Re: [EuroPython] EPC 2005: where and when?

Magnus Lycka magnus at
Wed Oct 6 18:56:18 CEST 2004

> Laura Creighton wrote:
> > But I think that everybody who worked on the conference
> > last year is aware of how thoroughly unhappy and frustrated I was with Plone,
> > and the Plonish way of doing things, which is why I want to provide an alternative.

Dario replied: 
> sure, though I think the problem with that stance is that many others 
> were not unhappy. 

I am so far unimpressed by Plone. I think I just realized why, and
also why there is this big gap in opinons about it. It seems to me
that Plone is designed to make web site designers and administrators
happy, and it seems that this happens at the expense of the visitors
of the web site. Most Plone sites I see look reasonably good (although
rather similar after a while) but provide poor navigation, often expose 
flaws (like links or searches leading to pages that doesn't seem to be 
intended for site visitors) and expose things on the pages that are 
irrelevant to normal site visitors and thus increase the cognitive load 
without adding value.

I think it's important that things that are irrelevant to normal site
visitors are not shown to normal site visitors. Is that possible with
Plone? (I.e. hide the log in and join links for normal users, make sure
that .)

I also got the feeling that he site designers tried to use features
of Plone that weren't at all ideal (or even intended) for the use it
got. The main example was to use the login and editing features that
are intended for Plone content providers for registration of conference
attendees and speakers. To me it's really surprising (and poor design) 
to mix web site data with conference business data, but the foremost 
problem was that registration was a lot more confusing than it ought to 
be. Plone developement reminds me of application development in MS Excel,
and that is not in Plones favour...

It seems to me that the EPC 2004 web site developers were too focused on 
using Plone features, and too little focused on building a web site that 
was easy for a visitor to use, or perhaps they were a little near sighted,
and saw things too much with plony eyes...

I think the site felt complicated and difficult to navigate. It's really 
a small site, and only a few pages are needed. I'm not sure the 2004 site 
provided useful new functionality compared to the 2003 site, but it felt 
more confusing.

I suspect that it would be best to use one tool to design the actual web site (maybe Plone if all that noise can be turned
off), and a different tool (something like Quixote and some kind of SQL 
database perhaps) to build the web application for regstration of visitors 
and speakers etc. The web site obviously needs to be able to show the 
information entered by the speakers, but showing normal database content
on a web site isn't exactly rocket science. (I'm just starting to write
such services right now for a state agency, but unfortunately I have to
stick with C++ :( )

Plone might be a great site for large intranets and some applications,
but my impression so far is that it's not suited for sites like, which must be easy to understand and use for people
who only use it once or twice.

Magnus Lycka, Thinkware AB
Eklovsvagen 146, S-443 50 Lerum, SWEDEN
phone: int+46 70 582 80 65  mailto:magnus at

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