Some amusing and interesting ideas from the keynote "Plone: It Ain't About the Software" by Alexander Limi and Alan Runyan.
The $4 million company that operates by emailing Excel spreadsheets around. Not intranet, just a single shared drive where one user can delete another user's files to make space for their own.
The idea of the "J2EE Liberation Front". Those guys need a serious dose of freedom. [I gave up Java a long time ago because it seemed too like a straight jacket].
The Plone world has taken translation issues seriously, with the base system now available in 50 different languages. This issue isn't yet taken seriously in America, but the more dependent the US economy becomes on foreign markets the more attention it will get.
They claim that Plone was easy to install, so I shall be testing that assertion. It's a long time since I played with Plone (back in the days when the Python Business Forum decided to use it as their main web presence), and it sounds like it's a completely different deal now.
I really enjoyed the story about the company that had bought an in-house training class, and allocated the two spare seats to members of their janitorial staff. At the end of the course the cleaners were happily writing Python!
I think the speakers started out nervous, but they hit their stride halfway through (PyCon audinces are pretty friendly) and made some interesting points about how frameworks by themselves have little value. What people pay for is a tool that will help them communicate their ideas more successfully. They were realistic about Plone, admitting that the insides were ugly in places, but that from the outside Plone is a usable solutions for many content management needs.
Q: "What's new in the upcoming 2.5 release, and are users demanding AJAX functionality?"
A: Introduction of more Zope3 components as part of a gradual migration. AJAX will be a 3.0 feature. The developers aren't yet decided on the kind of AJAX framework they will use. Sites with usability concerns, such as government departments, are unlikely to use AJAX anyway.
End of the keynote. There are signs that the wireless network is under stress (hardly surprising with the PyCon audience). STSN, the wireless provider, have never had to cope with this density of demand at the venue, so they have sensibly put a couple of staff on-site to learn how their infrastructure reacts to this load and provide help as necessary. Still, I can get through to Blogger to post, and despite occasionaly dropouts I am receiving email, so I'm pretty sure that connectivity will be OK.
Next for me (after coffee) is Python in Your Pocket: Python for the Series 60. Last year's talk by Erik Smartt was one of the many I had to miss. Since the BDFL now claims to have a Python program answering his cellphone maybe I'll have to look at a change of technology myself.