Eric Steele: Everything about Plone, past and future
Key note presentation during the Dutch Plone Users day, 8 October 2012 in Musis Sacrum, Arnhem, The Netherlands.
More info: Dutch Plone Users Day 2012 (in Dutch).
Eric Steele is the release manager of Plone 4.
We want to improve the user experience by simplifying development.
One of the pillars is Dexterity, a new content type system as alternative to Archetypes. You can create new types through the web, so that is easier for end users.
Deco is a new layout engine. It has been going through a lot of changes the last few years. It is very ambitious but we now have Deco Light, a more stripped down version. collective.cover has been created, which is basically Deco for a front page of your site. So it is an alternative to add-ons like Collage. With Deco you move tiles around. The current ones in collective.cover are very simple, but the idea is that later you can add more complex ones, like showing fields for the current context object. But the basics are there.
Theming has been Plone's biggest hurdle. We added Diazo in Plone 4.2, with integration in plone.app.theming. This makes it easier to make Plone not look like a Plone site, but like your designer intended it. The design should not interfere with the editing experience. The CMSUI effort helps with that.
In Plone 4.3 we are building a theme editor that you can use through the web. This makes it easier to theme a site, also for a designer who does not know Plone and does not have experience customizing templates from Plone.
Plone 4.3 is in development, expected release date February 2013. After that, we may go for 4.4 or 5.0.
We will have a new DateTime version, which saves some memory. Dexterity content types are more efficient than Archetypes. Since Plone 4.2 we support Python 2.7, which has a few memory improvements, too. For multilingual support for dexterity you can look at plone.app.multilingual. Some are using this in production already.