Plone update?
June 21, 2011 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm considering some open source CMS options for a client. I saw this previously on Plone vs Drupal -- is Plone really considered so bad still?

I'd like to cut Plone out of the running if it's as bad as it sounds in that thread, but since the thread is three years old I thought I'd ask again. Plone 4 seems to have some key requirements the client is interested in -- approval workflow, inline editing, and others.

Does anyone have experience with this?
posted by sweetkid to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I find Plone very slow and hard to use, zope in general seems to be it's own galaxy of inscrutable complexity.

Having said that, I would try out Pressflow (which runs or Expression Engine which is open source but subscription based, iirc.
posted by godisdad at 2:38 PM on June 21, 2011

Expression Engine is neither open source, nor subscription-based.
It's built on top of CodeIgniter(which is open source), and licensed.
posted by Su at 3:12 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: I have some experience of using Joomla and of using Plone.

WRT Plone I'm surprised by some of the comments in that other thread I have used it satisfactorily and happily on small scale intranet sites and never encountered a single bug (I appreciate life might be different on large production farms although I'm surprised I've never heard such comments elsewhere).

WRT Joomla. Again no significant problems (not terribly excited either) just good middle of the road stuff.

I think the sweet spot for Plone is when the following are true:

* the end users value the powerful workflow, access-control, Internationalization and many other features
* the end users don't wish to change the internal workings too radically
* there's no problem about supplying the necessary hardware

That's the sweet spot. You can do anything you like with it but if those three things are the case then I suspect the end user will be happier with Plone than they would be with many other solutions.

By contrast Joomla is a classic PHP based CMS. You can do anything you like with it using conventional technologies (ie RDBMS backends) but a lot of the stuff that just comes with Plone by default you might have to find add-ins for and/or roll your own and that isn't always a very satisfactory experience as time goes on.

I would contrast the two experiences to driving a hatch-back (Joomla) and a large freight truck (Plone). The hatch-back is easily mastered but is only going to be able to so much for you. The truck is not trivial to drive but if you need it's capabilities it's a beautiful machine.
posted by southof40 at 3:14 PM on June 21, 2011

Yes Plone is still considered bad. It's not to do with the language (Python is a great language) but Plone is a sluggish and ZODB (the underlying datastore) is a monster.
posted by holloway at 5:06 PM on June 21, 2011

Pressflow is Drupal, actually, and I hear its quite good. At work we use two separate Drupal implementations together in a highly custom enterprise publishing setup. Good stuff, but I have two full time engineers on my team, and couldn't do it with fewer.
posted by ben242 at 6:12 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: I've used Drupal's Pressflow Distribution extensively and it works well if you want a CMS and might want to add a bunch of features in the future. As your site grows in traffic and you install a bunch of modules (Drupal features like a WYSIWYG), performance can be a problem. I'd recommend working with Pressflow because it is a Drupal distribution with a bunch of performance tweaks.

Plone does seem like a pain when I've looked at it. An approval workflow could be achieved with Drupal. I'm not sure about the state of inline editing. There were some experimental modules awhile back.

If you are really interested in using Python, there's always the option of using Django, which is not exactly a CMS but can be used to build one.
posted by JuliaKM at 7:37 AM on June 22, 2011

Best answer: I run some Plone sites and have only a small exposure to php and systems built with it. I too was worried by those past askMes when considering a CMS.

Since then, I have been glad that I chose Plone though, because it has been flexible enough to meet all of our needs and reliable.

Approval workflow is a core feature of Plone. There's a lot of value in what they have built, and I have been able to customize roles and publication states easily. That is to say, I would not want to rebuild from scratch anything near that level of sophistication. Security in Plone is strong, earning it a good government and enterprise presence. Although, it looks like today is a day with a rare security announcement. You can also tie in to existing authentication systems, which is helpful for me with thousands of students/faculty/staff that then automatically have user accounts and roles, etc.

My site users are able to edit their pages and participate in the workflow easily. Inline editing is intuitive. Adding photos to news items and pages is simple. You can allow embedding of flash and whatnot if you want. The amount of user control you give is up to you, not the system.

My uptime has been outstanding.

Add-on products are generally reliable, supported.

Internationalization is a big feature if you need it. Plone has good usage across Europe and South America, so it has been a core part of the product/framework for a long time.

The graphics theming story in Plone 3 was more difficult than in Plone 4. It is much better documented now, too. This was a pain point for me, although honestly, I had some learning to do with general design there. Now you can also theme content from other systems alongside Plone content, which is nice for standardizing the look of your separate products for issue-tracking, resource reservation, etc. without having to rewrite them.

Plone is very customizable, but it does have a learning curve. I would say this is the key take away. You can roll out special content strategies to your heart's content. You will need Python chops to customize it, and you will need to learn where things are.

The community is very helpful and friendly, fun. Conventions/Symposia are a good time.

me-mail me if you have specific use-cases you want to gauge. #plone in irc is a helpful place.
posted by zangpo at 1:20 PM on June 22, 2011

Response by poster: Wonderful, I wanted to favorite every answer! Thanks all, and also would love any one else's feedback, of course.
posted by sweetkid at 3:55 PM on June 22, 2011

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