PLIP about mockup and the resource registry

I have just submitted a PLIP about big simplifications and modernization of Mockup and the resource registry.

I'd happy to discuss this with the community! I think everyone has to share something.

Please read the PLIP first before making suggestions on how to change things.

One of the points with the most potential of controversy is probably the removal of TTW compilation (due to the removal of RequireJS) as this is also the source of most evil. I'm curious if there is anyone relying on that. However, I don't see an option to keep it without keeping the status quo which we obviously do not want. The rest of the ideas can be found in the PLIP.

The PLIP is here:

For the discussion let's start in this forum. PLIP discussion on the Github issue tend to become quickly convoluted.

Let's discuss technical implications at the Github issue, it already started there :slight_smile:


I am generally +1 on the intention of this PLIP. Though, we have to take into account that this completely breaks the add-on architecture of Plone as we know it. We were always reluctant to do this in the past because it is a huge step and a complete paradigm change.

How do you plan to keep the add-ons control panel with this new approach? You can not go to the add-ons control panel in Plone and install an add-on that has JS/CSS. You will always have to do a separate compile step and you need all the JS tooling properly installed for this. How do you plan to handle this? The add-ons control panel would give the user a false promise of being able to install an add-on product TTW, which won't be possible any longer. Are we going to remove TTW add-ons? Do we build a new JS package infrastructure? How do you plan to make JS packages depend on each other? How do you plan to do optimize the bundle when you have lots of add-ons installed?

I am playing devil's advocate here (mainly because the questions above are the challenges we had to solve in Volto). Though, this loss of one of Plone's core features was one of the main reasons we started with Plone-Angular/Plone-React/etc. We could not imagine doing such a fundamental break in Plone itself. And if the user has to install the complete JS toolchain and run webpack for each new add-on anyways, you can as well go all the way

If we talk about going in what I believe is the right direction, we should also talk about the long-term implications of this PLIP. Say we do this painful first step, the next step that makes sense is to make patternslib rely on Plone REST API, then make patternslib use a new modern JS framework (Rok wanted to rewrite mockup in React even before Plone 5 was released) and replace to old cruft. React is already in core and it basically won the JS framework war. Using something else at this point and not re-using Volto/React components would be just nuts (sorry for being blunt here). At this point we will have a wild mix of backend and frontend templates which is hellish (I saw many companies and people trying this and they failed 100% of the time). Then you want a clean separation between frontend and backend (which Plone REST API provides) at some point...

We went through this entire learning and decisions making process 3-5 years ago. We did all the mistakes, we tried way too many frameworks to end up with Volto. If this PLIP gets into core and we continue to work successfully on this, we either end up with a second Volto or with Plone classic becoming more and more what Volto already is. In any case, we will split the limited resources that we have working towards the same goal, to have a well maintained JS stack for Plone.

As said, I am not opposed to this PLIP. I am strongly against bringing yet another JS framework into core. Though, I hate to see that we put effort into solving a problem that we had not too long time ago and that we already successfully solved with Volto.

One other thing to consider: we had to come up with a complete new add-ons architecture for Volto and we still have to figure out how to make this work in Plone 6. If we will have two JS add-on architectures and JS build systems for Plone 6 this will confuse the hell out of people.

(I already posted this on the PLIP because I saw it there first)


Good questions - I'm going to answer the technical implications at the Github issue.