acted as a community-focused initiative. The whole vibe is different with the CMS garden. First, the exchange of information is more free-flowing because people view each other less as competitors and more as participants in the same event with similiar goals. Also, the typical attire at CeBIT is a suit and tie, but the guys and ladies that staff the CMS Garden wear snazzy "gardeners clothes."
This year's CeBIT event is from March 10 - 14 in Hannover, Germany. If you plan to go, visit the CMS Garden in Hall 6!