[ZWeb] NZO / Plone / etc

Chris Withers chrisw@nipltd.com
Tue, 18 Feb 2003 16:02:37 +0000


Have been resisting commenting on this for a long time but I can't really keep 
my peace any more.

Having read Rob Page's announcement, I was a little happier:
This near-term implementation has both "stock-CMF" and Plone interfaces. The NZO 
team will move forward with what works best and most reliably.

But now I see Sidnei's comments:
Another thing: We are using a Plone-based site.
...so what happened to the "stock-CMF" interface?

While I empathise with Paul's comments:
For me, it's definitely
put-up-or-shut-up time.
...I have stayed "shut up" because I don't have time to contribute, but since 
the only way I can currently contribute is to comment I feel I should:

My biggest concern with NZO is that Sidnei needed to make this comment:
I would like to hear only suggestions and no 'I hate Plone' emails
...if there are are enough people sending mails like that to warrant the comment 
being made, then maybe they have a point? At teh very least I wouldn't it be 
prudent to keep the discussion open?

I _am_concerned that the 'plone-ish' UI is being adopted both for zope.org and 
Zope 3 when I haven't seen it functioning correctly on IE 5.0 (due to its use of 
CSS2) and the fact that I find the UI unpalatable. Now, the aesthetic issues of 
that (the waste of screen space, dodgy colours, weird icons, etc) I'm prepared 
to ignore since those are personal preferences, but there are a few bad UI 
issues that spring to mind:

- CSS compatability. What are Zope.org's target browsers? What should they be? I 
had problems with NZO on Mozilla 1.0 and I've had ciritical problems with Plone 
on IE 5.0.

- column heading click-to-sort not actually clicking to sort. Since it's done 
with JS, it only sorts what's on the page, not the whole set as it should.

- No link highlighting. There are lots of links which are neither highlighted by 
a different colour or by underlining.

...those are just three that spring to mind, if I sat and thought, I'm sure I 
could find more.

Secondly, there's the problem if the Plone code. I evaluated Plone just recently 
and while it initially seemed impressive, it seems to change a lot of how the 
CMF works out of the box rather than add to it. I was also pretty appalled at 
the quality of coding in a lot of the default templates and file system code, 
even compared to the CMF, which is pretty apalling itself. Also, the 'features' 
of form validation, navigation control and easier type construction appeared 
extremely fragile and suprisingly difficult to use and I wonder if you tried to 
customise the plone workflow whether other things would similarly start to break.
Something the CMF got _right_ is that you can usually take as much or as little 
of it as you like. With Plone, you either take it all or everything breaks.
Now, these are only my opinions, but I've been at this game for a while now and 
so feel at least justified in airing them, although I'm not asking anyone to 
listen to them.

Those are all I can fit into the time I've got to write this mail, and I'm sorry 
they're not better fleshed out, but I'm just waving a flag from the sidelines. 
I'm happy to put-up-and-shut-up but I'm hoping that doesn't become 
shut-up-and-move-on and, likewise, doesn't negatively impact on the plans to 
grow Zope by a factor of 10, which by my current count are over a year overdue 
now anyway ;-)



PS: I'm not subscribed to this list, so please CC me in on replies and feel free 
to move this discussion to a more appropriate list...