I admit it, Deco looks pretty nice

This post has the jaded volume turned to eleven but even so, I’m impressed.

I watched the video of Rob Gietema’s presentation on Deco, the “new way to manage page layout, composite pages and rich content in Plone 4”.  I approach the entire topic with cynicism, dread, and exhaustion on a number of fronts.

Well, color me intrigued.  I’ll probably clutch tightly to my bitter, curmudgeonly outlook.  But I must confess to being impressed, in a number of ways.  I think they’ve done a good job thinking about the problem.  It looks like they’re going slow and being unafraid to refactor ideas and implementations.  It also has, already, a nice visual appeal along with some clever simplifying assumptions to keep the congitive overload under control.  Finally, this is a hard space to work in, technically, and it seems like they have some mad skillz.

There’s still a lot of challenge ahead.  The biggest is what I view as the chief paradox confronting Plone.  On one hand, a significant portion of people are fed up with how some of the features are implemented.  But on the other hand, they’re burned out by a legacy of undead overhauls and don’t have much patience for revolution.  (Sidebar: my opinion is, I sympathize but The Time Has Come.)

Additionally, while it’s a lot of work to do the product, it’s a lot more work to do the “whole” product: documentation, bug fixing, ongoing compatibility, performance, and other stuff over the long haul.  Letting Deco have a long gestation period outside the core would be advisable.  The more baked it is, the more legitimate it will feel when added to Plone, and the less resistance from the undead-overhaul-worriers.

So good luck Deco.  If even 2/3 of the features are implemented, but implemented superbly over the long haul, then Plone will have something sweet to hang its hat on.  (All of the above applies equally to Dexterity, the new content type system.)


One Response to “I admit it, Deco looks pretty nice”

  1. Jon Stahl Says:

    Great post, Paul — I agree wholeheartedly. 🙂

    FYI, Deco and Dexterity are targeted at Plone 5 (which was formerly known as Plone 4), but not at Plone 4-as-it-actually-is-happening. For precisely the reasons you indicate.

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