Online collaboration tools are no longer the domain of just proprietary
closed source vendors. Open Source startup Dimdim is now out with its Eagle
release taking aim at being a fully open source unified communications and
The Eagle release officially known as Dimdim Open Source Community Edition
Version 3.5 is licensed under the GPL version 3 and is available for both
Windows and Linux. The new open source edition builds on the earlier
release of Dimdim by enabling unlimited meeting attendees and unlimited
The latest Dimdim offering comes as the market for online collaboration
tools from proprietary vendors like Cisco’s WebEx and continues to grow.
It’s a space that Dimdim co-founder and CTO Prakash Khot thinks open
source can play a significant role. To date, Dimdim claims that their free
open source Web meeting software has been downloaded over 230,000 times.
Dimdim leverages existing open source technologies as well as adding its own
effort to produce the full Dimdim offering.
“We look at open source technologies like Apache Tomcat, CherryPy
Application Server, Lighttpd, and Open Office as fairly mature products and
we use them pretty much as is,” Khot told InternetNews.com. “Then
there are the applications that we have built that facilitate the entire
Khot added that the basic conference server application is built by Dimdim
and it’s something that is available as open sourced. To date, the
contributions back into the Dimdim project have come primarily in the form
of feedback on usage.
“We’ve taken the feedback that we got from the community and taken the best
stuff that we have available and rolled out what we consider to be our best
release,” Khot said.
Dimdim is available both as an open source, on-premises server as well as a
hosted solution. The differences between the two offerings are minimal,
though there are a few. According to Khot, for paying users of the hosted
service they get Microsoft office collaboration, as opposed to
OpenOffice.org for the open source version.
Khot noted that Dimdim is also fairly modular and extensible such that new
functionality could be added on to it. That said, Dimdim does not currently
have a ‘forge’ type of community development portal for developers to
collaborate and share their ideas on extensions. Khot did, however, comment
that a Dimdim forge idea is definitely ‘in the cards’ at some point in the
Though Dimdim clearly faces large competitive challenges from WebEx and
GoToMeeting, among other proprietary players, Khot note that ease of use is
the biggest challenge.
“We have to be very sophisticated and at the same time have to be very
simple to use,” Khot said. “It takes about 30 seconds and five clicks to
start a meeting now. We want to make it less than 10 seconds and a single