Andy McKay

Oct 16, 2008

WebGUI compared to Plone

Donna Snow is implementing a WebGUI site and going to be blogging about it. I'm interested in this because Donna is a really nice person, but also because Donna is in interesting position in the Plone hierarchy.

Donna (and please correct me here if I'm wrong) runs a small consultancy producing web sites for customers. She doesn't have a huge army of technical programmers behind her. She focuses on finding a solution for a client mostly using existing tools that can be customised to her user. At the Planning sprint we she was placed in a category called "integrators".

This area was one of the reasons Plone became successful. Nothing raises the profile of a product like a small band of vocal integrators producing large numbers of excellent sites. This large number of small companies is a boon and contrasts strongly to say Alfresco.

A large number of competent and happy integrators is key to Plone, without them it will wither at either end as it slips into the domain of more and more technical obscurity know only to a few. They are one of the key bridges between the techies and customers.

But she's been feeling the pain with Plone 3 (she singles out viewlets).

As someone who works directly with clients in determining their requirements, there hasnt been a single theme that weve done that didnt require extensive changes to the viewlets (including different banners on inside sections and changes to drop downs in horizontal nav based on where you are located, etc etc). The fact that we have to turn off viewlets first, then add the new one and have to change at least 4 files to do that?? configure.zcml, viewlets.xml, and umm there was one more.

I've been feeling the pain with Plone 3. I took a step back at my Plone 3 product created by paster and the amount of stuff in there is absolutely mind boggling. From the sheer size of and number of files to the multiple concepts in there. Compared to Django, it is just shocking.

Anyway I'll be interested to see how that goes, what things she learns and hopefully the community will listen.