Alexander Limi: The future of Plone

published Oct 28, 2009, last modified Oct 29, 2009

Plone conference 2009 keynote by Alexander Limi

Alan Runyan is not here because he just had a baby (applause). The first South American Plone conference will be held this year.

Plone Foundation has been kicking ass this year; Jon Stahl did good work there (and is also having a baby). A lot of money was raised and spent to help more core people go to other conferences, also bigger industry events to represent Plone. Also some packages have been relicensed to make it easier to use them in other projects. Hosting of is now done by Six Feet Up. We are putting money into paying people to go to sprints. Dogin more marketing and evangelism.

Plone 4 is estimated to be released at the end of 2009. Release manager is Eric Steele. An amazing 26 new features (plips). We hope to have an alpha release at the end of the conference. It is the "Snow Leopard" of Plone releases, fixing lots of stuff in the background. Speedup, blob file storage, better memory management (partly because of using python 2.6), scales better.

Plone 5. Expected mid 2010 (well, maybe). I see Hanno Schlichting smiling, the release manager. Focus areas:

  • Approachability. New content framework: Dexterity; but Archetypes is not going away. Dexterity is thorugh the web schema editing, with round trip support. Theming has become too hard; Deliverence: theming done right. We will use xdv for this. There will be talks about Deliverance this conference. We use this on the website already, so we believe in this.
  • Plone needs to be faster. Partly we do this by using less code, Plone trunk plus all dependencies was at some point about 800,000 lines, instead of the 1 million lines of Plone 3.2. Using Chameleon for templating will make Plone faster. You can already use that on Plone 3.3 today. So more speed coming to you soon. We are going to run performance tests to see if Plone is not suddenly getting slower without us noticing.
  • Simplicity. New layout system called Deco. It is a new approach to page editing. You will have page layouts composed of tiles, small boxes of text, images, lists, forms, polls, anything. "Tiles are the new apps." Where you would currently create a new content type you could probably create a new tile instead.

Deco: full page editing interface. What you edit is what you get. Separates layout from format. There will be no need for grid management, so not something like "add a row", "add a column". (Alex now does a Deco demo. Hey, Plone has a pony!)

Opportunities. Plone 4 and 5 are solving some basic problems. I want us to change the world again. Community: we want new talent, new web sites, new add-ons; it should be easier to get more people involved in Plone. We are not doing enough shouting from the roof tops. We know some of the weaknesses of Plone so we keep quiet; but all other system have their weaknesses as well. Be proud of Plone! What is our identity? Collaboration? Publishing? Simple apps? Using something like Amazon EC2 will help us as it makes it easier to run a Plone site. It should be simple to create small applications with Plone; Dexterity should help there. Going after Drupal, Wordpress we will lose, as they will always be cheaper. We are more up against frameworks like Alfresco and Documentum.

The Plone software needs to be more performant, self-documenting (sphinx, amberjack), more quality assurance (I will be running my blog on Plone 4 and when that is stable enough I will switch to Plone 5; the site might be down sometimes, but that is okay, it makes Plone better).

Be great. Talk more about Plone. Improve It used to be a great driver of innovation.

Widen participation. Please start a Plone user group in your area. Evangelize Plone. It's all about you. Thank you for making Plone better!

Don't just complain. Complain and then try to make it better.