"Count what is countable. Measure what is measureable. What is not measureable, make measureable." -- Galileo

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CMS at SourceForce Community Choice Awards

The results are in from the latest SourceForge Community Choice Awards. OpenOffice and phpMyAdmin did well in the winners circle, but there's a back story among the also-ran.

Finalists for the Best Project category included Drupal and XOOPS. Best Project for the Enterprise finalists included Drupal. Best Project for Educators finalists included Drupal and Moodle. Finalists in the Most Likely to Change the World category also included Drupal. Best New Project included ImpressCMS. In the satirical category Most Likely to Be Ambiguously and Baselessly Accused of Patent Violation, Moodle was a finalist. And surprisingly, Drupal was a finalist in the Best Tool or Utility for Developers category.

One has to remember that this is a self-reporting survey of sorts, which instantly biases the results. However, the SourceForge Awards do attract a lot of media attention--I saw the announcement of the winners in a Yahoo!News item.

Remember that Plone moved off of SourceForge and now uses LaunchPad in order to avoid U.S. export control issues. That said, SourceForge ostensibly opened the competition to all open source, whether hosted on SF or not. I have a hypothesis that all the finalists are SF-hosted. When I get a minute later today, I'll drill down and see if that's true.

Meanwhile, the Packt Publishing Open Source CMS Awards are open for nomination. Plone has done well here in the past and, importantly, there is a cash prize. Get over to the Packt site and vote for Plone.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

CMS File Sharing

OK, the nephews have gone back to Vermont and things are settling into their normal routine here in NM. It was neat that Peter (age 16) was doing so well with his Python coding. It was really cool to introduce him to Plone. He immediately grokked how Python, Zope, and Plone open doors for online capability.

Back to Plone metrics, I've been meaning to discuss an observation I made earlier this month: who's searching for what Plone-wise. Turns out, just slightly over 20% of those who visit this blog via a Google search do so by searching for some version of "file sharing." Whether its "filesharing," "cms file sharing," "file sharing cms," "simple file sharing cms," or any of several dozen variations, its obvious that people are looking for content management solutions that help them with the basic problem of file sharing. At my day job we have several portals that do just that because Computer Security closed down all anonymous FTP. There simply isn't any easy way for projects to share their content with those outside the lab. Plone is answering that need.

Coincidentally, yesterday we met with a very senior staff member who needed a site moved off of its internal SharePoint server and placed externally on Plone. I'm always amazed when I look at a SharePoint site how limited they are. Turns out there are 1104 of them internally at Sandia. These sites certainly permit file uploads and downloads, discussions and commenting, and so on, yet they don't seem capable of fostering the growth of community--they lack personality. I'm sure there are experts out there that can make SharePoint sing, but I've yet to find the likes of plone.net/sites where the best are showcased.

Also yesterday, our neighborhood association had its summer meeting and they voted funding to upgrade our simple, no-frills Plone portal. I'll be casting about for a good deal on domain name plus professional hosting. Right now Web Faction, Nidelven, and Openia are looking good, but I'm open to suggestions and even proposals.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Plone at TED

Peter Donnelly described a statistician as a person who likes numbers and figures but lacks the personality skills to be an accountant. So tonight I'll skip the numbers and do a strictly anecdotal analysis.

I was trolling the net last night and early this morning and came across a TED video on cooperation. The presenter, Howard Rheingold (author of Smart Mobs) discusses among other things, the role of open-source software in the new economy of collaboration. Definitely worth a look.

Also in the TED collection is Yochai Benkler (The Wealth of Networks) talking about open-source economics. Good stuff.

And if you're wondering why Plone Metrics is interested in all this besides a general enthusiasm for international cooperation, then watch Richard Baraniuk's presentation on open-source education. Baraniuk is the champion of Connexions, the educational collaboration program. Connexions in turn is a Plone site. Although Plone is not specifically cited (the only technical plug is for XML in general), I'll wager it was the only CMS that formed the critical backbone of one of the TED presentations.

It may just be anecdotal and there may be another CMS-driven TED topic hidden out there, but knowing that Connexions enabled by Plone made the TED cut should be a source of pride for the Plone community and a point of reference for anyone else evaluating CMS.

(BTW, the TED website appears to be built on top of the Dojo framework, which is manifestly not a CMS but the site looks great.)