I have not been at a Plone Conference since 2004. Things back then where a bit different: the location was a discotheque, not a Hotel. It was sponsored only by companies deeply involved with Plone, not by large corporations. It was a lot less diverse.
Despite knowing a lot of the players in the Plone world, I have what resembles an outsider’s perspective. So, for other outsiders, there are a few interesting things I noticed:
- The Plone community is very inclusive. I have the impression that this is not just a “me too” thing but really deeply believed. If you want to get involved in the community or even just seek help this is very important.
- There is a deep anxiety towards the Zope “community”. There is not much of a community left, leaving a vacuum. (In fact the Zope foundation has more or less dissolved.) Changes or fixes desired or required by Plone are hard to push upstream. Zope is considered hostile towards outsiders, insiders, different-thinkers.
- It is considered to fork Zope to get going again. It would be preferred to take over the responsibility of Zope, CMF, and related packages to the Plone Foundation. From what I understood there was no way into that from the Zope Foundation’s side. If there is no substantial change (which I doubt) a fork is a matter of weeks or months. Everybody using Zope 2 without Plone should take note: After that Zope 2 is even more dead.
- PloneIntranet will be marketed as “Quaive”.
- The social aspects of features in an application (here: PloneIntranet) are very important in selling.
- Mosaic seems to be a pretty nice approach to Plone site layout.
- PloneConf 2016 will be in Boston (keeping the tradition since 2009: Budapest, Bristol, Bay Area, B’Arnheim, Brasilia, Bristol, Bucharest, Boston).
All in all it was nice to be “back”. And even though I will miss next year’s conference in Boston, I hope I don’t need to wait another eleven years for my next attendance.