[Setup] Cross platform Plone, Was: Re: Stop Windows comments NOW!

Alex Clark aclark at aclark.net
Sat Aug 18 18:11:16 UTC 2012


On 2012-08-18 16:45:56 +0000, Martin Aspeli said:

> On 18 August 2012 16:34, W. Anderson 
> <wanderson at nac.net> wrote:
> It now appears, with e-mails to "Plone Setup" forum these two recent 
> postings - one from
> someone in UK  - lucianw at live.co.uk - 
> asking about Windows registry Cleaner software
> and second apparently from Russian -  b.loggerschoiceawardscom at gmail.com with a
> reply offering such registry cleaner (assuredly malware),  that the 
> forum has been hijacked
> by spam bots and idiots whose intentions veer completely to the 
> opposite of any purpose or
> interest in Plone Content Management Systems (CMS) in any form.
> In hindsight the forum moderator should have instantly stopped any and 
> all comments
> on "Best Windows version for Plone install" discussion, since that 
> topic is extraneous
> to any help or support of Plone on the Microsoft Windows OS.
> This forum/list is not moderated. At least not yet. We are trying to 
> catch and block the spammers, but these are all automatically generated 
> spam, so it's not that easy to stop.
> We're on it. Please don't make the problem worse by over-reacting or 
> meta-posting about the spam, thereby compounding the noise.
> The anti-Windows sentiment is not really appropriate on this list, 
> either. Plone supports deployment and development on Linux, Mac OS X 
> and Windows. We intend to keep it that way. Most developers and users, 
> anecdotally, use OS X or Linux, but frankly there is no "slant" one way 
> or another.

+1 If there is any such perceived slant I think it's due to the 
inherent nature of the various platforms. Plone-the-project must 
provide robust, easy to use installers for "all major platforms". It 
just so happens that Windows is:

- Not free
- Harder to integrate
- The most widely used OS in the world(1)

Most unix installers/distributions need only to be supplied to be 
useful. The latest Windows installers seem to be causing a bit more 
confusion than we'd like. IIUC, there is some effort to standardize 
every installer around the Unified Installer, which I think must happen 
if we have any hope of unconfusing people in the future.

To give you an example of the scale of the problem, let's start with 
terminology. There are certain terms used in Plone that I absolutely 
hate, because I feel they confuse end users. Terms like (not all of 
which I hate, but all of which I'm certain confuse people, and in no 
particular order):

- Products
- instance
- zinstance
- zopepy
- Buildout
- Eggs
- GenericSetup
- Archetypes
- ZopeSkel
- Templer
- Diazo
- ArchGenXML
- bootstrap
- skins
- portal_*
- Zope
- Zope2
- Zope3
- Zope Component Architecture
- Zope Toolkit
- External Method
- Browser View
- Viewlet
- Portlet
- repozo
- recipes
- bluebrints
- transmogrifier
- Data.fs
- component
- interface
- Acquisition
- paster

We need to throw away or hide all this old terminolog and start over 
IMHO (the terminology, not the actual technology which of course is 
much harder to get rid of. And I'm not suggesting that Plone is unique 
in its wealth of complex terminology used to describe the stack. Just 
that we've lost our ability to provide end users with simple 
terminology to get the job done. I.e. we the developers have become 
uncumbered with all of this technology, and all of these terms). Here's 
some simple terminology I am comfortable with:

- Python: The programming language used to build Plone, and the name of 
an executable interpreter.
- Plone: The name of a popular Python-based CMS, and the name of the 
program that runs the Plone CMS application (c.f. instance)
- Add-ons: Python code and other resources that add functionality to 
your Plone website.
- Themes: Add-ons that chanage the appearance of your Plone website.
- Plone API: The programming interface I the programmer user to 
customize Plone's default behavior, and to build applications on top of 

And here's three more terms that are fair game:

- JavaScript

And while we're at it, let's add a few more fairly easy ones:

- Website: Text and other resources available at a URL.
- Web application: A computer program whose user interface is a website.
- CMS: A type of web application designed to make it easy for non 
technical users to edit website content.

Everything else falls into the category of "if you really want to know 
more, then…".  And everything from the long list should fit into one of 
the terms on the shorter list.

And that's just terminology. We need to have a discussion about what to 
call things first before we can fix them. Again, all of this is IMHO 
obviously. I'm sure others feel differently. But I'm adamant that a 
discussion must occur.

For (stupid, simple) example: Do we call add-ons "products" for the 
next five years? Who decides? What documentation and software needs to 
be updated? Just this simple, stupid issue could entail a massive 
effort to decide on and fix (I'm actually OK with calling them 
Products, but just like with anything else in Plone, we have people 
calling them both and that's confusing. At this point I'd really like 
to hear from someone, anyone besides me that they should be called one 
or the other for the next five years and why.)[2]


(1) No idea if this is actually still true, but I suspect it is.

(2) It bears repeating, none of this is unique to Plone. Almost the 
exact same thing is happening with Python and their packaging story, 
with the proliferation of confusing information surrounding all of the 
technologies: distutils, setuptools, distribute, distutils2, 
packagings, eggs, distributions, and now the new "wheel" built-package 

> Martin

Alex Clark · http://pythonpackages.com
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