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The Plone is dead, long live the Plone!

At PloneConf 2019 in Ferrara I had a feeling of realization, That I had a misconception of the current state of Plone and development. In talks at the conference I also have seen that others have the same problem, as we speak of very different things.
The overall question that raised is “What is Plone for you?” and what is the future of Plone.
For me Plone is a vision, to empower users. Volto caries this vision. Therefore I can only recommend to endorse Volto as the future of Plone.

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The Plone is dead, long live the Plone!

  1. 1. The Plone is dead, long live the Plone! A problem of misconception Alexander Loechel
  2. 2. This talk cites explicit copyright licensed work: ● Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of ViacomCBS ● The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy based upon the novel by Douglas Adams, the film is produced and trademark of Touchstone Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Hammer & Tongs, Everyman Pictures those images are used for this presentation under fair use conditions due to non-profit & non-commercial nature of this presentation and fandom aspects All other Images are directly marked with licence and origin, if not CC0/Public domain CC0
  3. 3. Sources and References (Conference Videos) ● Plone Conferences (Ferrara 2019, Tokyo and before) ○ The State of Plone - Eric Steele ( ○ Plone Beyond 2020: Jump into Volto today! - Víctor Fernández de Alba ( ○ On the Road - Plone 6 and Beyond - Timo Stollenwerk ( ○ The Plone Foundation Needs You! - Érico Andrei ( ○ Panel - Future of Plone ( ○ Panel - Framework comparison ( ○ Panel - Ask me anything on Volto ( ○ Reinventing Plone - Roadmap to the Modern Web - Timo Stollenwerk ( ● The Plone Connection Podcast - T. Kim Nguyen + Érico Andrei ( ● Some of my talks - Alexander Loechel ○ Plone, quo vadis? ( ○ We are the Plone Collective. Resistance is futile. Assimilation is inevitable ( ○ Web-Content-Management-Systems - The Past - The Present - The Future ( CMS Garden approach ○ Plone the Python CMS & Web-Framework for advanced Topics and Non-Developers ( ○ Zope / Plone - A History of Python Web (
  4. 4. A feeling of realization at
  5. 5. Plone is something else for everybody even or especially in the Plone community
  6. 6. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) Touchstone Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Hammer & Tongs, Everyman Pictures Language is difficult Language is important! More than just Syntax and Semantics Words have specific meanings ⬇ Technology is complex and maybe complicated ⬇ Common Sense / Understanding is even harder
  7. 7. I am an Information Scientist & Manager ⬇ therefore I am very language sensitive (maybe not always language aware) The Absolute Correctness - Georgios Liakopoulos CC-SA 3.0 Wikipedia:
  8. 8. 8 “Most of the biggest problems in software are problems of misconception.” Rich Hickey
  9. 9. What is Plone for you?What is Plone for you? - Maurizio Delmonte - Abstract @ Plone Open Garden Sorrento 2015
  10. 10. What is Plone for you? Questions - by Nick Youngson CC-BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images -
  11. 11. What is your connection to Plone? ● None ● User ● Integrator ● Addon Developer ● Core-Developer ● Community Member ● Foundation Member
  12. 12. What is Plone for you? ● A Product CMS ● A Framework / Toolkit ● A Community ● A Foundation ● An Idea / Vision
  13. 13. What are the core ideas of Plone for you? ● User Experience → Empowering Users ● Accessibility → Diversity ● Flexibility (unopinionated base) ● Extensibility ● Security ● Multilingual ● Scalability ● Maintainability
  14. 14. What are core functionalities of Plone for you? ● Content Types (including Schema, Fields & Behaviors) ● Permissions ● Workflows ● Hierarchy ● Traversal ● Acquisition ● Collections (Query Data) ● Generic Setup (Policies + Addon System) ● Pluggable Auth System (PAS) ● Content Rules ● Internationalization + Localization ● Through the Web (TTW) Customization / Development ● ...
  15. 15. Who are the competitors to Plone, in your point of view? ● Drupal ● Typo3 ● WordPress ● Django CMS ● Wagtail ● … (some other CMS) ● Liferay ● SharePoint ● None
  16. 16. What is Plone now? / What is Plone in 2020? Presentations at Plone Conference 2019 and before An feeling of realizing at Plone Conference 2019 Ferrara
  17. 17. Plone is a Software Plone is an Software API Plone is a Community Plone is a Foundation
  18. 18. Plone Core is an API → but there are more than one API: plone.api, plone.restapi and Plone-UI → none is complete Every Plone Company has a different point of view of competitors → different focus of their product
  19. 19. What is “Plone “ now? ● “The mature open-source Python CMS” ● “Plone is the community” ● Foundation Viewpoint API contract ○ Plone CMS ➤ Security ○ Zope ➤ Flexibility ○ Guillotina ➤ Extensibility ○ Volto ➤ User Experience ● Community Viewpoint ○ Sprints ○ Conferences ○ Add-ons Plone as the API contract
  20. 20. Implementations may change overtime, values don’t What do customers and users want nowadays?
  21. 21. Plone has evolved from being an standalone product to be a contract, the knowledge and wisdom that we the Plone community, achieved during the last 20 years building a world class enterprise CMS Víctor Fernández de Alba - Volto: Past Present and Future - PloneConf 2020
  22. 22. The Limi Checklist → Simplifying → Simplifying Plone ● Developers ○ Simplifying the technical Stack ○ Use Standard Technology → REST API + React ● Users ○ Cognitive Overhead ○ Fewer Content Types ○ Composite Pages
  23. 23. What is / was Plone for me?
  24. 24. Community Foundation Product (CMS) Framework / Toolkit . Vision Plone
  25. 25. For me, Plone is a vision not a contract (API)
  26. 26. The Vision to Empower Users
  27. 27. Users? ● Customers (Customer Product Owners) ● Content Consumers (Anonymous, Reader) ● Content Creators (Editor) ● Power Users / Reviewers / Editors-in-Chief (Reviewer) ● Plone Site-Admin (Site-Admin) ● Zope Admins (Manager) ● Server Operators (Ops-Admins) ● Integrators ● Developers
  28. 28. What is Plone? Back to the API point of view API as contract of the core functionality
  29. 29. is a CMS Content Management System
  30. 30. Plone is NOT a web framework
  31. 31. is a Content Integration Framework or Umbrella for a lot of frameworks
  32. 32. is a Content Integration Framework or Umbrella for a lot of frameworks There I was wrong!
  33. 33. Plone CMS as a Product Plone as a Vision → Simplification
  34. 34. Community Foundation Product (CMS) Framework / Toolkit Vision Plone
  35. 35. Implementation may change overtime, values don’t
  36. 36. “All Ideas grow out of other Ideas.” Anish Kapoor “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Isaac Newton - Bernard of Chartres
  37. 37. Plone was the User Interface to the power of Zope / CMF ZMI → Plone UI Plone UI vs. CLI & Code
  38. 38. Layered System ● Layers hide complexity ● make complex things easier ● defined API between the layers
  39. 39. bobo Principia ZODB ZeroDB NewtDBCMF Silva ZMS Nuxeo ZCA ZTK Grok . Blue Bream repoze.bfgmorepath twisted aiohttp Paster WebOb Pylons Ruby on Rails plone.server WSGI Evolution Tree around Zope/Plone Zope 3 SubstanceD Kotti React
  40. 40. Naming Things is hard → Namespaces (Community vs. Stack-Layer)
  41. 41. The Plone 6 Stack simplified Python Python 3-party libraries (pytz, requests, PyScss, …) Zope Base Packages (RestrictedPython, Persistence, zope.interface, …) Linux Products (e.g. gettext, xmllib2, …) JavaScript Pylons Packages (waitress, Chameleon, ...) React ... Zope Application Server (Zope 5) Generic Plone Packages (*, dexterity, …) Plone Core Packages (plone.*, dexterity,, …) Zope Component Architecture Zope Toolkit ZODB Plone UI (classic) Volto Redux ... Plone REST API Content Management Framework (CMF) GatsbyJS Plone Community 2020 2015
  42. 42. We are the Plone Community, not the Zope Community! Values, Ideas and Vision are more important to us than the technology
  43. 43. API Problem Pareto principle → 80/20 rule ● Define the API → Functionality ● Reinventing the wheel ● Never 100 % Feature compatible (undocumented features, no API definition for feature) ● Depreciation of features
  44. 44. A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system. Source: "John Gall's law" - from "Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail" - 1975
  45. 45. Lesson From Zope 3 Rename the beast
  46. 46. Lesson From Zope 3 Rename the beast There I was wrong, too!
  47. 47. The Vision to Empower Users → Content Creators → Developers
  48. 48. Distributions with a product character (make complex systems simpler) System / Vendor development To reach a greater market
  49. 49. “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and complex… it takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein Star Trek - The Next Generation (1987-1994) S06E02 - Realm of Fear Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of ViacomCBS
  50. 50. “rapid turnaround” Better Web App Development by Sean Kelly NASA, 2006
  51. 51. The Vision lives on Volto is the future of Plone UI
  52. 52. Le roi est mort, vive le roi! The King is dead, long live the king! Traditional proclamation → change and continuity → change of generation (“A new Hope”) → new energy / enthusiasm
  53. 53. Passing the Baton
  54. 54. Alexander Limi & Alan Runyan ⬇ … ⬇ Albert Casado & Víctor Fernández de Alba
  55. 55. A new Generation Implementation may change overtime, values don’t
  56. 56. It is about Leadership and Vision Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of ViacomCBS
  57. 57. great ideas, great technology
  58. 58. Plone is an awesome Community
  59. 59. Acknowledgement The active Plone Community Albert Casado, Alec Mitchell, Alessandro Pisa, Alexander Loechel, Andrea Cecchi, Andreas Jung, Asko Soukka, Christian Kreutzer, Christian Theune, Christine Baumgartner, Cillian de Róiste, Davi Lima, Daniel Havlik, David Glick, Eric Bréhault, Eric Steele, Érico Andrei, Fred van Dijk, Georg Bernhard, Gil Forcada, Godfroid Chapelle, Hanno Schlichting, Harald Frissnegger, Jan Mevissen, Jens Klein, Jens Vagepohl, Johannes Raggam, Joni Orponen, Jörg Zell, Jürgen Gmach, Katja Süss, Maik Derstappen, Manuel Reinhardt, Markus Hilbert, Matthew Wilkes, Martin Häcker, Maurits van Rees, Michael Howitz, Michael Töpfl, Nathan Van Gheem, Ramon Navarro Bosch, Rob Gietema, Robert Niederreiter, Roel Bruggink, Patrick Gerken, Paul Roeland, Peter Holzer, Peter Mathis, Phillip Bauer, Stephan Klinger, Steffen Allner, Sune Brøndum Wøller, Thomas Lotze, Thomas Massmann, Thomas Schorr, Tres Seaver, Timo Stollenwerk, Víctor Fernández de Alba, David Glick, Gil Forcada Cordinachs, Franco Pellegrini, Paul Roeland, Steve McMahon, Martin Opstad Reistadbakk, Sven Strack, Steve McMahon, T. Kim Nguyen And much more ... Star Trek (Kelvin Timeline, 2009) Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of ViacomCBS
  60. 60. “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen” John F. Kennedy → Change needs Leadership Star Trek - The Next Generation (1987-1994) Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of ViacomCBS
  61. 61. Plone Foundation Mission: Protect and Promote Plone What the Foundation Board of Directors does: ● Decision-making structure for essential community activities ● Manage Copyrights, Trademark, Domains, Intellectual Property ● Code Licensing ● Coordinate Marketing & Communication ● Fundraising to support the community ● Finance sprints, events community infrastructure Outside the scope of the Foundation ● Lead or steer the development of software → Framework & Release-Team ○ Roadmap, priorities, feature come from the community ○ Foundation has liaisons to some teams - communication ● Compete with Plone/Zope/Guilliotina/Volto providers ○ Support contracts, licenses ○ Trainings
  62. 62. The Plone Foundation & Community needs you!
  63. 63. Wishes for the future: ● for Plone the Product: ○ Endorse Volto - the Plone vision of “simplifying CMS work” ○ Attract new developers - keep the community vital ○ Move Packages / Modules → generics and namespace ● for Plone the Foundation: ○ Secure the Product / Framework / Toolkit ○ Overlap with the Pyramid / Pylons Family → Absorb ● for Plone the Community: ○ Stay connected ○ Learn from each other Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of ViacomCBS
  64. 64. Stay Community “You can take the man out of Plone But you could not take the Plone out of the man.” Laurence Rowe - Plone Open Garden 2015 - Sorrento
  65. 65. Live long and prosper Star Trek (Kelvin Timeline, 2009) Star Trek and related marks are trademarks of ViacomCBS