As I presented my thesis, I had to define a scope. The world of CMS is a large, complex and deals with multiple scales and platforms, ranging from global enterprise content management (with proper intranets, DAM, DRM, and the lot) to small single site web publisher software.
To reduce the scope I laid my approach to the following areas:
-One platform (java)
-One market (open source)
Focusing on these two, the second in particular (open source can mean many things) can be risky, but it's better than enveloping the whole CMS business.
The other day I was contacted by Benjamin Mestrallet, founder of the eXo platform, as he had naturally taken some interest in this blog. I realized that eXo fits quite nicely into the scope of my thesis. This means that I will have to analyse the eXo platform in the same way I have started off with Magnolia.
I know there are some more open source WCMS around (http://java-source.net/open-source/content-managment-systems), but I try to remind myself that some of these can be licensing boobytraps. Currently, even Magnolia is using a proprietary component which is not allowed for commercial use.
eXo is also subject of some licensing flaming. I quote an anoynmous person, though I'm sure a google search will disclose him: "BTW, these dual GPL/commercial licences like eXo make me puke. These are plain commercial entities surfing the marketing wave of free software to sell their stuff in a traditional way. I have nothing about classical runtime licences, except when they're hidden behind GPL smoke. ".
I have to add that I have not experienced Benjamin to be such a commercial entity. I've seen him speak in real life, and he seems to be an enthusiastic believer in open source. I won't make up my license opinion at this point, but it is a possible scope to focus on the business friendly licenses (ASL, BSD, LGPL). It would at least mean fewer open source solutions to analyse, and less work for me :D