Cioppino Sprint 2011 Report

Ten Plone community members held a focused, highly productive sprint aimed at improving Plone.org and other core community resources. Here's what they got done.
Cioppino Sprint 2011 Report

Cioppino, a traditional California seafood stew

Ten Plone community members gathered for a sprint in Bodega Bay, California on February 9-13. The focus of this sprint was making improvements to Plone.org and other core Plone community infrastructure like Plone.net and the software products that support them (e.g., PloneHelpCenter, PloneSoftwareCenter, and PloneServicesCenter).

The Cioppino Sprint team, which included Ross Patterson, Alex Clark, Trish Ang, Tyler Randles, Tom "Spanky" Kapanka, Bill Deegan, Elizabeth Leddy, David Glick, Alex Limi and Steve McMahon, racked up a big list of accomplishments and over 130 closed tickets in a few short days.  Highlights include:

  • Merging Plone.net, the Plone community's directory of solution providers and reference sites, into Plone.org.
  • Improvements to the layout and design of Plone's documentation and support sections.
  • Improvements to Plone's add-on products listings

Read on for full details!

Getting started

Thanks to taking the first evening to garden the ticket tracker, identify priority tasks, and plan, we were able to focus and accomplish a lot. (Etherpad was a useful tool for keeping track of this backlog!)

Plone.net migration

In an effort to unify and clarify Plone's web presence and to remove the maintenance burden of two separate sites, Ross Patterson, Alex Clark, and Alex Limi worked on merging plone.net's content into plone.org. This involved eggifying and updating PloneServicesCenter to work in Plone 4, and migrating the data. plone.net now points at a section of plone.org (http://plone.org/support/network). As part of this migration, we switched from storing website thumbnails to a 3rd-party service that automatically generates thumbnails as needed, saving a gigabyte or so of space in the database.
Thanks to Pilot Systems for their efforts in hosting plone.net over the past few years.

Documentation

Alex Limi, Steve McMahon and David Glick worked on implementing a mockup for an improved documentation section that had been produced some time ago. The new design does not change the structure or organization of the documentation section, but looks snazzier and does a better job of highlighting what is important, especially in the knowledgebase portion of the docs.
The updated pages are not yet complete, but you can see the in-progress versions at http://plone.org/documentation/ndocs (which will become the main documentation landing page) and http://plone.org/documentation/ndocs1 (less complete; will become the knowledgebase landing page)
Spanky drew on his recent experience "re-entering" Plone to begin working on a set of "Spanky's guide" tutorials to walk through the crucial steps of our modern-day development practices.

Support section

Trish Ang and Tyler Randles did a great job working on a replacement for the current Support section of plone.org. This work is also not yet complete, but is close! The in-progress replacement page can be seen at http://plone.org/support/index-new_html/supportv2.

You'll probably notice that the page highlights Stack Overflow in a position of prominence, rather than drawing attention to the plone-users mailing list. This is intended as a 1 or 2 month experiment to see whether Stack Overflow provides a better medium for support. The hunch is that it may do a better job than a mailing list at helping people find previous occurences of their question, and at promoting the most helpful answers.

Follow page

Jon Stahl joined us remotely to implement a one-stop shop for following Plone, http://plone.org/follow. This effort included replacing our old announcement mailing list with a shiny new one run via Feedburner. Go make sure your subscription is up to date!

PloneSoftwareCenter improvements

David Glick finished fixing a long-standing bug (since the upgrade to Plone 3) in PloneSoftwareCenter which prevented delegating control over projects using the Sharing tab. (Plone 3's new roles were not supported by PSC's workflows.) This should now work properly.

At last summer's sprint in L.A., PloneSoftwareCenter, which powers our directory of Plone add-ons was updated to support rating add-ons. Since then, the ranking by rating has been criticized because it is not very sophisticated and is too easy to game (it sorts by average, so an add-on with a single rating of 5 places higher than an add-on with many high ratings averaging just under 5). To try to improve on this, Elizabeth Leddy implemented a simpler "thumbs up/thumbs down" rating system, so that we can simply sort by how many people liked an add-on.

In addition, David Glick added a separate option to sort by how many times add-ons have been downloaded from PyPI. This count is updated once a day as long as the add-on has its distutils package name configured correctly on plone.org. And Liz fixed the "recently updated" sort option to work based on release dates rather than modification dates.

Bill Deegan worked on the thankless task of transferring old Plone release files from their previous home on Sourceforge to the Plone products page so that all releases can now be found in one place.

Miscellaneous fixes

  • Logins to plone.org are now handled over SSL. (Thanks SteveM!) Trish and Tyler also fixed the alignment of the labels on the login form. Hip hip hurray!
  • Ross fixed http://plone.org/team so that the navigation to other teams actually shows up.
  • David Glick fixed a KSS-related issue which was breaking dragging things to reorder in the folder_contents views on plone.org.
  • Trish and Tyler fixed plone.org's print stylesheet.
  • David Glick got fed up with needing to install PIL even if I'm developing a feature that has nothing to do with images, so he updated Plone trunk to print warnings on startup instead of failing when PIL is missing.
  • plone.com.ar and plone.cl now redirect to the Plone Cono Sur page.
  • We installed the Persona plugin on jenkins.plone.org so that our beloved release manager Eric Steele can keep an eye on things while the builds are running.
  • Bill and Spanky worked on baddog.bookreview as an exercise in creating an Archetypes-based book review content type for use on the BayPIGgies website.
  • Lots more little fixes and ticket gardening. Altogether, we closed 130 or so website-related tickets, leaving just 48 in the plone.org tracker and in the website component of the plone tracker, which is now the preferred location for filing plone.org related bugs.

Conclusion

Overall, the Cioppino Sprint provides a great model for a small, locally oriented sprint focused on contributing to the community in a tangible way. Here's to many more, both on the US West Coast and beyond! There is certainly plenty more that could still be done to make plone.org truly excellent.