[Setup] Plone terminology incomprehensible??

Alex Clark aclark at aclark.net
Sun Aug 19 23:08:36 UTC 2012

Hi W,

On 2012-08-19 17:10:06 +0000, W. Anderson said:

> Alex,
> I agree that several terms or the terminology of certain Plone functions appear
> complicated or confusing to the "average" non-Plone developer or installer.
> However I have no doubt that it would be absolutely disastrous for the 
> Plone or Python
> development community to start down that road of attempting to simplify every
> aspect of Plone installation/development/use to cater to the lowest 
> common denominator
> of intelligence for those persons who still have severe problems with 
> definition and
> understanding of a 'folder'.
> This type dilemma has occurred before. Configuring Plone is not exactly 
> like tuning an
> Indy 500 race car for example, but cannot be made brain dead to setup for a VW 
> beetle owner who knows only how to changing spark plugs but wishes to 
> be that Indy
> 500 event mechanic.
> Plone is a very powerful, somewhat sophisticated application that by 
> it's very design and 
> nature needs  a minimum level of competence and understanding of the 
> Python infrastructure
> to setup and use effectively, particularly for a business or large 
> organizational site.
> I had embarked on a venture over the past three or more years to 
> install and configure - from
> scratch - several popular Content Management Systems (CMS) including 
> those based on Apache/
> MySQL/PHP [5], Ruby-on-Rails, Java, DJango, a Dot-Net CMS and even a 
> tcl/Postgres CMS.
> I can assure you that as a bone fide non-programmer and non-web 
> developer, most of these CMS
> were more difficult to 'properly' setup without considerable help from 
> forums and requirement for
> all types on CMS software component updates.  The only exceptions were 
> very costly 'proprietary'
> CMS that the vendor actually sets up for the client who thereafter 
> cannot make any changes on their
> own or without expensive fees added.
> The opposite is true of Plone, as the "unified installer" has 
> eliminated a significant amount of 
> headache and agita in this process and many of the 'terms' you mention 
> are not hard to comprehend.
> Latest Plone with slightly less technical terms and easier for 
> non-professionals, I agree, but not revamped
> for those persons looking for two button install and 'automatic' 
> configuration on government portal.

I agree with all your points. I think my primary concern is that a 
discussion about terminology, technology and direction should not only 
occur, but be ongoing.

Right now Plone works because:

- Developers submit plips and do development
- The FWT evaluates those plips and approves the ones that they believe 
are acceptable, based on various criteria.

That's the only formal process that I'm aware of that you can point to 
that directly affects the future and direction of Plone. And if I want 
to directly affect Plone, I have to participate in that process (and I 
have, it works). The PF protecting Plone is certainly part of Plone's 
future, but they don't participate in its development or set its 

Back in the day, we had Alan Runyan or Alex Limi to make final, 
difficult decisions and to set tone the tone and direction decisively. 
I miss that. I almost feel like we should elect a BDFY (benevolent 
dictator for a year) who could decide on all the minutia that we really 
need someone looking after to produce a polished product.

That person could work with the FWT and PF and make trivial-ish decisions like:

- "Products are now called add-ons"

Or "portal_skins must go".

Or "all installers must use the unified installer framework by end of 2012"

And so on.

And we could all work towards achieving those goals by updating all the 
software and documentation however long it takes. Otherwise, we're all 
just floundering about doing what we feel is best for Plone, and 
ignoring what someone else right next is doing, in contrast, because we 
know they're also doing what they feel is best for Plone. It's a tough 
situation, but it's also a good problem to have.


> W. Anderson
> wanderson at nac.net  

Alex Clark · http://pythonpackages.com
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