Alexander Loechel: The Plone is Dead, Long Live the Plone!

published Dec 07, 2020

Talk at Plone Conference 2020

Here are the slides.

A talk about the essence of Plone. What does Plone mean for somebody?

Plone is an awesome combination of vision, software and community. But what defines Plone, what is the essence, and how does it change over time.

At the Plone Conference 2019 I had the feeling of realizing why we sometimes speak of very different things and why the Plone of today is not the Plone we know from the years.

This talk wants to summarize this feeling of realizing, explain why we may have a problem of misconception. It is a mix of technological questions, the overall vision, branding and community topics in depth.

Plone is a software, an api, a community, a foundation. Plone core is an API, but there are more than one: plone.api, plone.restapi, the Plone UI, none is complete. Every Plone company has a different point of view of what Plone is or should be.

Plone is a mature open source Python CMS. As said earlier today, implementations change, but values do not. We want to simplify Plone.

What is or was Plone for me? The CMS product, the framework/toolkit, the vision, the community, the foundation. Plone is an umbrella for a lot of frameworks.

Anish Kapoor: "All ideas grow out of other ideas."

Plone was the User Interface that gave users the power of Zope and CMF. It is a layered system. Layers hide complexity, make complex things easier, you have a defined API between the layers. It should be possible to switch out one layer for another. For  example we switched out the Archetypes layer for the Dexterity layer.

We are the Plone community, not the Zope community. Values and ideas are more important to us than technology.

Problem for API: there are always undocumented features without API definition.

At Plone conference 2013, Paul Everitt showed a lesson from Zope 3: rename the beast. Zope 3 was very different from Zope 2, so it should have been renamed.

The vision lives on. Volto is the future of Plone UI. It is the essence of the Plone vision.

I want to thank all the active Plone community members.

The Plone Foundation has a mission: protect and promote Plone. Lots of decision making, but no coding.

Wishes for the future:

  • Endorse Volto, the Plone vision of simplifying CMS work
  • Attract new developers, keep the community vital
  • There is overlap with the Pyramid and Pylons family, we could absorb them.
  • Stay commented and learn from each other. There are no rock stars, everyone started small and is still learning from each other.