A Plone System Owners' Association?

published Aug 17, 2012 06:26   by admin ( last modified Aug 17, 2012 06:26 )

Quite some time ago (okay, all the way back in 2009!), at a very well arranged world Plone day at Fry-IT in London we sat in groups brainstorming about what a Plone user group in the UK could be about.

I came up with the idea of a Plone System Owners' Association , but the idea did not get traction, at least not during the limited time we had at the meeting.

Mikko Ohtamaa has now (in 2012) posted about the state of Plone, "Making the world to love Plone again", which triggered me to finally publish this:

I still think a Plone System Owners' Association is a good idea, and here is why:

Over the years of teaching Plone I have got in touch with many organisations that have a vested interest in Plone, since they are running Plone installations, from small ones to massive. A couple of things they say are these:

  1. We do not want to upgrade!
  2. We like Product X, but needs it to be updated/changed, how do we go about that?
  3. We tried to contact the maintainer of product X, but got no reply

There may also be in house development of things, that might be quicker, better and cheaper to do if the development effort was shared between several parties.


My take on this is that these Plone system owners need to:

  • Know about each other and have a forum to communicate
  • Find a way to:
  • Contact and interact with the developer community
  • Pool funding of development of software and other services for Plone


Better formulate what demands system owners have on Plone with regards to

  • Features
  • Usability
  • Upgrade path
  • Legacy support

Make change easier

  • Direct resources to the developer community while delivering value to the system owners
  • Being an open source citizen
  • Getting funding
  • Funding what you want to have done

Now, I am not foremost a Plone system owner, but one example of a cool thing to do, would be to have a script that automatically upgraded a Plone 2.5 site to Plone 4, similar to how 2to3 can upgrade from python 2 to python 3.

I actually think that this could work, parsing python, ZPT and using Diazo. But I am not going to embark on it, but it would not surprise me if a good number of system owner's wouldn't mind chipping in for such a script to come about.