The state of the Plone

published Oct 11, 2007, last modified Jan 30, 2008

Plone conference 2007 Keynote talk, Naples. Speaker: Alexander Limi, Alan Runyan

A lot of people here are on the Plone conference for the first time. Over the last 12 months 84 people committed code to core Plone. That is a lot. Plone is among the top two percent largest open source projects in the world.

Plone 3 has arrived! A great release with few bugs. For the details, see the talk of Jon Stahl of yesterday. Infoworld put us in spot number two a few days ago, after Alfredo.

Plone has a lot of Rock Stars, too much to list here.

A lot of smaller sites are using Plone. You cannot make the major press enthusiastic enough to talk about that though. We now have some major sites though., (they might be here at the conference but we will never know), (which is really beautiful).

We have a recent book by Martin Aspeli: Professional Plone Development. We also have Content Management with Plone: Handbook for authors and editors by Thomas Lotze and Christian Theune.

Our own website has gotten quite a bit of attention. It is stable, using caching (varnish). The subversion repository was moved to another server so it could not bring the site down.

What happened with the Plone Foundation. In the United States you can now donate money with tax exemption. We received about 20,000 dollars this years. We are clear about our licensing, enforcing it. We have thirty trademarks now, most importantly the name Plone. Plone Solutions also had rights to this. They graciously have changed their name to Jarn to show their commitment to the community and their support of the Plone Foundation..

On the web site we have 200 providers listed, in 44 countries, and over 800 sites listed. There is much cool information there. We can use more case studies there though (18 now), so get your information up there.

How many people here have there own Plone company? (About 80 hands showed I think). And how many of them are searching for new developers? Roughly 60 percent.

The Plone logo is very recognizable. It is a bit pale though. Jola Hyjek is working on that, making it far more readable. It still looks like the original, so that it good.

The documentation area on was revamped. We made new, clearer categories. Check it out. Sometimes the important thing is getting rid of 14 documents about LDAP and turning them into one really good document.

PloneSoftwareCenter was redesigned, making it much simpler. You can search for products that support Plone 3.0.

The release of Plone 3.0 has been managed by Wichert Akkerman (wiggy on irc). (Applause.) Also applause for Alec Mitchell, who is still managing Plone 2.5 and has released 2.5.4 a few days ago.

Trends. You should look at Lennert Regebro's talk about what Zope did wrong (and right). Philipp von Weitershausen will talk about Zope 3, Grok, Plone working together. Testing is improving. Let's give a round of applause to the original Zope developers. It is ten years old and still holding up very well. The ZODB is still perfect for storing objects.

Everyone is busy. There is huge demand for Plone. It makes a lot of money. A lot of other open source projects struggle there. We have to try to lower the barrier of entry though: make it easier for people to start with Plone and contribute.

We van do better with evangelism. Let people know that you are using Plone and why you are using it. When Plone 3.0 was released I encouraged people to digg it at and we made the top in about 12 hours. We have enough people to do things like that. Blog about it, talk about it, comment about it, link to it.

"The future is here already, it is just not evenly distributed." So what does the future hold? A lot of it is just continuation of current developments. Lots of soft issues instead of only hardcore programming. See the points about evangelism, communication. Jon Stahl: "Approachable Plone". Plone needs to be simple. Joel did a talk about Plone as a humane CMS. Hard things need to be addressed. Darci Hanning is not a coder. She works at a library and made Plone very usable for libraries. I like those stories.

Plone 3.0 was a necessary big lift. It took a lot of time. We pulled it off. Now we want to release 3.1 faster. Small, focused, 100 percent compatible with Plone 3.0. No real new things, but polishing up, making things simple, no risky changes. 3.1 should not break anything that works on 3.0. Big things will go in 4.0 (or 3.5, we will see about the version number).

A lot of people moved from Vignette to Plone. Why is that? What can we learn from other projects. Where are they cooler than us and where do they fail? I like to hear more about that. That can give us a roadmap, a vision.

Talk to other people on the conference here. Meet new friends, exchange good and bad points about Plone. Give that info to the Plone developers.

Thank you for being here (or reading this).