Begin forwarded message:

From: Spanky <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date: March 17, 2008 2:13:58 PM PDT
Subject: [2008 PSPS] Marketing Questions


Here are some real-world questions I'm receiving from our sales staff regarding Plone. These seem like great 'in the wild' questions that we could develop formal responses for and post on one page on to point sales people at. I would LOVE to see the community utilize the techniques Mark talked about, to develop well- thought-out, stock answers that resellers like ourselves can utilize in a sales situation.

I realize this is NOT the right list, but where should I send this to?

Here are the questions and the answers I gave as a starting point:

Q: Describe how PLONE can accommodate future changes in technology and technical regulations

A: Requires longer answer, forthcoming

Q: Specifically, what is the roadmap for the web content management product?

A: Requires longer answer

Q: Indicate frequency of new releases

I am trying to get dates for these releases, but this gives you an idea of how many and why

Q: How is maintenance release information conveyed

A: Maintenance releases are announced via the website, mailing list, and in the active IRC channel. Comprehensive changelogs and history are kept of all code changes, and released with each distribution. All changes to the code repository are publicly available and instantly published via automated mailing list/newsgroup at comp.web.zope.plone.cvs

There is a release manager as well as release team responsible for managing the release schedule and stewarding the release process, including testing.

There is also a framework team which works with the community to develop the roadmap of the future direction of the core software.

Q: Frequency of patches, fixes

A: Patches and hotfixes tend to be released for security purposes, rather than for features or bugfixes. They are released immediately upon recognition and resolution of any security issues. Plone has enjoyed very few security patches or hotfixes over the past 5 years. If I remember correctly, there have been 3-4 major security patches. I can get solid numbers on this if youd like.

Q: From your knowledge how does the Plone community address...
Q: Process for product defect reporting

A: Defects for Plone can be submitted to the issue tracker on 3rd party products that are found in the Products area of have the option of adding an issue tracker, and most do. However, this is not enforced and some products may not have issue trackers on 3rd party products may also use their own hosting solutions for their issues. For example, if CIGNEX had a product, it could be listed in the Products section but link directly to a CIGNEX hosted/controlled page and issue tracker such as Bugzilla, if we so desired.

Q: Knowledge bases, online FAQs, reported problems

A: The Plone community has made a concerted effort in the past 3 years to write more documentation and maintain the new and existing documentation. There is a very active Documentation Team which identifies areas that are lacking through community feedback and research, and champions the documentation process by working directly with developers and establishing "Best Practices" for documentation writers. The most comprehensive documentation can be found on, although other developer-driven sites also have a wealth of information, such as:

"Planet Plone" is a Plone-sponsored website (http:// )for users and developers to write about their experiences with Plone, which can be considered a knowledge base.
Plope: is dedicated to solution providers, example sites, success stories, and use cases And many more blogs, RSS feeds, etc.

Q: User groups, annual conferences, active user communities

A: The diverse community surrounding Plone is one of it's main selling points and features. The worldwide community is very active, and extremely proactive, agile, dedicated, and intelligent. There is one official annual conference in the fall, which also acts as the host for the annual meeting of the Plone Foundation where the Board of Directors is elected. There are a few large symposiums throughout the year (there is one happening right now at Penn State). There are Zope/Plone user groups in most major cities in the US and several in Europe, Austrailia/New Zealand, and Japan, to name a few. There are a variety of mailing lists for users, developers, marketing, user interface, as well as very vibrant online chat channels. The core community members are very helpful and responsive to new users and heavweights alike.

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