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Quills and Monit and General Plone Grumbling

Server Monitoring Utility: Monit.

Quills is a portal-based weblogging product for Plone. I will be probably be using it for imaginaryplanet.org (indeed, I might be migrating this weblog to it if I can!).

The lead developer’s weblog contains updates, along with the promise of a release upcoming next week. Speaking of which, it seems to be in the backend of the incredible publicknowledge plone site. (Here’s the section full of quill posts ).

I’ve been grumbling lately about plone. First, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across error messages within plone sites. A cms shouldn’t be prone to error. Second, I really haven’t seen many good examples of small plone sites (with good usability). I’ve seen well-done corporate sites, but they have the time and resources to make it good. I haven’t seen many usable out-of-the-box plone sites. Third, commenting system is primitive. For example, it is still a nested view and hyperlinks are disabled for comments (smart for countering spam, stupid for facilitating discussion). Fourth, the conceptual model for plone just seems to get harder and harder. Getting templates and macros and products to work together just seems complicated (to say nothing of security or workflows). Part of the problem is that the software’s management interface, while powerful, just doesn’t make it easy to find the most important configuration elements. It took me a good while to figure out where the templates were.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Allan Doyle 12/15/2004, 10:53 pm

    I’d like to think we have a usable small site at EOGEO built from Plone. I agree that the underlying model is difficult to understand. It was easy to get running quickly, then things got harder as we tried to do more but remained doable. There’s not much real Plone hackery on our site, just a bit of customization and a lot of trial and error. I did figure out how to do forms to let people sign up for a workshop and then get reports back out. The Definitive Guid to Plone and various Zope books have helped. Also, don’t ignore the Plone IRC channel and the Plone newsgroups at gmane.com. I’m still glad we picked Plone.

  • Robert Nagle 12/16/2004, 4:56 pm

    Actually, I’ve spent the last day or so writing a book review about Andy’s book and one other plone book. I’ll be addressing the learning curve issue headon. The book review will run on slashdot.org next week.

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