Progress Towards A New Commenting System for Plone

Commenting is the building block of most “social” features on the web.  Plone has had commenting since its very early releases, and got a lot of things right the first time.  However, the web has become more sophisticated since 2004, and our “mostly good enough” commenting framework is now showing its age.  It’s time for a rewrite, and that rewrite is under way!  Here’s a short progress update, and an invitation to help out.

Thanks to Google Summer of Code 2009, Timo Stollenwerk is leading the work on plone.app.discussion, a modern, lightweight, easy-to-extend commenting system for Plone.   Martin Aspeli is serving as the project mentor, and is playing a large role in designing the architecture, project management and quality assurance — all with a goal of ensuring that we have code of sufficient quality to land in Plone 4 later this year.  I’m playing the role of the “customer,” helping to articulate and prioritize requirements and testing the results.

Check it out!

Our roadmap and progress log is public at http://www.pivotaltracker.com/projects/15135.  As you can see, we’re using an Agile development process on this, thanks to Martin.   Basic commenting functionality is now working, and we’ve got iterations planned out for the rest of the summer (and beyond!).  You can give our development version a try at http://gsoc.timostollenwerk.net/.  More experienced users can get their hands on the code with our development buildout.

links for 2009-06-10

  • "ONE/Northwest, a Seattle nonprofit that provides technology and communications strategy assistance to environmental advocacy organizations, organized a two-day sprint to focus on adding specific functionality to an add-on module for the Plone content management system. The half-dozen or so developers were local, with one exception. "We covered travel expenses to bring lead PloneFormGen developer Steve McMahon to Seattle from his home in Davis, CA," says Jon Stahl, director of web solutions at ONE/Northwest. "Our total 'hard' cost was on the order of $300." ONE/Northwest provided the office space and beer."