To keep up on the Python universe I follow Planet Python which is a blog aggregator and to keep up on my two favorite Python products Django and Plone I follow Django Community and Planet Plone respectively.
I sort of fell into Python through Zope when I started working at my current job as a web administrator. Python has a fairly gently learning curve and you can become productive for simple programming tasks fairly quickly. Zope on the other hand has a very steep learning curve. I’ve probably mentioned this before in previous posts, but I was tasked to upgrade the website and after looking at dozens of PHP based content management systems I decided upon Plone. Due to legacy Zope applications the current website is a hybrid of Zope and Plone. I’ve seen Plone evolve from version 2.0 to 2.1 to 2.5 to 3.0 to version 3.1. I think with version 3.x Plone has finally come of age as a content management system and would pit it against high end commercial CMSes. What I really like about Plone is its security, workflow, and it’s shallow learning curve for end users.
Plone is open source and is used by a number of high profile sites, Oxfam America,Discover Magazine and University of Louisville come to mind. Plone also has a steep learning curve and it’s a little frustrating when you have relearn how to customize it from version to version. There wasn’t as much of a change from 2.x to 2.5, but the change to 3.x was pretty big. When I did a test migration from a 2.5 site to a 3.0 site it broke all of my template customizations. I relearned how to redo the customizations and I like the 3.x way better.
You do have to keep up Plone developments and one of the best ways is to read Planet Plone which is a blog aggregator of Plone/Zope/Python blogs. I have yet to attend a Plone conference but I have attended three Pycons 2006, 2007, and 2008 and I plan to attend 2009.
I have devoted some attention to Django which is a very nice web framework and I’ve used it to replace a number of outdated Zope applications. I’ll go into more detail about it in a future post. I see it as having a different workspace than Plone does. Anyway, back to Planet Plone. I found a few posts from it that I wanted to share to show how useful it is to follow.
And last week was World Plone Day to raise awareness of this underappreciated CMS, but that is changing.