[Product-Developers] Re: How can we win the battle for developers?

Ricardo Alves rsa at eurotux.com
Fri May 9 01:35:37 UTC 2008

Dylan Jay wrote:
> Gilles Lenfant wrote:
>> And the learning curve of Python + Zope2/3 + Plone is about 6 months 
>> for a good newbie. And Plone 3 added about 1 month to that learning 
>> curve - compared with Plone 2.
>> I think that one of the goals for Plone 4 (5?) should be to cut this 
>> learning curve to 4 months, this should really attract more people to 
>> Plone.
> Yep. It would be great when skins and form controllers and python 
> scripts never have to be learnt or considered.

So, what would be considered? XML and ZCML? Are we still talking about 
how to "win the battle for developers"? Developers tend to like to code :)

We have a big application stack. Making easier to extend Plone without 
the need to learn the the whole underlying technology is good, but only 
as a starting point. Developers eventually need to understand the magic 
behind-the-scenes. And the more we hide it, the more magic and hard it 
will look like.

> Plones high learning curve is caused by too much choice of ways to do 
> things IMO. We need 1 or 2 ways of doing things at most. and if there 
> is more than one way they need to have a very clear reason why and 
> when you use one or the othe?

This is true. For example, CMF skin layers vs browser resources, views 
and layers is causing lots of confusion for newbies.

But that's caused by one of the characteristics I love most about the 
Zope/Plone world: the unstoppable technology improvements that make the 
code base bleeding-edge all the time. If we hadn't made the move for z3 
style code, for example, we would still be only using old z2 style 
products, with no benefits from the z3 component architecture, and plone 
would probably be dying, while some other projects would be rising on 
top of zope3...

On the other side, we must ensure backward compatibility with the 
old-style code in a sensible way (IMHO, a software project can't be more 
disrespectful with its users then when it breaks compatibility with 
older versions).

Don't get me wrong. I agree we need to make Plone more attractive for 
new developers. We just should be aware that some of the aspects that 
make Plone difficult/complex are motivated by some of the principles 
that drive the community and its development approach.


Ricardo Alves <rsa at eurotux.com>
Eurotux <http://www.eurotux.com>

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