we are Roberto Negro, an Information Technology teacher in an High School in
Cuneo (near Turin, Italy), and Piero Giuseppe Goletto, a software engineer
and Linux expert. We are the project leaders of "GRANDASCHOOLNET". This
project has the main purpose to leverage on some existing capabilities in
the open source software field by which to create a network of all Schools
in the Cuneo Province, which is one of the largest in Italy and where there
is a demand for some advanced services both for the students and their
1. THE STORY SO FAR
Initially we set up our portal following a "sure" and "consolidated path":
Apache as a web server, adding PHP and Postgresql in order to deliver some
dynamic content. You can see our portal at http://www.grandaschoolnet.it.
The server is Linux-based, has had record uptimes, and we are glad to say
that all in this project is made exclusively with open source software also
by students. We added phpgroupware as a groupware solution in order to allow
teacher and students to work together on projects.
We presented the portal in a convention on March 14th and 15th 2003, here in
Cuneo and that convention created broader interest especially in the content
So, we devised the need to have a real content management and content
delivery solution in order to allow both teachers and students to create and
publish content in a secure and user-friendly way. We chose Zope/CMF/Plone,
on which we are migrating, and you can see the result of our efforts so far
We beg your pardon since the portal is only in Italian at the moment.
Zope/CMF/Plone complies perfectly with our requirements, and since it is, in
our opinion, an excellent product it formes the reference platform for our
We will soon integrate in our Plone portal both Silva (Infrae's document
management solution which is also open source) and FLE3 (e-learning
application). Both are Zope based so this integration is a non-issue but we
feel that it's interesting for you to know.
2. WHAT WE NEED TO DO
First of all we need to consolidate and power-up our portal.
This requires a tight integration between various components: Apache web
server, Squid proxy server, Zope/CMF/Plone, AwStats as a log analyzer, and,
more, consider that we have devised the opportunity for a
Plone/OpenGroupWare integration which we will discuss in detail later.
This is the reason why we crossposted this message on various mailing lists,
since we feel it involves suggestions and contributions from various parts.
We beg your pardon about that and we will make (and publish) an excerpt of
all what we learn in this process on our portal.
Our intention is to create an infrastructure similar to the one that Matt
Hardy described in this document (see
http://matthardy.us/mywiki/HighPerformanceZope), which he says he is working
Although we won't implement at this stage a ZEO cluster like Matt will do,
we think it is an opportunity we need to explore; we expect to get to serve
users in the thousands in 1-2 years.
Our idea, and we are kindly asking you for confirmation on feasibility and
correctness of these details, is to activate the Zope/CMF/Plone and Apache
(with mod_php, mod_kerberos, mod_ssl, mod_rewrite), FastCGI, Squid (using
this as a proxy) and Postgresql on the SAME server in a way such that
Apache/Squid will work as a cache and as an authentication mechanism based
on Kerberos or on OpenLDAP. We could estimate a need for at least 256 Mbytes
RAM on this particular solution (the server is an assembled Pentium IV
standard machine with 40 GBytes Hard disk; the kernel is Linux 2.4.20 and
distribution is a standard RedHat 8.0 in which Zope has been installed from
tarballs). At this very moment neither Apache nor Squid nor FastCGI are
installed on this server.
3. THE GROUPWARE COMPONENT
We read an interesting article from Reuven Lerner, published by Linux
Journal, from we quote: "The latest example of a killer app in the Open
Source world is Plone [...]. Plone has become an increasingly prominent
piece of software in recent months and has brought many people into the Zope
community. And [...] Plone may well be the killer app for Zope."
In our opinion Plone is the killer application for Zope but we feel that
Plone's success would be much easier if a complete groupware solution is
available for it.
We have recently (in fact, last week) read about the OpenGroupWare project
and we feel it very promising, and we think that Open Groupware is an easy
path is to create simply the Plone interfaces to OpenGroupWare and get, that
way, the specialized solution integrated with Plone.
3.1 How would we do this?
We feel that such a project, released as open source as a Plone app, would
be a no-nonsense contribution both for Plone (and by the way for CMF and
Zope) and for OpenGroupWare.
There would be a single Plone "product" for every OpenGroupWare
functionality, which would interface to OpenGroupWare as an XML-RPC client.
The user interface would be integrated in the Plone Look and Feel.
Of course all this will be released with the same license as Plone.
As we ask your opinion on this subject, we feel that it makes sense to adopt
the "next generation" releases. We read that the beta of release 2.7 is out,
so is it better for us to wait for the completion of next fall's Zope 2 and
Zope 3X releases, since, we read, next fall's Zope 2 will be the basis for
the migration from Zope 2 to Zope 3, instead of starting with Zope 2.7?
Again, should we stick to CMF 2.0 (which relies on Zope 2.7, is it correct)?
What are the exact relationship between Plone 1.1 and the Zope and CMF
We thank you all for your kindness and patience and for the explainations of
our mistakes you certainly will give us, and hope to read from you soon.
Roberto Negro ([EMAIL PROTECTED])
Piero Giuseppe Goletto ([EMAIL PROTECTED])
Zope-Dev maillist - [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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