Cerrado sprint 2023 builds localized Plone Distributions for Brazilian government and market
The Cerrado Sprint 2023, an event organized by the PloneGov-Br community, took place from Monday June 26th to Wednesday 29th in Brasília, Brazil.

The Cerrado Sprint 2023, an event organized by the PloneGov-Br community, took place from Monday June 26th to Wednesday 29th in Brasília, Brazil.

Érico Andrei, a member of the PloneGov-Br community and current President of the Plone Foundation kicked off the event on monday by explaining the primary goal of the sprint: the development of four new Plone Distributions focused on the Brazilian govenments institutions and commercial market.

Plone Distributions

There has already been a long time concept of distributions in the Plone community: a collection of add'ons, theme, configuration and policies to configure a Plone site for a specific purpose or type of organisation. Sometimes Plone itself is not even recognisable anymore with a separate frontend. Examples of these are SENAITE, Quaive, Portal Modelo and Portal Padrão. By publishing and working togeher on such a shared setup, and maintaining a source reference setup online, organisations can be much more efficient in maintaing, expanding and upgrading their website.

But the customisations get complex quickly and take time to learn and share by new participants. Another drawback is that so far there was no unified way to set up some demo content into a site, for these you had to select or build a custom solution.

Enter plone.distribution, a light weight framework and add'on package with conventions and some utilities to let website admins create customised Plone installations. With plone.distribution you can create a configuration for Plone with a form wizard to let an admin enter some basic settings, a set of add'ons that need to be installed and demo data that shows the purpose of the site and lets evaluators test the setup. The distribution itself is stored in a normal Plone add'on and python package and can be published on pypi.

The two configurations that the Plone 6 setup now has for admins to configure the site for either the React Volto frontend or the HTML based Classic UI could be considerd as basic distributions. When you add a plone.distribution package to the site, an administrator will also see the distribution next to these fixed setups.

We are still at the start of building new distributions with plone.distribution, where the Cerrado Sprint has set a succesfull example. But our global Plone Demo sites on for example https://demo.plone.org will benefit greatly when being upgraded to use plone.distribution this year. Etra community add'ons, configuration and demo content already pre-installed will better show of the versatility and capabilities of Plone to Editors and stake holders.

Distributions are not restricted for demo purposed, large organisations and institutions can also use this to create a custom tailored distribution to quickly create new installations for different departments or regional sites.

Cerrado Sprint 2023 efforts and results

On Monday 27 members from various public institutions and private companies from different Brazilian states started working together at the sprint location, together with 18 online contributors and were already very productive with 14 closed issues on several packages. Also 22 new contributors were added to the plonegovbr organization on GitHub .

Tuesday the sprint contiuned with even more contributors joining the Pone Discord sprint channel for the Cerrado Sprint. After a stand-up meeting at 10 am, the teams resumed work, specifying content types, improving visuals, and preparing the first Plone Distribution: PortalBrasil.Edu. Our designer team at the sprint created new logos for the distribution. On the coding side, support for e-Agendas was implemented, and there were workshops on Plone 6 development and pytest. Releases of plone.distribution and collective.contact_behaviors were also made.

Wednesday was used to discuss adding additional content types to the distributions, onboarding new developers and helping them find their way in the code base and the use of the distributions concept. Also the first steps and designs were made for PortalBrasil.leg, a distribution for the governments Legislative branch. The three-day event was filled with hard work, experiences, networking, and fun. While not all goals were achieved, significant progress was made on the PortalBrasil, especially PortalBrasil.edu.

Deploy to Kubernetes

Also interesting for Plone Devops experts is the start of example setups for deploying Plone to kubernetes with the new Helm Charts repository on the Plone organisation.

Key achievements

  • Over 30 in-person participants
  • Over 20 online participants
  • Participants from all three branches of government, different spheres, and partner companies
  • 28 closed issues, 6 new repositories
  • A total of 68 collaborators in the plonegovbr organization on GitHub
  • Several new participants on the Plone server on Discord
  • Dozens of pull requests on GitHubsix
  • Availability of Helm Charts for Plone and PortalBrasil

Media and links