[Grok-dev] Re: maintaining the Grok website

Martin Aspeli optilude at gmx.net
Sat Sep 15 16:39:27 EDT 2007

Hi Sebastian,

First off - sorry if I came off a little strong. I certainly don't wish 
(or have any right to) criticise what you're doing. I do hope that the 
Grok community is willing to choose a system that is *appropriate* for 
their needs, rather than insisting on creating something from scratch 
for the sake of having it in Grok. If there is an appropriate Grok-based 
CMS, that does of course sound attractive. But if getting there will 
take a lot of time and work and introduce a lot of uncertainty, it seems 
a bad choice to me.

>> Sebastian Ware wrote:
>>> I think it would be very valuable to have the website run on a  
>>> Grok  based CMS. We desperately need show case applications. On  
>>> the other  hand I can see the benefit of a mature CMS such as Plone.
>>> However, being able to boast that we are so confident in our own   
>>> technology that we even run the Grok website on a Grok based   
>>> application is worth a lot to those evaluating it.
>> *shrug* - I think you're overplaying this card. It may be a neat  
>> thing to be able to say, but it's not going to be the clincher. All  
>> kinds of lame PHP projects run their websites on PHP, that's not a  
>> good reason to chose them. :)
> Shrug or no shrug. I humbly suggest that you are a bit off the mark  
> by comparing Grok to "any lame PHP project".


Of course, I love Grok, but that's besides the point.

> Rather, consider if Zend- 
> corp ran their site on .NET.  I think that would really make some
> difference. Even if they ran it on PHP4 it would signal that they  
> weren't 100% commited to the latest versions of their framework and  
> engine.

I don't think it's a directly comparable situation. Zend may be vested 
in PHP - that's the language. Grok is higher up in the stack. Plone may 
be vested in the Plone CMS. Grok is not a CMS, though. And Plone runs on 
Zope, which shares a lot of infrastructure with Zope 3.

The pragmatic question here should be, what system gives us the best 
tools for meeting our web-site building needs. And "best" here must 
include some notion of support, maintainability, and proven stability.

> Change history is good, but I don't see versioning or staging as an  
> important feature for the Grok-website. What Grok really needs is a  
> really lightweight solution that has a smart knowledge base/commented  
> API kind of thing. So I am guessing that a lot of the benefits of  
> Plone are overkill at this point.
> Lets keep it simple :)

It's not simple to maintain something yourself. I guarantee you that 
you're going to need or want more features that you initially foresee. 
You're going to end up re-inventing things that are already in Plone. I 
don't buy that it's "overkill". That word has lots of negative 
connotations. It's true that you may not need every feature of Plone, 
but that doesn't mean it's not well suited.

Also, Plone has spent a lot (!) of time on usability. Even if most 
people here could put up with something that wasn't very end-user 
focused, they're still going to be more productive if they have tools 
that are easy to use. Getting solid, good usability takes time. I 
haven't seen your CMS, so I can't comment on it, but I know that I've 
never seen a brand new system, written by a single developer, that got 
the usability right on the first attempt.

>> If you have to maintain your own CMS "for the sake of it", you'll  
>> take away time that you could've spent improving Grok or making  
>> other, more impressive demos. I think there are lots of other types  
>> of applications where Grok really can help you build best-of-breed  
>> solutions - why compete with Plone head-on?
> I doubt this would take away time from making other more impressive  
> demos ;) I also don't think you should feel worried about a  
> lightweight CMS based on Grok competing with Plone.

I don't.

> I would rather say that this could offer adopters of Grok a  
> lightweight and easily customisable CMS with a fully functional back- 
> end that could quickly get them up to speed with a certain type of  
> project. This would lower the barrier of entry by an order of magnitude.


Are you also promising to maintain this CMS, fix bugs quickly when 
they're discovered, make sure that it scales, and keep it up to date 
with the evolution of Grok?

> I don't know the status of the other CMS' based on Grok. I have sent  
> my code to Luciano because I am confident that he will make a sane  
> evaluation of what use it might have. :)


Acquisition is a jealous mistress

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