[Product-Developers] ANN: plone-devstart (please help test)

Martin Aspeli optilude+lists at gmail.com
Sun Mar 11 14:38:38 UTC 2012

On 11 March 2012 12:34, Jean-Michel FRANCOIS <toutpt at gmail.com> wrote:

> I like the idea of plone's bootrap.py that install plone
> I have not understood what you want to cover about the system
> dependencies. Do you install missing dependencies ? Warn the dev of missing
> stuff ?

It looks for potential problems and warns about them. If you know what
you're doing, you can go ahead, but at least you've been told.

Also using python to install python is quite disturbing (thinking of
> buildout.python)

I'm not sure that's true anymore. It's disturbing because of cruft in
global site-packages. plone-devstart uses virtualenv to isolate the
buildout used to execute Python.

The point is that having to compile your own Python is a *huge* barrier to
entry to get started with Plone. Of course, we have the Unified Installer
to help with this, but the UI is (currently) more geared towards people
wanting to run Plone than people wanting to develop on it. It's also quite
a big/slow thing to download and install if you want to set up a number of
dev environments to work on multiple projects. You can reuse its Python
install and shared eggs, but it's not obvious how to do so unless you're a
Buildout expert. Finally, the UI doesn't (yet) come with pre-configured
development tools or a skeleton package for you to put your customisations
into. Creating an egg, adding it to buildout and running buildout
successfully is a minefield if you don't understand python eggs and
buildout in detail. If you're mostly trying to write some ZPT or Python
code, those are excitement-killing pre-requisites that require quite a lot
of learning to get right.

I think in time, perhaps, we should bake the plone-devstart functionality
into the Unified Installer.

> I often show how I setup a computer to be Plone ready (dev purpose only).
>  For me it means having good python (2.4 & 2.6) with all system
> dependencies (libjpeg, zlib, libxml, libxml , *-dev) + a buildout for tools
> (https://github.com/toutpt/mypythontools -> default.cfg, .gitignore, ...)

Of course. But if you were not a full-time Plone developer, you wouldn't
set up your computer specifically to be "Plone ready". You want Plone to be
ready for your computer.

> Next to that you are ready to use buildout provided by addons or do a new
> buildout 5 seconds and installing a plone is like type bin/buildout -N and
> having a plone in 10 seconds because you already have it in the user's
> eggs-directory, so you can work on your addon, theme, ...

Again, all good. But you're not quite the target audience here. :) I hope
this will be useful to more seasoned developers too, as a way to save time,
but you guys know how to do this already. You learned the hard way. I'd
like to make new developers have a slightly less hard learning curve.

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