Wash my hands of Plone

This is a notice to any who will listen. I have given Plone ample opportunity to woo me. It is almost there but it suffers from over complexity with version compatibility.

Plone is the type of system that you need to work with every day, or you will find your self getting lost in the complexity. Creating Plone Products with ArchGenXML is one example. 4 months ago I had a system all set up to work with ArchGenXML to develop custom content types. Unfortunately, 4 months later, I find myself back on a 4 day learning curve trying to figure out all of the compatibility issues that have been introduced in the mean time. Making sure that all of the Archetypes libraries have the same version is also a headache.

It is my belief that any attempt to make something more complicated than it need be, should be met with harsh criticism and should be avoided like the plague. Plone falls into this cateogory. And for all of its triumphs (of which there are many), this one vice will prove to be its downfall, unless those in the Plone development community find a way to integrate simplicity and maintainability.

Content management systems (which is what Plone touts itself to be), must offer peace of mind in storing the content in the system. The users of the system must believe that their content is safe, and retrievable when the time comes. They shouldn’t have to worry about mucking with python code and api version conflicts every time an upgrade occurs, to make sure that their data is not destroyed. Unfortunately, development with Archetypes does not yet offer this peace of mind.

I have come to the conclusion, that, for now, Relational Databases, are still the best solution for any kind of data-centric application. They offer multiple, simple retrieval methods, and full independence from api version changes in the CMS of choice.

Oh well.. enough of a rant for now.

2 thoughts on “Wash my hands of Plone”

  1. Steve,

    I couldn’tt agree with you more. I’ve been looking at, and “playing’ with Plone quite a bit recently, as it has real potential for some ideas I have.

    The idea of using a UML modelling tool in combination with ArchgenXML also has immense appeal (although I’m still not convinced about UML as a methodology – too code centered) as I really don’t want to get involved in writing code in yet another language.

    My experiences so far are leaving me frustrated, over both the issues you mention, and also the paucity of a really good step by step, start to finish, tutorial of using a UML tool to build a functioning application, not the simplistic or incomplete examples I have been able to find.


  2. Since writing this post, it is worth mentioning that the Plone people have done quite a bit to make upgrades run more smoothly. As time goes on, I am beginning to have better experiences with Plone. Here’s looking forward to a 2.1 to 2.5 upgrade hopefully going over without a hitch.

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