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CompendiumNG: Dev community takes the codebase forward
Sebastian Boell

With the Open University's support, Compendium's user and developer community have self-organised to take its future software development forward.

The OU's Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) and Verizon co-founded the Compendium Institute. In 2002 KMi became the software development hub, releasing Compendium as a freely distributed application, funded by external research grants, and resulting in a significant body of research. In 2009, KMi and Verizon released Compendium Open Source under the LGPL licence. In recent years, KMi's knowledge mapping research interests have shifted to web-centric platforms for "Contested Collective Intelligence", such as Cohere and Evidence Hub, meaning that Compendium is not (at present) under continuous development by the KMi team. Future projects may reactivate KMi's development of Compendium, and they continue to study the data from its usage.

Compendium is considered so valuable by its user community, that it has self-organised to ensure that it remains a living software application. The community has been discussing the possibility of driving the development of Compendium through a community effort. In late 2012 the Compendium Institute fully backed this movement and two teleconferences spanning the globe were initiated - and of course facilitated through Compendium (see links below for illustrations of the output from real-time Dialogue Mapping -- thanks KC Burgess Yakemovic).

Emerging from these, a number of ideas for the future development of Compendium were collected and the requirements for setting up the development of Compendium as open source were discussed. Based on these developments a small group of dedicated users and developers started the development of CompendiumNG, with NG standing for 'next generation', or short CNG. They have already made good progress in setting up a project on the GitHub open source code hosting platform, have resolved some pervasive bugs, and are now preparing the code for solid open source development.

The first release of CNG is just around the corner, and they have set up a project website which you can find at:

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