Q&A with Philip Bauer

We interviewed Philip Bauer, the Munich-based organizer of the effort to create and release Plone 5.2

Philip Bauer 



is the Munich-based organizer of the effort to create and release Plone 5.2, the version that brings Plone into the modern Python 3 world. 


What follows is a question and answer session with Philip, for which he promised not to make up any new German superlongcompoundwords.


Philip, you’re a



*plays wicked air guitar solo*


What does Plone 5.2 mean to you?

It's the best thing since sliced bread since I can finally develop in Python 3 while still doing Plone.


How much work did you put into Plone 5.2?

About 8 Quadrillion Mythical Man-Months. Frankly I've grown a lot of grey hair not because of working on it but during.


When did you start working on Python 3 compatibility for Plone?

I started work in October 2017 shortly before the

Plone Conference in Barcelona

, right after we merged Zope 4 support into Plone – which in turn we began to work on in January 2016. So altogether it took three years. It's been on the roadmap for a good while, I just never thought it would be me doing it but somehow nobody stepped up – so I did. 


note: it helps when you have a bottle of Ardbeg at the ready *cough*]



What will you do with your free time now that 


all done”?

I'll add support for Python 3.8. I actually did that this week, and it only took about 8 hours. See





I did it again!”]



After porting to Python 3 was finally done I really needed to do some paid work since my bank account took a real hit from all the unpaid work. I'm glad to be able to do some exciting new projects now with my company, most of them already on Python 3 or soon to be migrated.


Does your family still recognize you?

The kids loved the beard that I grew during the last months of porting and don't know me now that I’ve shaved it off. 


note: it seemed a rather scary looking beard.]


Was it worth it?

Totally! I had the privilege of working with some of the smartest and nicest people I know. I also learned so much about Python, Plone and Zope which probably made me a better developer. But there are also some things I'd love to unlearn; there are some dragons in our codebase and fighting these can be frustrating.


Has your liver recovered?

Still working on it.


What do you look forward to the most in Ferrara?

It will be weird to see how everyone will take for granted that we now run on Python 3 and have a great new frontend 



in the works. 


Many take it for granted how much time and love is put into Plone. 


I love the new energy that is noticeable in the community. I think it comes from the certainty of having a stable backend without an expiration date and the excitement of developing a new frontend.


When will you finally !@#$#@$ host the Plone Konferenz 




in Munich?

In 2030. We'll do a keynote 



on Python 6. 


note: it does NOT take that many years to make a new major version of Plone!] 


interviewer’s note: Philip is not going to get off that easily, either.]



Are you seriously now a Volto believer?

It is amazing to finally have a modern frontend without having to develop the framework for it ourselves. Volto is a huge step into the future, and choosing React for it was a very wise decision. 


I still hate JavaScript as a programming language but since the toolchain has matured so much it is finally fun to develop with it. Also: Most of the heavy lifting is still done in Python.


What has Plone done for you lately?

Plone paid for the beer in my fridge; it also paid for the fridge and for the house the fridge stands in. 


Speaking of beer: I'll have one right now.