[Plone-conference] Openspace: growing plone

Chris Calloway cbc at unc.edu
Tue Oct 21 18:00:40 UTC 2014

On 10/21/2014 9:51 AM, Timo Stollenwerk wrote:
> Is anybody from the first roadmap team still around and willing to lead
> the effort?

For the record (cf, 
that functioned Nov. 2011 through Dec. 2012, the first board-appointed 
roadmap team was:

Martin Aspeli
Geir Bækholt
Mark Corum
David Glick
Matt Hamilton
Calvin Hendryx-Parker
Laurence Rowe
Hanno Schlichting
Jon Stahl

In Dec 2012, a failed reboot was attempted and members polled for 
willingness. Geir, Mark, and Laurance opted out. Martin, Matt, Calvin, 
and Jon opted in. Massimo Azzolini offered to join. David and Hanno did 
not respond. Leaving:


I think Jon was the driver in the first round. One thing that came out 
of the first round is that a next round should be community based rather 
than appointed (cf, 

Timo, can you name the community members from last year's conference 

Looking at that last roadmap, it sure was feature driven. Not that it 
did not have some exposition on context that served as a stand-in for 
"vision." And not that having a feature driven component isn't a good 
thing. It simply seemed to derive from a sentence in the Guiding 
Principles section of the document which reads, "Incremental improvement 
is (sic) better than wholesale revolution." As a result, I could not see 
what would be very revolutionary about picking Plone. I  mostly was 
going to get just a set of incremental improvement that were either 
keeping up with what other CMSes were already doing or papering over 
longstanding Plone warts. This led to questioning the value of the 
document and the reboot failure (cf., 

I think a statement of where we're going would be invaluable. It should 
guide what PLIPs get submitted and approved rather than being the sum of 
the PLIPs submitted or approved.

At the same time, I don't want to see a roadmap that makes us captive to 
very narrow visions. I don't agree with statements like, "Out of the box 
the product is not providing much value in comparison to a rapidly 
progressing market," and don't wish to be boxed in by statements of what 
Plone isn't, shouldn't be, won't be, or cant be. There's nothing that 
comes close to Plone out of the box. It is still the fastest path to a 
functioning CMS that isn't already pre-installed by vendors.

(And yeah, the pre-installation ubiuity issue has been flogged to death. 
And yet I don't see it as a positive outcome in the old roadmap. Nor 
having your Plone reboot with your server for that matter. The community 
obviously recognizes the value of pre-installation after some of that 
discussion a Vagrant kit is now on the download page. Maybe these are 
thing that are valuable to Plone as a product and not so valuable to 
contributing consultants.)

I gravitate more toward visionary statements that reinforce what made 
Plone great like, "If that could be solved in some way, 
programmers/integrators/tinkerers could use this system again for 
whatever purpose they like: being it a large enterprise site, a small 
high-end experimental webapp, a backend webservice." It wasn't that 
Plone was the "only" CMS in the beginning and created a drive for 100% 
of market. It was that Plone was the only CMS you could bend to your 
will with some ease.

It seemed to go off the rails with a parade of contributing consultants 
proscribing either increasingly onerous but politically correct ways of 
doing that one tiny little thing that was so effortless in other CMSes, 
or things that we weren't going to do to reach that degree of 
effortlessness because it wasn't in the contributing consultants' 
interest to make the politically correct Plone less obtuse. So I'd like 
to see a vision that subverts that tendency and thinks in terms of Plone 
as a great product that people want rather than depending on the "trust 
and loyalty" of increasingly obscure micro-niches.

The latter as marketing is setting ourselves up for failure. People who 
write checks have no trust or loyalty. I saw this over and over again 
and it was how Plone had its lunch eaten by lesser CMSes. It was all 
what have you done for me lately. As the saying goes, "If you have to 
explain it, you've already lost the argument." Plone out of the box 
needs no explanation. It just works and works well. All that's left is 
the commitment to make it more amazing as a product that sells itself 
and then market segments, and even explaining your marketing strategy to 
your trusted and loyal customers, matter less and less. Otherwise the 
future is similar to being an increasingly smaller community of highly 
paid Cobol maintenance consultants. Not what I signed up for.


Chris Calloway, Applications Analyst
UNC Renaissance Computing Institute
100 Europa Drive, Suite 540, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
(919) 599-3530

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