[Evangelism] Re: Plone Messaging

Hanno Schlichting hannosch at hannosch.eu
Wed May 6 09:18:28 UTC 2009

Matt Hamilton wrote:
> On 6 May 2009, at 01:44, Ross Patterson wrote:
>> These kind of messages are not largely or exclusively technically,
>> marketing, or user oriented.  They require a cohesion of all concerns.
>> Maybe I'm trying to be structural about something that shouldn't be
>> addressed that way.  It does seem, however, that this is a significant
>> challenge for our communities.  No?
> I see what you are getting at here.  I think one event that does do a
> lot for this is the Plone Conference keynote by Alan and Alex. Or the
> 'what coming up in release X'  talks that Alex usually does.  These
> generally focus on what is coming up feature-wise and I think do a lot
> to set expectations of what is coming up. Now I know that Alex is often
> (and I hope you don't mind me saying this Alex) quite ambitious in his
> visions for Plone in some of these talks, but I think that is a good
> thing.

I have been sitting with a big smile in my face in all keynotes I
attended, knowing that half of what our founders where talking about was
not to be taken too seriously ;)

I think we do have two types of messaging going on here. One is the real
marketing messaging to our customers. These better only promise features
and directions that are based on some good ground, as in whatever is
actually released or in late beta / release candidates.

The other one is part of the community conversation about where we are
headed. It's trying to build consensus or set expectations on where we
should go. The keynotes do have a bit of both, but a talk from Alexander
about the Future of the Plone UI is pretty much completely in the later
scope. Another aspect of these internal conversations is also to attract
people to the idea. If you have an idea that you cannot technically or
time-wise implement, you need to market the idea to the community, so it
is on the one side accepted as something we should do but on the other
hand you also need to attract someone who wants to do it for you.

Thanks to our open discussion nature we do have the conversation about
what to do next in the same open way as everything else. If an outsider
mistakes these as factual promises on some deliverables he has a bit
more to learn about Open Source. What you can count on is what is
released in a final version. This holds true for commercial vendors in
the same way, which might remove a feature from a late beta release.

The added value you get in Open Source is that you can see the debates
about the future direction, which in many commercial solutions will be
hidden behind the doors of some meetings. And you can even engage and
try to change these directions.

The abstraction-loving German in me sometimes wants to structure these
things and appoint people, get clear responsibilities. But so far I
failed to see any way that could be done or would be useful for this
particular challenge.


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