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

Erik Lange erik@digitalforbruger.dk
Sun, 16 Feb 2003 09:57:46 +0100

Hi Jeffrey :-)

At 11:05 PM 2/15/03, Jeffrey P Shell wrote:

>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 :-)
>>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 
>>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.

Hmm... everytime it comes up, that Plone does it's stuff different than CMF 
Default, people are  screaming "CMF Default != CMF". CMF Default is an 
implementation of the CMF, and so is Plone.

It looks like you're now saying, that Plone = CMF ? Well, then CMF Default 
must also = CMF ?

But will the CMF Default be discontinued ?

>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.

I'm _not_ talking about the look :-)

I'm talking about the underlaying machinery... I find the Plone-look very 
nice, and we're using it for our sites - but we have stripped it for all 
underlaying Plone-functionallity.

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

Now, that would have been very, very bizarre... but that's also not what 
I'm talking about ;-)

>So I don't understand how you can say that Plone has chosen a different 
>path for implementing CMF.

Andy McKay just wrote that the other day...

>It manages content, right?  It uses CMFCore and CMFDefault (for better or 
>worse), right?  It's *exactly* the CMF.

Hmm.. I'm more for the way Robert Rottermann says it:

"I consider CMF to be a toolset one can build a CMS from.
Plone IS a CMS"

Personally I believe there a many tools that could be great to have on NZO 
- CMFPortlets for one - and believe that it would be more flexible to build 
NZO from a selection of tools from the community, rather than replacing the 
toolbox with an alternative one.

>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.

Well, Plone is much more :-)

Plone alteres the "toolbox" and the tools you have in it.

Plone does a good job!

But I agree with Aussum, when he says it's too early to start throwing out 
tools of the toolbox:

"But, is the whole community (or ZC ) willing to endorse a software that -in
Robert's words- "(is not) only a bunch of skins you can take or  leave" but
rather something that "does alter the way how things are done rather
profoundly", thus forcing to take the decision to "build a site (using)
plone only or not use it at all"?.  I'm one who says "I don't think so".
Experience has taught that any enterprise will need to custom-develop the
sooner than it would've wanted or expected, so there's no reason to let
people believe that Zope and CMF is all about an
eight-apartment-four-stories building that you can convert to four duplexes
by just removing some floors. We should be crystal clear at stating to
people "you can build your duplexes from scratch, using the best of breed
of our smart machinery and framework. We did that with our own portal".

My personal and humble belief is that as a community oriented to content
management, there's a lot of work to be done (in the CMS framework
territory) before we can say "this is the way to go" regarding an end-user

>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?

It's fine !

That's not it - but is it the only way to build CMF portals in the future?

I don't understand why people gets so angry, everytime I mention that it's 
not the only way you can implement the CMF and build portals.

Am I a bad person, because I don't use Plone?

Why all this hostillity against not-Plone-users?

>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.

We agree here :-)

>But if it works for this situation, and works well, then why not use it?

As Aussum said:

"...unfortunately nzo's
technology adoptions will be a reference point of what Zope and its Content
Management Framework is, and therefore will act as an endorsement of the
whole community (or at least ZC's on behalf of it) to the design decisions
of its developers."

So NZO has another role to play, besiddes just being a cool site - it also 
has to be the visible reference-implementation of CMF. Plone is not such a 
reference, as Plone has chosen to do a lot af things different than the 
Default implementation - unless ofcourse, the CMF Default is beeing 
discontinued in favor for Plone.

On the other hand, CMF Default wouldn't do the job alone, but with a nice 
skin (could be a Plone-look-a-like) and CMF Portlets, I think one could 
make a very decent site, using the rules of CMF Core and Default.

By not chosing to do so, it sends a signal that Plone is _the_ way to go, 
for everybody who's building a CMF based portal - and as you have 
experienced yourself, it's not always like that...

>>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.

Guido said:

"The reason why Zope Corp is not super-keen on having the site run on
Plone is one of support.  Once Sidnei has delivered the site and is
retired, when the site dies at 3am, whose beeper goes off?  Not mine,
but that of some poor schmuck of a Zope Corp sysadmin, who will
attempt to fix the problem.  When there's a problem with the Zope
software that he can't solve on his own, who gets called at 4am?  Not
me, but someone else at Zope Corp who knows a lot about Zope.  This
guy doesn't know anything about Plone, but he knows CMF.  If (God
forbid) the problem is caused by something that Plone does differently
than CMF, he's stuck.

But there area ways to deal with this, and I now think that we can be
much more rational about this decision.  I've talked this over with
Sidnei, and he agrees.  His suggestion is to take this to another
list, since zope-web is only a small (albeit oh-so vocal :-) fraction
of the Zope community.  I'm all for it, but I'd like to stay out of it
myself, as long as the above support concern is somehow addressed.
(One way to address it would be to promise that the site will still
work if the Plone stuff is removed, leaving standard CMF stuff.)"

>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.

Yes, yes - I agree on that :-)

And if the company that makes the application server has decided to 
discontinue their implementation of CMF, and go for Plone as the future 
default implementation, I would just like to hear about it. It would also 
be nice to know, what thoughts lies behind such a decission.

>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.

Hmm.. I believe it's a fair discussion, and haven't heard it has been 
concluded yet - all previous mails indicates that this will be taken up at 
a later point - it just suprises me, if that point have been passed...

I'm sorry if we haven't reached that point yet, and my mail on that 
background seems negative towards the work Sidnei has been doing - that's 
not what I meant.

>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 
>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.

Again, I agree.

Something I miss at the Alpha-site is the News-collum at the front and it's 
RSS-feed... in our "Plone rip-off"-skin, we've placed the RSS-link of 
syndicated items in their about box.

This is meant as constructive criticism - not a Plone rant:-)

Once again - great work Sidnei!

Kind regards,
Erik Lange