Paragon Project

The defunct Paragon project is dead. This is a brief history of the Paragon project. Requiescat in pace.
The Paragon project, formerly at paragon.plone.org, was formed to curate and promote the best Plone add-ons.
 
The old plone.org site (may it also rest in well deserved peace) used to have an add-ons section at plone.org/products where developers could make their add-ons available and users could rate them with a simple thumbs up or down. However, because that section duplicated much of the functionality at pypi.python.org, add-ons at plone.org/products were not kept up to date and there was little incentive for users to log into plone.org just to rate add-ons. When plone.org was relaunched in the spring of 2016, the add-ons section was intentionally left out.
 
Paragon was to be a source of information to replace the omitted add-ons section, but the judging process (rating of submitted add-ons) was flawed, as it required too much time and work from a small team of judges.
 
For Google Summer of Code 2017, K C Pavithira Reddy worked to deliver plone.org improvements that will be deployed to plone.org as a new add-ons section showing Plone add-ons ranked by downloads and curated state (recommended). The data about those add-ons is queried from pypi.python.org, reducing the amount of human work required to maintain the add-ons section.
 
Below is the historical archive of the front page of the decommissioned paragon.plone.org.

This is Paragon, the search for the very best in Plone add-ons

Plone has a very active ecosystem of developers, and is highly adaptable. This has led to an astounding number of add-ons, nearly 3000 at the last count.

While that is great, it also poses a formidable problem for new, and even experienced, site administrators. Which ones to pick? Which ones are good, which ones are lacking, which are actively being developed. And most of all, which one will help solve my problems, and make my site more functional?

To help in this challenge, we're launching a search for the top 50 add-ons. Think of it as a talent hunt. "Plone's got talent", if you must.

And like any good talent hunt, it has goals, rules, audience participation, and a jury...

 

Goals

Ultimately, we want to increase the quality of Plone add-ons. By defining best practices and criteria on how to assess add-ons, we hope that developers will learn from eachother, and will actively start improving both existing and future add-ons.

Having a list of well-known, reliable add-ons also will make it much easier to create good help for Plone users, both on docs.plone.org and (in future) within Plone itself.

The goal is not to define the final 'canonical' set, or to say that any add-on that doesn't make it in the Top 50 is 'not good'. Maybe it's brilliant, but only for a very specific purpose or use-case. Maybe it was awesome back in the days, and if you're still using an older version of Plone, it's still very valid and relevant. But we do want to give site administrators and deployers the best start in choosing a set of add-ons that will truly help their sites shine.

And, in the end, the golden rule still applies: less is more. Don't enable all Top 50 add-ons, just because you can.

Rules:

  • Anybody can nominate! We're specifically looking for voices from the people actually maintaining Plone sites in practice. If you've set up multiple Plone sites, but aren't a developer, you're just as good a nominator as the girl or guy who wrote the add-on.
  • Only nominate add-ons that are good for production sites. Typical developer-only add-ons and tools get their own mention and category on docs.plone.org
  • If an add-on is part of a family, or suite, just nominate the suite. Examples would be collective.geo.* and plonesocial.*
  • Have a look to the criteria below, and try to already check on as much of the criteria as possible. If you're unsure about a specific one, don't let that stop you from nominating your favorite product!
  • Oh, and do look over to the list of already-submitted add-ons, so you don't submit the same one multiple times. That won't increase the chances, this is not a public vote...
  • You can edit your nomination immediately after creating it; when you're done click on "submit for consideration' to actually submit it.
  • Nominations are open until October 6th, 2014. Then, the jury will take over.

 

Criteria:

The submissions will be judged on a whole range of criteria.

  • The basics: does it have publicly available sourcecode, and can it be found on pypi?
  • User experience: does it uninstall cleanly? Is is actively used? Does it come with documentation and screenshots? Can it be translated?
  • Code quality: Is it ready for modern times (dexterity)? Does it have tests? Where's the developer documentation?

 

Jury:

There is always a subjective element to judging. That's why the final decision will not be done by popular vote, but by a jury. As anybody who watches talent hunts on TV knows, the optimal number of judges is 4.

Therefore, a jury has been assembled of four people, all with pretty long experience in the Plone world. They are:

  • Philip Bauer
  • Sally Kleinfeldt
  • T. Kim Nguyen
  • Steve McMahon

They have the power to announce the Top 50, and even to make it a "Top 50 (for a random number pretty close to 50)"...