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The Plone Cathedral Sprint in Cologne was extremely productive

Over 25 Plone developers from around the world met in the offices of GfU Cyrus PLC in Cologne for a week of intensive work on the Plone content management system. Thanks to a video conference link to the Tahoe Snow Sprint Team in the USA the work continued almost around the clock. Matthew Wilkes from Bristol found the meet-up to be "extremely productive". The Sprint was organised by the Rheinland group of the German Zope User group (DZUG e.V). For the third time Jan Ulrich Hasecke secured GfU Cyrus AG as the sponsor of aZope Sprint. As well as training for all aspects of IT GfU offers seminars on Python, Zope, Plone and Grok. ACSR developed the Sprint-Logo and supported the team on location.

The Plone Cathedral Sprint in Cologne was extremely productive

The Plone Cathedral-Sprint team on Friday the 19th March in the lobby of GfU's offices - some important participants are unfortunately missing from this picture.

Plone 4 – almost out the door

While the final Release of Plone 4 is upcoming in some weeks, a lot of the results of the sprint will find their way into the first maintainance release Plone 4.1. Eric Steele, the Plone 4 release manager who works at Penn-State University in the USA, places the most importance on the quality of the system. The Plone 4 Beta installer for Unix-workalikes gives a good impression of the upcoming release. ACSR produced the Layout of the German language 'Zope-News' 09/2009 to include an interview with Eric Steele related to Plone 4.

Audio Interview with Eric Steele by Christian Scholz at the sprint!

More Zope-News issues here

Sprints as project culture

Sprints are a curiosity of the culture of the projects in the Zope and Plone environment. The list of successful (and legendary) sprints around the world is long. Traditionally the developers meet in the various cities with a Plone developer community for an intensive exchange of ideas and concentrated work towards previously decided objectives. The sprints at the end of the conference regularly attract over 100 participants. The cologne sprint is one of the largest outside of conferences and will, thanks to its highly successful outcomes, be remembered by the community for a long time to come.

Plone Cathedral Sprint
 2010 march 15th-19th sponsored by GfU Cyrus AG, Köln Germany

The Cathedral-Sprint Logo designed by ACSR was used by the Plone Foundation an example of proper logo usage in its Plone Logo Guidelines.
Significant outcomes of the Cologne sprint were, among others:

Redesign of Plone Collections and extensions to the search system

Collections in Plone are saved searches with complex criteria whose results are shown with a given ordering. The improvements to the interface of these 'smart folders', which will also apply to searches, has made their usage significantly more intuitive.

The interface for inputting search criteria shows search results in live time as the query is edited, in the same way as the Live-Search feature does for simple searches in Plone 3. More criteria can be added step-by-step to narrow the search even further. The results are updated almost immediately, with only a slight delay so as to prevent the fast updates from the server being distracting.

Produktivere Eingabe von Referenzen

Plone Content can contain links to other content using 'references' which are independent from the HTML links that can be interspersed in rich text content. Tom Gross and the User-Interface Team in Tahoe with help from Alexander Limi created on a new CSS-Overlay based dialogue that is vastly simplified compared to the existing interface. Multiple references can also be added significantly more quickly and with fewer clicks.

Plone Calendaring

Andreas Jung from Zopyx Group and his team worked on further improvements to the plone calendaring system.

Content Browsing

Robert Niederreither from introduced his new Java-Script based interface for fast and efficient navigation of the content structure of a site. The view, based on the split-pane view of MacOSX's finder is, through direct queries to the Plone catalogue, extremely fast compared to the conventional method of loading each new page in turn, and is displayed using a CSS overlay.

The new interface can be called up from any page in the site - you immediately get an overview of the viewed content's context. Read the detailed article by Jan Ulrich Hasecke about this at (German language)

New content migration strategy for Plone 4

Tom Lazar and Carsten Senger developed a combination of Plone 3 and Plone 4 extensions that use the Content Migration pipelines from Transmogrifier. With this the content of an existing site can be exported in a Plone-version agnostic form and then reconstructed in a fresh Plone 4 instance. Transmogrifier is one of many modular components that process the input data step-by-step until the final export is reached. This allows multiple attempts to be made with different approaches until the best settings are found for the desired outcome. By sequentially handling each bit of data extremely large amounts of data can be transported without overloading the system.

The Sprint Location

The rooms provided by the Sponsor, GfU Cyrus AG, offered a great infrastructue for the team, split as it was into multiple groups over two rooms. Together with perfect catering with snacks, lunch, coffee available at any time, fruit juices and even their own bookshop they offered the perfect environment. GFU Cyrus AG...

More important sprint results

  • German (Jan Ulrich Hasecke, and Dutch Translations (Martijn Schenk, for Plone 4 almost completed
  • Plone Discussions - the new commenting engine was brought closer to a reality by Timo Stollenwerk and Florian Friesdorf
  • Performance Improvements including the storage and handling of image data (Andreas Zeidler, Zeidler IT Consulting, Simon Pamies, Banality Design & Communication)

Future Plone Sprints & Events 2010

Plone eCampaigning Sprint, 25-26. March – Oxford, United Kingdom
World-Plone-Day, 28. April – Bonn, Berlin, Hamburg, Innsbruck, Leipzig, München, Ulm more...
geografisches institut  der universität bonn   gebäudetafel des  geografischen instituts der universität bonn

WorldPloneDay in Bonn at the Geografischen Instititut of Bonn University - Photo: acsr international: Boston, Massachusets, USA • Buenos Aires, Argentina • Chicago, Illinois, USA • Ferrara, Italy • Houston, Texas, USA • Macerata, Italy • Malmö, Sweden • Milan, Italy • Naples, Italy • Pau France • São Paulo, Brazil • Taipei, Taiwan • Turin, Italy • Wellington, New Zealand More...

European Plone Symposium, 26-27. May – Sorrento, Italy more...
DZUG Conference, Herbst – Dresden
International Plone Conference October – Bristol, United Kingdom more...
All future Plone Community Events...

The Cologne Plone Cathedral Sprint Team

(Almost) the complete Plone Cathedral Sprint 2010 Team is in the photo:
Eric Steele (esteele), Andreas Jung (MacYET) , Israel Saeta (dukebody) , Timo Stollenwerk (tisto) , Johannes Raggam (thet), Robert Niederreiter (rnix), Armin Stross-Radschinski (acsr), Andreas Zeidler (witsch), Carsten Senger (csenger), Florian Friesdorf (chaoflow) , Jan Ulrich Hasecke (juh), Geir Bækholt (baekholt) , Tom Lazar (tomster), Simon Pamiés (spamsch), Tom Gross (tom_gross) , Rodrigo Ristow (ristow) , Roel Bruggink (Jaroel|4D) , Maarten Kling (Kabz|4D) , Ralph Jacobs (Ralph|4D) , Rob Gietema (Rob|4D) , Martijn Jacobs (Neo|4D) , Martijn Schenk (Schenk|4D), Denys Mishunov (spliter), Vidar Andersen (blacktar) , Vincent Fretin (vincentfretin), Nejc Zupan (zupo), Matthew Wilkes (MatthewWilkes), Peter Hecker – Missing: Godefroid Chapelle (__gotcha), Filip Hasecke (blenderkid)

the photo on Flickr

English translation courtesy by Matthew Wilkes,


©Copyright 2010 by Armin Stroß-Radschinski, translation by Matthew Wilkes, Creative Commons Attribution Share alike