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Journal of the first day

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First day of the first Plone Sprint

First day in Berne is over - and it is time to capture some of the most interesting moments so far. Other participants will most likely do their own journals and commentary to complement on their behalf, and what they thought was interesting. If you have any comments, you can reach me by email at Propably you can also kick my butt in irc, where I am known as huima.

First of all a word about my role at the sprint. I am here participating in documentation project, where I contribute into the fine art of business speak. To say in other words we are finally trying to create common ways of how to sell more Plone / Zope projects and how to make even more people understand how the business works. Especially since it is in our all interest that the Plone / Zope market grows rapidly and Plone wins more mindshare from other products. I'm also working with Bernhard Buehlmann documenting what happens during the sprint. We are both equipped with digital cameras and I'm also carrying from time to time a digital video camera for capturing presentations that could be useful to the audiences outside the sprint.

Sunday - official dinner before the sprint started

On sunday we had a late dinner at 20:00 in a local restaurant, where almost all the participants had arrived. Lots of shaking hands, some eating, discussions and many beers later everyone was ready to hit the bed and get ready for the first ever Plone sprint. On a personal level it was really nice after a week in Paris to see clean city ( yeah - it's Switzerland you know ) and hear a language that even I could understand: german. Klasse!

Monday morning

The work was scheduled to start at 08:00 - but as usual, only a few participants were at the location on that time. So the first two hours were mainly setting up software, waiting for network to be set up and others to arrive. Good time to get some preliminary work done, as many of us noticed.

And finally when everyone was present, it was time to kick off the sprint. First on the schedule were presentations from different participants about what they are doing or wish to do during the sprint. These presentations - each from 5 to 20 minutes, set up the table for work and also let people catch up quite quickly on where the development is going.

Introduction to the sprint, Alexander Limi

First up was Alexander Limi, our norwagean viking. While talking about branding of Plone Limi made very good points about the need for keep Plone as the brand and not to rebrand our solutions to something else. Together Plone is bigger than anyone of us alone, and this way we all can benefit from it's value. However like everyone who has read or thought about brandmanagement knows, there are also great dangers and downsides in this approach - since it requires us all to be more carefull and to think about what we do in the name of Plone and what our doings make to the name of Plone.

Cool ideas and new issues included also presenting idea on Plone-network and how we as developers can in future co-operate to finance and share certain development efforts in the name of greater good. Nice news was also to hear that there is a new non profit organisation founded to handle the intellectual property rights for Plone in the future. So Alan and Alexander will give away the copyrights to the organisation, which after that legally sits on top of the rights and is able to licence them to to companies who are not able or are not willing to use Plone with GPL terms.

And there is also a whole lot more information in Alexanders presentation, so if you are interested in to hear what lies in the future - download the whole video.

Chat and other cool new features, Robert Boulanger

Our bold friend from Blue Dynamics, one of the coolest groups in the Plone world, presented some of the latest gimmics from their treasure vault. Very cool instant messaging and chat features that add all so needed functionalities to Plone-portal. Check out the presentation and look for more information here later.

Icoya drive and other tools, Niels Mache

Struktur AG is the maker of Icoya Open Content - a repackaged Plone - and other Zope-based content management tools. Niels made a great presentation about their development and products that they are sooner or later releasing into open wilderness. Especially interesting project was icoya-drive, a commercial quality piece of software that connects a Zope instance into a folder - similar to WebDrive, but with additional features that allow more control in Zope-enviroment.

Other tools were gadgets that create menu-graphics and buttons on-the-fly with ImageMagic - and are nicely configurable in the Plone admin interface. Really cool stuff, once again.

Plone customization tool, Robert Rottermann

Robert Rotterdam showed their work from Redcor AG - especially a customisation tool that allowed them to create customisation policies with Excel-worksheet or Access database. Customisation policies include quite nice details like all the permissions set up for different areas of the portal etc. Quite nice idea that could be explored more. Check it out if you are interested.

OpenFlow -> Reflow, Francesco Ciriaci

OpenFlow integrated into CMF and Plone is now renamed to ReFlow. For those of you who don't know, OpenFlow is an activity based workflow engine that can supplement nicely what DC Workflow does. To put in otherwords by using both workflows you are able to build really complex applications that have very fine processes defined into workflows. Indeed very cool stuff, or as comments in the irc were: it kicks ass.

CMFTypes with Microsoft Word, Benjamin Saller

At this stage my videocamera's battery went conveniently dead, so I was unable to capture the cool features available in CMFTypes - mainly the authoring in Microsoft Word. It is insanely cool and works every time as a jaw dropper - eventhough you would have seen it before.

During the sprint I will - I promise - capture Benjamin, Alan or someone else doing a demo of Word authoring and also explaining how hard it is to setup correctly - atleast for now. If you would like to give support to this development, I can ask the address where you should send the money. This is something that really rocks... ce'la cool!

Starting work in groups

After presentations it was the time to go into groups and start project work. Documentation team moved into another room, giving some peace to programmers. In the documentation team, which I was part of - work divided into numerous subprojects that included creating reference installations, newbie-problems, API documentations, business-talks and others.

I had the priviledge to work with Niels Mahle from Struktur AG and to begin to develop business-talk for Plone. Our approach and ideas on what we are working on are available on a pdf file here. If you have any comments or contribution, you are most wellcome to send 'em either by email or even by coming and joining us on tuesday evening -- when we have a separate business discussion for likewise minded persons.

19:00, Wrapup

At the evening it was time to come once again back together and do wrapup for todays progress. All the teams made short presentations about their work and this way made other teams up-to-date about developments in different areas of the sprint. I haven't got progress-reports here since the first day's work is usually not that interesting. Most of the first day usually goes into planning and defining what will actually be done and what will not during the next few days. So much more interesting milestones are to be expected tomorrow and at the end of the sprint.


Well - what can I say. It has been an interesting day. Everything has worked perfectly and the sprint hosts have done marvellous job! The location is absolutely great, there has been enough water, coffee, coke and fruits for participants -- and atleast I have nothing to complain about. Excellent organisationing - just like at Rotterdam, where Infrae hosted a Zope 3 sprint. Excellent work - and good model for all future sprint-hosters. Personally I have great hopes for achieving some important goals during this sprint - and wish that this sprint could start a whole new series of Plone sprints, just like there has been a lot of Zope 3-sprints round the world.

And if you like this kind of documentation of different sprints and / or events, please give feedback.