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Bouvet ASA announces: Ontopia goes open source

By murray - Posted on 20 April 2009

Bouvet has announced that the will be open sourcing Ontopia's OKS. This is great news for the Topic Maps world as it will allow a lot more developers get their hands on the OKS, probably the most mature and featured Topic Maps engine currently available.

Bouvet is a consulting company focusing on the Nordic market, and so selling a software product internationally has proved to be difficult to accommodate within the organization. Bouvet wants to continue to develop the OKS and to sell services based on the product. In our opinion the best way to do that, and to ensure that existing customers are satisfied, is to turn the OKS into an open source project, which we will call Ontopia.

There are still many decisions left to be made, and while we do have ideas for how to administer and license the software, we wish to invite other interested parties to give us their input, to help ensure that the Ontopia project is interesting for as many parties as possible. For this reason we will host a planning meeting on May 26th in Oslo. The intention is that this will enable an active community to develop around the project. It will also help ensure that existing customers have their needs met.

Bouvet will honor all support and maintenance contracts currently in effect, and we aim to continue selling such contracts. However, the specific terms of the new contracts will need to change to some degree as the project goes open source. More information on this will follow after the planning meeting.

We aim to achieve the following by 2010:

  • Having an active community around the Ontopia project, consisting of developers, users, and discussions on the project web site
  • That Ontopia is used in even more projects (whether run by Bouvet or not)
  • Having a licensing and administration model which makes it attractive for other parties to use and contribute to Ontopia
  • Having an offer of professional support on the product to both Bouvet customers and others


  • April-May: Bouvet to prepare the source code and project web site
  • May 26th: Planning Meeting (consolidating meeting) where Bouvet meets interested parties to discuss how to achieve the best possible administration of the project. We will discuss issues like licensing, project administration, funding, etc. Suggestions and participation highly welcome!
  • July 1st: Project is launched; source code is made available
  • Q3/Q4: Code Camps where the community works on the software to fix bugs and add new requested features
  • Q4: Ontopia under active development

More information: