Plone Symposium Wrap-up

Two weeks have gone by since the second Plone Symposium in New Orleans and I wanted to write up my experience to share with everyone.

The Plone Symposium March 8-10 was a very special event.  It was one of the first events to be held in New Orleans post Katrina.  Quite a few people were hesitant to come to the Symposium event since New Orleans was shown in such bad condition on the national news.  We still managed to pull in about 100 attendee's for a full three days of tutorials, talks, birds of feather and lightning talks.  Oh and of course socializing.  Lots of socializing *grin*

Some Links

Day 1 - Tutorials

The tutorials went off without a hitch.  Geoff Davis stole the show with his Make Plone Go Fast! Tutorial.  It was 3 hours of mind bending insanity that shows off his latest project, CacheFu.  The other presenters were no slouches either: Nate Aune talked about rich multimedia capabilities, Joel Burton discussed Best Practices of Plone Development, and the One NorthWest krewe talked about Nonprofit success with Plone.  All the tutorials were treasures for their audiences.  Socializing started early and broke off before midnight (for most people ;) at the Hookah Cafe.

Nola Symposium 2006 T-Shirts

Day 2 - Talks

The talks started out with the traditional banter betwen Alexander Limi and myself talking about the State of Plone.  The major events in the world of Plone is the software seeing larger adoption by multinational organizations and more sophisticated deployments.  Told people not to worry about Zope 3, if they continue the "Plone Way" of doing things — we will get you to Zope 3 some time down the line.  Until then, we will simply start using more and more Zope 3 technologies in Plone - TODAY.  Case in point, Plone 2.5 which is now in beta (hooray!) uses lots of Zope 3 technologies.

The rest of the talks that day were fantastic.  The big draws for the day were Bling!, Open Source CMS Landscape, and Open Source Legal Issues.  Later that night we all hung out at Mimi's in the Marigny. The band was marginal -- nothing great.  But according to Wheat the food was excellent.  I had a great talk with Scott Kelley, who gave me some good insights into enterprise usage of Plone.

Day 3 - Talks continued...

The highlight I was waiting for — the keynote was none other than NPR's own Andrei Codrescu.  His talk was great and fairly ad hoc talking about conference goers has helping New Orleans as well as being a creative force.  It was very good to have Coderscu as a keynote for a Plone event.  One of the most important aspects we must keep alive throughout the Python community is the multidisciplinary respect and engagement of other fields.  Hearing tales about the making of Alice at IPC 8 and all of the Python talks at IPC focused around the exploratory usages of Python were truly stimulating.  If there is anything to strive for, it's to have conference goers staying on their toes and I felt Codrescu did his part and accomplished what I wanted him to — to surprise and catch some people off guard. 

The highlights I've heard from other people were Limi's Skinning Plone, Cooper's Debugging Zope and Dr. Geoffrey Parker's amazing Mechanisms to Promote Free Market and Open Source Software Innovation.  The latter was just flat out amazing.  I can't get the picture of Geoff Davis violently nodding — while Dr. Parker was talking — out of my head.   I thought Dr. Parker was fantastic. If there is anything our community needs — its people like Dr. Parker, Ron Chichester and Murray Berkowitz (who canceled because of family health issues — we hope the best for his family). 

The night time festivities ended early for me, but when I left everyone on Dectaur street during the Abita Red Ale Pub Crawl — it seemed like the conference was a success.  Lots of smiles.  I heard from several people that it was one of the best technology conferences they had attended.  Just one person saying that and meaning it is well worth throwing such a bash.


Again from all the natives of New Orleans and someone who feels they represent most of the Plone community - I want to express my gratitude for all attendee's who came to the Plone Symposium.  It was a much needed event for both the city and our community.

Alan Runyan
Co-Founder of the Plone CMS

Again thanks to all symposium sponsors, presenters and conference goers; without you the event would not have been possible.  Oh and btw: the T-Shirt design was amazing! Eat your heart out!