[triangle-zpug] Plone NA Day 1 Report

Chris Calloway cbc at unc.edu
Thu Jul 21 19:12:33 CEST 2005

Greetings from New Orleans. TriZPUG is well represented at the Plone North
America Symposium 2005 with Christine Chen, Charlie Hitlin, Frank Di Mauro,
myself, Tom Elliot, (all of UNC) and Geoff Davis (of Superfriends fame). Geoff
just got here this morning after being stuck in the Atlanta airport overnight.
Charlie and Geoff are presenting this week. We are having a blast and learning a
lot, as usual. You can verify that here:


You'll have to ask Frank what that is we are smoking. Thanks to Christine for
taking photos.

There are two tracks going on here at once. I will report on the tracks I
attend. My compatriots here may report on the tracks I don't attend. I know I
missed Joel Burton doing the Best Practices presentation, the same one we saw
the last day of Plone Boot Camp, and Alexander Limi doing his Plone skinning
dance, which I've already seen a couple of times. Charlie told me that Limi's
talk included the new ResourcesRegistry for Plone 2.1 this time, so maybe I
should have seen that. ResourcesRegistry is a new way of managing Javascript and
CSS for your third party products. Yay! We need that.

On the morning of the first day, I attended a three hour session on TeamSpaces
by the Rob Miller (irc: RaFromBRC) of Burning Man Black Rock City, ObjectRealms,
and most recently Cignex. Rob is always a great presenter. This is the third
time I've heard Rob's TeamSpaces presentation, but this one was much more in
depth. We did a structured walkthrough of the TeamSpaces code after a thorough
understanding of the product requirements. Using TeamSpaces and CMFMember, you
can build a very flexible extranet and delegate authority to delegate authority
(heh) in a very granular manner over the folders of your site. TeamSpaces is a
hot product, and from what I know about most of you and your Plone sites
(collaboration-oriented sites), you should check it TeamSpaces to build
collaborative teams. Go Rob! Maybe we need TeamSpaces on trizpug.org. Funny how
I have to hear things three times in order to understand them.


In the afternoon of the first day, I attended a three hour session on Entransit
by the Enfold Systems crew (Alan, Sidnei, and Andy). Entransit is a way of using
Plone as the CMS for content delivered agnostically by any delivery system
(J2EE, PHP, .Net, etc.). Entransit is not a released product yet. In fact, the
Entransit SVN is not even public (and may not become so for all I know). But it
is a HIGHLY strategic product which will embed Plone in many large enterprises.
The idea is, if I have to scrap my legacy investments in order to implement a
CMS, I'm probably not going to adopt Plone. But if I can keep that investment,
and simply use Plone as a CMS rather than a delivery system, gaining the
benefits of a CMS while retaining my past investments, then there is another
magnitude of markets available to Plone.

Again, a lot of code and requirements walkthrough. But instead of walking
through Entransit, we walked through one of the (of many) underlying products,
EnSimpleStaging, which prepares content for publishing to a delivery system.
This product has been open sourced, and you may find it here:


Here's Enfold's description of EnSimpleStaging:

"EnSimpleStaging is a product for Plone that allows you to create workspaces for
staging and versioning of content areas of your site.

"These workspaces allow you to make changes to a group of objects and deploy
them all at the same time. They also allow you to save the state of your objects
with labels so that you can return the objects in the workspace to the state
they were in when you last saved. Also, this labeling happens automatically
whenever you 'deploy' or 'publish' your workspace.

"One nice thing about EnSimpleStaging is that it allows you to 'stage' different
parts of your site with different workspaces."

With that, I will say, the EnSimpleStaging code base is pretty small, but it
makes a whole bunch functionality. I'm expecting to see Enfold leverage
Entransit to create a huge Plone business. It will make Plone not only
competitive with Vignette and Documentum, but surpassing them in significant
ways. So competitive, that it would not surprise me to see Enfold market
Entransit as a proprietary product. I think for a lot of us TriZPUGers,
Entransit will be aimed at much larger and more commercial enterprises. If you
are an independent consultant, you may want to follow Entransit closely.
Listening to this presentation convinced me that Alan Runyan is not just a cool
developer, but also a brilliant business visionary.

Well, we'll keep you posted from Nola. As usual, I expect to have to flog
presentersfor months to come in order to get electronic copies of their
presentations out of them. The conference IS being videotaped, however, so maybe
there's hope. It's nice to be at a Plone conference where Geoff and I are not
the only TriZPUGers. We're meeting a lot of new people and seeing a lot of old
friends, though, also.

BTW, I will *NOT* be in town for the TriZPUG meeting next week. So I hope y'all
are making progress organizing and publicizing next week's meeting. ;)

Don't forget, there's a wiki for Python Boot Camp at:


just waiting for your input. The more you participate, the easier and more
likely it will happen.

Cheers, Chris

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