[Grok-dev] On CMS's in Grok

Luciano Ramalho luciano at ramalho.org
Tue Apr 1 18:53:59 EDT 2008

On Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 6:27 PM, Martin Aspeli <optilude at gmx.net> wrote:
>   Don't build a Grok CMS.

We need to build a Grok CMS to make sure that it is not only feasible
but easy for anyone who tries to bake their own CMS to do it with
Grok. Right now it is feasible, but *far* from easy.

Any web application framework worthy of the name must face this
challenge. Particularly one informed by years of Zope and Plone

>   Don't try to compete with Plone.

That depends on what you mean with "compete with Plone". Of course
it's not the goal of any of the Grok CMS proposals I've seen,
including mine, to be a high-end everything-and-the-kitchen-sink CMS
like Plone, Vignette or even Drupal.

On the other hand, I find it very easy and even appealing to compete
with Plone if one of the goals of the customer is to have a CMS their
development team can understand and feel comfortable with.

I've been teaching Zope classes since 1999 and Plone classes since
2003, and the situation has never been worse than now: at least three
solid weeks of training are required to get people merely acquainted
with the most important parts and concepts in the huge
Zope2/CMF/Five/Zope3/Plone stack. It's daunting, and some smart and
wise people are rightfully scared of it.

Your excellent book was a great contribution, but still the learning
curve is very steep. In fact, I'll go as far as saying that if you
can't afford an on-site Plone guru for at least six months I would
advise against trying to do Plone development in house and recommend
just buying a turn-key Plone solution from Jarn, Enfold, Jazkarta etc.
All of the succesful Plone projects I know have done either of those
things, and most of the failed ones have done neither.

>  Now, Grok is obviously a good fit for CMS and content-centric
>  applications, largely due to the ZODB and publishing concepts inherited
>  from Zope. Grok is also clean, nimble and easy to work with. I'm pretty
>  sure that if I ever wanted to build a home-grown CMS or CMS-like system,
>  I'd start with Grok.

So would we!

>  I think this is where Grok's niche may have the strongest potential.
>  Don't set about building another general purpose CMS. The open source
>  world has a million of them. Build the tools and services that people
>  who want to build their own CMS applications need - perhaps because they
>  are so overwhelmed by the number of options in the market and want to
>  control their own destiny rather than having to take a bet on an
>  existing platform.
>  By all means, drive those requirements with a sensible, minimalistic
>  example application.

That is what we are trying to accomplish.

> But don't focus your energies on the front-end
>  polish or a wide range of "tick box" features. Focus them on building
>  the on the decade or so of experience that this community has with
>  building real-world content-centric solutions. Build the things you wish
>  you'd had back then. Let grok be the caveman with the space age tools.

The Grok team is already doing exactly that. But still, I think the
polish and at least some tick box features are needed if most people
are going to even consider Grok as an alternative.

I was deploying large Zope-based portals in Zope when the CMF came
out. I was tuned to the community (it was much smaller then) and do
you know what happened? The amazing CMF was basically ignored by
everyone outside of ZC (then DC), except those three visionaries who
created Plone. And then, with all it's polish and tick box features,
Plone made people finally pay attention to the CMF, and even more
people paid attention to Zope.

No we don't want to compete with Plone. We just want to be able to
show that it's easy to build a polished, easy to use and customize,
pragmatic CMS.



More information about the Grok-dev mailing list