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

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Very Plone Christmas to All

I was going to just leave a comment to M.B., but when I hit 500 characters I thought it best to make it an entire posting.

Re: Theoretical vs real. As a DOE/NNSA laboratory, we're pretty much frozen at the moment with funding only coming from Congress' most recent continuing resolution. However, Plone work continues to grow.* At the risk of getting a deluge of resumes, I'd be glad to file yours for future reference if you send it to kehorak at sandia dot gov, the e-mail for my professional alter ego and day job.

I, too, lean towards the application front end and am very lucky that in Plone I only occasionally am down in the ZMI and very, very rarely in real python.

That said, I'd much rather work through someone else's Python code than try to understand a typical PHP script. (That was said knowing that Drupal's PHP may be much more rigorously coded that "typical" PHP.)

Back to my teaching philosophy, if I played the numbers game (something like 20 million PHP sites out there**), I'd be teaching only Drupal, PHP, and SQL Server. Fortunately, other faculty are teaching PHP, so I can skate on that one. When it comes to databases, though, I largely teach plain-Jane (and plain-John) SQL, but with a strong emphasis on using automated tools (yes, even MS Access QBE) to do the grunt work. Similarly, whether ERWin or Visio or other tool, those kinds of automated assistance are fundamental to being able to correctly and quickly normalize very large database schema.

There are plenty of RDBMSs out there and everyone can conceptualize a hierarchical one like your local harddrive, but only a few useful object-oriented DBMSs. I find that Zope fills that latter niche very well and that Plone is a key extension. To be able to give a student a working web server, OO database, and a means of customizing it from a model is a huge instructional advantage. The number of students who go on to create working applications in under 15 weeks is not insignificant and speaks to the utility of the Plone/UML combo.

And like the ghosts of Christmas, they do it all in one night.


* I know its got to be unsustainable, but we continue to have exponential growth :-)

** Where does Wikipedia come up with these numbers??

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