Plone "Distributions" and the Plone Ecosystem

It seems to me that projects like Bika LIMS, Plumi, PloneEdu, PloneGov and the Plone Intranet project could be thought of as "distributions" of Plone, projects that use Plone as a framework for their product.

I may have missed it but they don't seem to factor prominently in Plone related documentation, it might be worthwhile to have a section dedicated to Plone distributions. I don't know if this is a Plone.com thing or a Plone.org thing but I think some provision should be made somewhere in the Plone ecosystem for showcasing distributions.

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I think this is a great idea.

I can say with some authority (responsibility?) that the PloneEdu buildout hasn't been maintained in years now.

Plone.com would be a good place to point to verticals where we could list well maintained distributions.

BTW... Is PloneEdu something worth reviving?

You mean the PloneEdu buildout? I'm not sure a single PloneEdu buildout could be used out of the box; there are so many variables and edu institutions would want to customize it so much that it would only serve as an example. If I imagine what the Intranet Consortium is doing, that is why they are pushing interested parties to request a demo and they are saying up front that consulting is needed. You could always try to install one of these vertical buildouts on your own but it is like getting the (major) parts for a car kit.

Of course anyone wanting to help with PloneEdu (the organization or the buildout) is welcome!

Currently the most active person I know in the PloneEdu space is @Alexander_Loechel so he'd be the go to person.

I think a way to get an installed with built-in plugins is very valuable.
They are known to work together. And also the user doesn't have to learn
buildout ever.
That would be a big win to start with.
Plus its marketing. Its very powerful just to say we have a distribution
and CMS that is specifically tailored for education.
If there was an additional step of having a couple of example site content
that came with the distribution I think that would be a bonus.

Provide "Plone distro" plugins to e.g. http://www.softaculous.com/ or similar popular hosting control panels? They could run buildout under the hood if needed.

How would that be different from, say, Plone distros on Heroku?

The root problem is agreeing on then maintaining what goes into the buildout/distro...

That would fall under "or similar popular hosting control panels". Another mainstream option is Fantastico. The nice thing about these installers is that 1000s of hosting companies have them as part of their standard control panels.

Yes, that would be up to whoever wants to get their distro within one-click-install of 1000s of hosting customers. That probably means that the distro maker should have a business model (e.g. support, themes, content) that depends on lots of people installing the distro.

How about something like this?

Distro author: A consortium or company or individual who wants to do the work to maintain and check versions and create example sites etc. Same way as plugins work now. Just its like a meta-plugin.

Plone: Includes something like https://github.com/collective/plone.cpanel. Which provides the inferstructure built into plone for multisite and to let users create sites with a prebuilt profile or content nicely. e.g. one click blog site, one click uni department website. This also means users get the same experience no matter which distro they choose.

Plone.org and installer team: Provides the installers and links to cloud providers that not just vanillia plone but a subset (or all) plone distros can be installed easily. So instead of having a docker image for just plone 5, having plone5 or eduplone, or plonegov for local gov, or plone intranet. This lowers the barrier for the distro author so they can concentrate on the content rather than the installation.

Hosting providers: They want good apps to install. By giving them not just plone, but ploneedu etc, they are happier. They have something better to offer their users that makes their platform more attractive.

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