[EuroPython] Python conference software

Jean-Marc Orliaguet jmo at ita.chalmers.se
Thu Jan 26 15:22:24 CET 2006

Jacob Hallen wrote:

>onsdag 25 januari 2006 19.29 skrev Jean-Marc Orliaguet:
>>Jacob Hallen wrote:
>>>This said, I'll be just as happy not doing registration with the CAPS
>>>system, as it would require a bit of work from me. However, I think that
>>>the CAPS system encapsulates the lessons we have learned in a way that
>>>the other proposals are unlikely to do.
>>>For the website with information about the conference, what we had the
>>>last 2 years was hopelessly over-engineered. There is need for some
>>>fairly advanced templating, which allows for the display of banner ads,
>>>unified dropdown menus and such, but the content management behind has
>>>really been in the way of collaborative work on the website. The ideal
>>>solution from my horizon would be a very small directory tree with a
>>>simple include mechanism and files written in either xhtml or Rest. The
>>>webserver would handle the includes, the Rest translations and finally
>>>fill in the dynamic content before serving up a webpage. Doing Plone or
>>>CPS for handling a site of about 25 web pages is as impractical as
>>>shooting mosquitos with an anti-aircraft gun.
>>>Jacob Hallén
>>There are 120 pages on the current europython site (not 25). Doing that
>>on a wiki with banners, menus, ... is not completely as trivial as you
>>suggest (see for instance what you'll get with a wiki
>>http://wiki.python.org/moin/PyCon2006 )
>I count 25 distinct pages that are viewable by visitors to the site, plus a 
>few off-site links. I don't know what the other 95 pages do. They seem to be 
>overhead to me.
>I'm not suggesting that building the website is completely trivial.I'm saying 
>that the solutions we have seen so far have made the job more difficult than 
>it needs to be. Laura Creighton and I were the main content providers both 
>for the 2005 and the 2004 conferences. We found that Plone imposed a number 
>of limitations on the overall look of the website, and that it had a 
>cumbersome interface for entering content. CPS fixed the limitations of the 
>overall look, but imposed arbitrary limitations on page design (for instance, 
>I could not scale pictures as I liked). It also has a workflow model that is 
>unsuitable for close collaboration on individual pages,as you are supposed to 
>develop pages in your own sandbox and then publish them. We ended up building 
>everything in the published space and giving full privileges to everything to 
>everyone wanting to do any modifications. 

Images are scaled down to a certain limit to avoid breaking the page's 
design, the size might have been increased at will.

Concerning the workflow, you misunderstood how it works hence you draw 
hasty conclusions. You are not supposed to create documents "in your own 
sandbox". Documents are created inside common workspaces. Contributors 
who have access to the workspaces can share documents as on a wiki, 
before publishing them.

>>Concerning registration most conferences I've attended handled
>>registration via email or via fax (cf
>>http://www.python.org/pycon/2006/register.html) or via simple HTML/CGI
>>forms. They certainly use some desktop software to organize talks,
>>attendees, schedules, but I don't see the value of doing this through
>>the web. It is definitely overkill and cumbersome as it proved out to be
>>during last year's conference.
>For these conferences, how did they produce badges? How did they produce 
>invoices? How much time did they spend on handling administrative matters? 
>How many problems tracking payments did they have? What sort of organisation 
>did they have backing the conference (perhaps that organisation already had 
>an accounting system and a secretary doing a whole lot of typing)? Did they 
>actually take into account the individual preferences of the attendees, or 
>did they just create a schedule on speculation? Were the organisers, each 
>with his own needs for information, spread over a whole continent? How did 
>they distribute proceedings? How much did their overheads cost?
>What did you consider to be cumbersome with the handling of talks and 
>scheduling during last years conference?
>Jacob Hallén

I don't know how others do, they certainly use excel, MS word.

I got the impression that it was an alpha version which was running last 
year, considering all the manual fixes that were done once the 
registration had opened. The security was very low since anyone could 
edit other's presentations.

I'm simply saying that all the manual work that you did to get the 
system running might as well been spent on some desktop application 
instead. You may have spent more time building and fixing the system 
than the time that would have been needed to do the administrative work.


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