Core question: do you want to be a recipient of other people's software or do you want to be a participant in the creation of the software that you use? In the first case, you'll be wrung out like a cow for milk for a better sales bonus for the salesman. In the second case, you're not consuming someone else's crap, you're participating and consuming your own crap :-)
Paul is part of a company with fellow grey-zope-beards Chris McDonough and Tres Seaver. One thing to read is Chris' lifestyle incorporated, see if it matches what you're thinking yourself.
The people behind Plone is what matters. Plone is a democracy. There's a mechanism, a process, in place for planning releases and what goes into it. "PLIP", plone improvement proposals. It is pretty through and works well. Much of the general coordination takes place electronically on irc and on mailing lists. Sprint meetings take care of the in-person contact and the personal cohesion.
Plone is extremely entrepreneur-driven. Small businesses that cannot get plone developers fast enough. Small businesses that are more entrepreneur-like than the big commercial companies.
A core challenge: mechanisms versus policy. Plone is getting big, do the existing mechanisms still work? One of the recent things that was tried was the framework team, which looks at the PLIPs' quality. (Paul asked who wanted Martin to continue as framework team lead; loads of hands went up; Paul's next sheet was, again, "plone is democracy"; and so Martin was suckered into being the framework team lead one more time).
The plone foundation's goal is to protect and to promote Plone. The goal is not to actually develop Plone: the community was doing fine as-is. The Plone foundation was started with seed money from Computer Associates. Stuff like trademark registration, code ownership, domain news, contributor agreement. The Plone market was estimated to be some 200 milion $ by someone a year ago. With so much money going around, you need a level playing field where someone cannot do dirty google tricks with plone domain names.
Plone looks a lot like us. We are Plone. And we get to kick the ass of big commercial CMS companies. And we have fun and purpose in doing the things we do. A purpose-driven community. Plone isn't software, it is the result of software. Plone is democracy, which is the worst form of government except for all the others. And it is said you normally get the type of government that you deserve. Well, we get the plone that we deserve :-)
Technorati tag: ploneconf2007
My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.
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