[ZWeb] NZO pre-alpha Announcement and Call for volunteers

Jeffrey P Shell jeffrey@cuemedia.com
Sat, 15 Feb 2003 15:05:12 -0700

On Saturday, February 15, 2003, at 11:08  AM, Erik Lange wrote:

> At 06:20 PM 2/15/03, Sidnei da Silva wrote:
>> Another thing: We are using a Plone-based site. I already did some
>> work on CSS starting from the what Limi did on
>> http://limi.net:8080/nzo so it doesnt look too much like Plone. I
>> would like to hear only suggestions and no 'I hate Plone' emails. No
>> rant should come without a volunteering to fix the issue!
> I don't hate Plone :-)
> But:
> CMF Default != CMF, it's one of many possible CMF implementation, but 
> nevertheless, it's the one people gets when they download CMF (Core 
> and Default).
> Plone != CMF
> NZO should = CMF (whatever that is).
> I find it odd to use a product that has chosen a different path for 
> implementing CMF, and that such a product should be promoted by NZO.

But CMF == Zope.org.  :)  That's what it is.  If it weren't for the 
current Zope.org, the PTK venture wouldn't have been launched, which 
became CMF.  It all stemmed from a "Zope.org in a box" concept.

Plone is CMF.  ZopeZen is CMF.  bridgerlandliteracy.org is CMF (and 
doesn't look like it at ALL, I'm proud to say.  Now if only it had some 
content...).  More than that - they're all Zope.

What would have been odd is if NZO had been implemented with SkunkWeb, 
Webware, or even more bizarre - PostNuke.

So I don't understand how you can say that Plone has chosen a different 
path for implementing CMF.  It manages content, right?  It uses CMFCore 
and CMFDefault (for better or worse), right?  It's *exactly* the CMF.  
Just more of it (again - for better or for worse).  CMF's style of 
content management is not a content management panacea - it's rather 
focused (and again - for better or for worse) on community/group 
managed sites.  Which happens to be what Zope.org is.  And Zope.org is 
that way because Zope Corporation believed in giving the community a 
place to not only use Zope, but to contribute to the usefulness of the 
site by adding their own content (news, tips, how-to's) and to the 
usefulness of Zope itself by uploading new Products.

The experiences gained by implementing and managing such a site 
ultimately became the CMF suite - the core framework, which can be used 
(with a fair bit of effort, but it's worth it) to build many different 
types of sites; a basic default implementation of a site using that 
framework; other useful basic products.  It had always been hoped that 
the community would come up with and share new products and skins for 
the CMF, and that's exactly what Plone is.

So if it's open source, built on Zope, and built on the CMF, and as a 
result offers all of the community features required by a site like 
Zope.org (which of course it gets because Zope.org started the whole 
thing in the first place), why would it not be good enough to use?

These are my own (slightly hungover) opinions.  And I should state that 
I'm not a Plone advocate per se - I doubt it will be used in any of my 
consulting contracts in the near future, as it doesn't fit the bill of 
what most of my customers need.  But if it works for this situation, 
and works well, then why not use it?

> Has the Plone-community voluntered to support NZO in the future, or 
> has Zope corporation also chosen Plone as a new standard for CMF 
> implementations ?

Why does this matter?  It's open source.  Has Zope Corporation or the 
Zope community personally volunteered to support all of the web sites 
that my company deploys on Zope?  There is intrinsic support supplied 
by the open source community, that should be good enough.

It's not written anywhere that everyone can use the Zope application 
server, but the company that makes said application server can't use 
back the tools that other people have made for it.

And, ultimately, it is Zope Corp's decision.  As Rob Page has said - 
it's their beepers that go off at three in the morning if the site goes 
down.  They've entrusted Sidnei to make the design and implementation 
choices for the site, and I think we should too.  That isn't to say 
that we shouldn't give feedback or criticism, but I think the whole "To 
Plone or Not To Plone" is a moot issue.  Usability and maintainability 
are the issues at hand.  And I think the problem you hilight below is a 
serious usability issue:

> I won't start a rant, but would like to sugest that you at least 
> removes the navigation-box, which I have always found confusing, 
> compared to the breadcrumbs...

I agree.  Well, I haven't always found the navigation box confusing, 
but a site needs to be very well managed to make it work.  When you 
have a lot of content, it can fill up with quickly with distracting 
links instead of helpful navigation.  This was a very quick turn-off 
when looking at the pre-alpha NZO site.  This can be addressed by 
policy settings in the navigation tool though.  But I would not be 
adverse to seeing the navigation box go away.  Most content item titles 
will be too long to work effectively in a vertical setting like that 
anyways - a problem that affect many sites.  I think solid index pages 
offer better navigation options.

Jeffrey P Shell