A summary of PLOG 2014: 5 days of talks, chat and sprints. In a sentence: a wonderful Plone event , with a wonderful community, in a wonderful place.

Plone Open Garden 2014 - personal report

A summary of PLOG 2014: 5 days of talks, chat and sprints. In a sentence: a wonderful Plone event , with a wonderful community, in a wonderful place.

The PLOG is the Plone event hosted by Abstract every year in Sorrento around Easter. The location was once again the wonderful Mediterraneo Hotel, that offers a unique view on the gulf and perfect accomodation for this kind of event.

During the week from 22nd to 26th of April, around 50 participants - not only plonistas - animated talks, discussions and sprints on many subjects about our preferred CMS: Plone.

Most of the interest was pointed to the upcoming Plone 5 release that will ship, among the other features, with:

  • a brand new theme (shiny and modern)
  • a bran new set of widgets (shiny and modern)
  • Dexterity content types by default (much more lightweight and flexible)

As usual, the timetable was organized in order to have talks and presentations in the morning and open discussion in the garden in the afternoon.

Talks

We presented 3 talks.

I gave a talk in collaboration with David Siedband on our current ongoing project: migrating saucelabs.com from Pylons to Plone (this is a cool project so we'll talk deeply about it in the next future). 

Simone Deponti proposed a talk on "High Availability with RelStorage and PostgreSQL". Maurizio Delmonte did a review on Plone and content quality tools.

You can find the complete list of talks and slides on the PLOG 2014 project page on Coactivate.

Sprints

Sprinting session was really intensive. A lot has been done on code side, but also a lot of open discussion on "what to do next" took place in the garden. The main subjects (not all of them!) were:

barceloneta theme

Led by Victor and Ramon, this group pushed improvements and fixes for the next official plone theme, as well discussion on how to ease developers and integrators life.

mockup / widgets

Following the work done in the former sprints (Cologne and Munich), I worked with Andrew Mleczko on finishing the upload widget that thanks to him is finally integrated into TinyMCE widget. 

release process

This year we had the pleasure to host Eric Steele, the plone release manager. The release process is really important and from what he told us is also a huge amount of work. So, he worked with a group of people in order to make this easier for him and for all plone contributors.

documentation

The documentation sprint pushed forward the work done  during the last months. As a result, we have a brand new doc site that is much better organized and perfectly viewable via mobile thanks to a responsive theme: http://docs.plone.org/.

improving migration from plone 4 to 5

Philip Bauer and his group continued the work on improving the migration machinery that will ease migration from plone 4 to plone 5.

Hot discussions

Plone json api

This has been a very interesting and constructive session. After a brainstorming phase, Simone Deponti drafted a small documentation page, then we reviewed this docs together in order to get the project starting on a good path.

The work on this subject is just started so stay tuned to get more updates on this.

Plone composite pages

We had a long discussion on how to improve the way we build pages and content in plone. The goal is to give to website editors a usable UX that allows them to take control over page composition and content presentation. There are mainly two aspects: a functional and a tecnical one. 

The first is all about UX and how to give the editors and the managers the correct set of functionalities, as well as limits on top of it. The second is all about assuming technical decisions and solutions for maintaning and improving what we already have, like portlets and viewlets, and integrating and/or improving what we "almost" have (tiles).

Starting from some common use cases (like composite pages with tiles as we described in our talk on saucelabs project) we outlined some scenario that should provide us the right amount of info on how to approach these challenges.

We are still at an early stage of the discussion but a new sprint on this subject is already in the air: it will take place in Barcelona on the second week of June. Stay tuned!

Personal thanks

To the community

Take a wonderful place and wonderful bunch of people and you'll get the best of what you can expect from an event. Thanks to you all for participating with passion, curiosity and the energy! 

To the organizers

A huge thanks goes to the Abstract team and above all to Vincenzo and Rosario for keeping organizing this event every year. Every time is one of the best Plone events!

Read more

See what our friends Victor and Guido wrote about this experience on their personal blogs. And if you published contents covering the PLOG event!

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