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Panel: Getting Started with the Zope Foundation

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by Jim Fulton, Martijn Faassen and Aroldo Souza-Leite

The Zope Foundation was legally formed in March 2006. Initial board since June: Aroldo Souza-Leite, Martijn Faassen, Rob Page and Jim Fulton.

We have strategic developers, consumers, solution providers, associate members and board members. It is a non-profit organisation.

Purpose: advance the community.

Practical: hold the copyright, trademark, manage zope.org.

The foundation is you! The community is doing the work and should keep the responsibility. We'll try to help and not get in your way. The foundation helps make things easier for others.

Initial committees: membership, finance, Zope management organisation and the www.zope.org web site. We need more volunteers on all committees.

Q: What services should the Zope Foundation offer to developers of the Zope platform?

Martijn: We have subversion, mailing lists, wikis, issue tracker. Not all our services should necessarily be based on Zope, e.g. an issue tracker need not have been made in Zope.

Aroldo: it is a frame. We seek commitment between parties. More meta technical and legal. It is a movement.

Jim: I don't want to be a Zope Pope anymore and I am not. I tried to add a page for a talk i held earlier and I had to manually add a Folder as Manager on the zope site, which feels a bit dirty. So we need something better there.

Christian Theune: +1 on better bug trackers.

Martijn: Help people to not build Zope specific software if it can instead be used outside of Zope. Right now many people don't even try it.

Q: What should the Zope Foundation do for people with an interest in Zope?

Martijn: Give people clearly the impression that Zope and its projects are there to stay, that they are stable. Give them peace of mind when using it.

Aroldo: The Zope Foundation could be a frame for evangelising. A good place to collaborate with other institutions, for example the python.org organisation. We should take care of documentation.

Jim: +1 on all that.

Chris: How are new members invited?

Jim: Dieter has been invited.

Martijn: We had a board decision for that.

Jim: We'll add some info on the site.

Christian: There should be info on where and when conferences are, which companies in the neighbourhood can help customers.

Mark Hamilton: Make the role of Zope clear. People may now step in at either the python or the plone level without really realizing what the Zope level is about.

Several in the room: A sort of Zope newsletter would be good, maybe some development news? There is Planet Zope with an accompanying blog and a planetzope del.icio.us tag. Done by Philipp von Weitershausen?

Jim + Martijn: There are several Zope related projects: zope2, zope3, Five (well, part of zope2), zodb. Maybe we need to split those.

Aroldo: the Zope Foundation can help you decide if you want to join the main Zope effort or start a separate project.

Room: more centralised support for small projects. More info about those projects on www.zope.org, instead of just a subversion repository.

Jim: I agree.

Room: I like the idea of Popes for several projects actually.

Kit Blake: When I talk to a customer, it helps to have a Zope Foundation, because I can point them to a web site. The web site may be ugly, as long as it gives good info, a good image. A Zope Foundation with a good image is good and then I don't mind a messy www.zope.org.

Geir: A neat www.zope.org is good, but not necessarily a task for the Zope Foundation.

Martijn: Whose job would it then be?

Geir: It could be done without the Zope Foundation. The community can do that.

Jim: The Zope foundation owns the domain name, but we don't have the man power to handle the web site.

Tarek Ziade: How about more marketing people?

Martijn: We have to use the right marketing to the right market. So more marketing people are helpful.

Jim: When more than one person steps forward, we'll worry about how to coordinate marketing efforts.

Jim: Do we want to split Zope into more projects? So give some people far more authority and responsibility for e.g. zodb or zope3? Andreas doesn't have the authority to decide where Zope2 is going to be heading.

Russ: You are looking to spread out the load. There is no money available. Only recognition now, so you need to do that part well.

Martijn: Giving credit to people is important.

Christian: Right now, if somebody wants to modify something, maybe large changes that I am unhappy about, then I have no authority to do anything about it. So splitting could help there.

Steve: There are a few roles for a project: technical officer, security officer, some more. These may be the same person. Knowing who has these roles up front would help. Make it clear. Also: define compatibility. What versions is a software program compatible with.

Martijn: Maybe you can help?

Steve: I'm busy applying to become a member. :)

Jim: We are in the bootstrapping phase. I'm not sure of the requirements for new members, but we don't want to turn anyone away.

Q: What shall we do with www.zope.org?

Chris Withers: rm -rf /

Martijn: We have enough ideas, we just need some time. Identity pages for projects are the most important. We should look at TurboGears and Django, because they are doing this well. We should go low tech. Just simple pages. Steve brought up LaunchPad, so we may want to use that. Maybe just use Apache. Anything that works!

Room: Applause!

Martijn: It is a very important part of our effort.

Chris: How do I get in?

Jim: Ask Martijn.

Chris: Okay, I want in.

Christian: Okay, you are in. :)

Martijn: There are ideas, but there are some practical problems, like access to the machines that host zope.org.

Jim: Zope Corp is still hosting that. Okay, we have a few volunteers. Maybe everyone who is still left in the room here? :) We have them on film. :) We have the authority, we just need people to get involved.