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Plone Secrets 5: The Community

This is a non-technical post on the Plone community, why it's so great, how it functions, and some details that may help one understand it from the outside looking in (AKA The "secrets")

Size and Activity

The Plone community is HUGE. I don't have any numbers handy, but I'm sure there is as much if not more activity going on in the Plone Community right now as there is in the White House "reelection department".

Structure

The Plone community consists (roughly) of Founders, Contributors, and Users. It has formalized itself into a 501(c)(3) organization with a corresponding board and membership. The board conducts business to "protect and promote Plone" on behalf of the community and the foundation members (but not necessarily board members) are all recognized contributors. Contributors control the speed and direction of the project. Some of the contributors are:

Teams

  • The Framework Team (arguably the most important team, next to the core developers themselves [0].) Responsible for "evaluating PLIPS for inclusion in Plone". PLIPS are "Plone Improvement Proposals" used to convey the message: "I want to add this feature to (or remove from) Plone core and I, or the others listed here, will do the work."
  • The Documentation Team (arguably equally as important) Responsible for documenting the Plone software for developers and end users.
  • The QA Team (arguably… oh hell they're all important) Responsible for making sure the software is suitable for consumption by developers and end users.
  • The Marketing Team Responsible for promoting Plone to prospective consumers.
  • The AI Team (Admin Infrastructure) [1] Responsible for maintaining software and systems infrastructure for the community.
  • Internationalization Team Responsible for translating Plone's user interface text into multiple language.
  • Security team Responsible for addressing complex security issues with Plone core software.
  • And more… I'm sure I missed some teams, feel free to check out the entire list here: http://plone.org/team.

Factions

As is common in the world at large, the Plone community is comprised of various factions. From circles of friends, to the hundreds of Plone consulting firms, to the business sectors that embrace Plone (e.g. non-profits). These factions may never, in their lifetimes, interact with one another but they are critical to the success of Plone. (It would be a shame if they didn't, which is why we have the annual Plone Conference).

Individuals

Finally, we have the noteworthy individuals of the project. These include the Founders, Board Presidents, Release Managers, Core Developers, and more. Most especially this includes YOU. If you have contributed to the Plone project in any way large or small, your work is appreciated.

Greatness

What's great is that it all works. I am struck by how much the Plone Community is a microcosm of the world. Especially during election time in the United States, I've been thinking a lot about "how the world works" and I see the same patterns everywhere. Not everyone:

  • Enjoys the same activities
  • Shares the same beliefs
  • Likes the same people
  • Has the same goals

But when you share a common goal e.g. Running a country, or a city, or a state, or business, or a community, or a project, you find ways to get along. Individuals work with other individuals, factions work with other factions, teams works with others teams, projects ship their product to the world. In this case, I'm looking forward to the Plone project shipping its product to the world for the next 10 years or more.

Good luck to us all!

Consider a

<3

[0]I'm not listing the core developers because there are over 100 of them and they don't formally meet as far as I know. But of course, without the Founders and Core Developers none of us would be here. So a very special thanks to them as well.
[1]Term coined by Wyn Williams

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