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Plone Installers Brainstorming at PloneConf

Posted by Steve McMahon at Nov 17, 2011 07:20 PM |
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Notes from the open-space discussion on installers at PloneConf 2011
Plone Installers Brainstorming at PloneConf

Steve's Awful Handwriting

There were lots of conference discussions — and a fun exchange of rants during lightning talks — about the state of Plone's installers. Also, lots of good ideas exchange recently on the Plone Foundation Members list.

I wanted to share the high points of an open-space discussion on the topic. Thanks to David Bear for taking notes.

We identified several goals and champions:

Installations should include common layout/tools/buildouts
Except where the platform prevents it, the outcome of an installation on major platforms should look pretty similar. There should be the same set of directories inside the install, and pretty much the same tools in bin. The buildout .cfg files should be largely the same, and the current Unified Installer .cfgs are a good base implementation.
Champion: Steve McMahon
Our installers should be in a common repository
Plone is an open-community project, and we need to have as many people as possible feeling that they can file tickets and fix bugs. That means having them all in the same vcs repository — with no barrier to fixing bugs beyond filing a contributor's agreement.
Champion: Steve McMahon
Use a templating system to generate the .cfgs for different platforms
This would help maintain just a single buildout .cfg set for all the installers.
Champion: Cris Ewing
Installers should be part of the continuous integration testing
We can't test all platforms (why would we want to), but we should be able to use jenkins to routinely test installers against new plone versions on Windows, OS X and a couple of flavors of Linux.
Champion: Eric Steele
QA Testing
A QA team is getting organized, and testing installers on multiple platforms is a great chore for them.
Champion: Liz Leddy
Visual Controllers are a huge problem
Apple's unexpected abandonment of wxPython in Lion, and the unlikelihood of a timely development of an independent Lion-compatible wxPython 2.6.x leave us with a mess.
Unfortunately, trainers have been getting increasing feedback that many newer OS X and Linux users are not command-line comfortable, so we still need the visual controller functions, and may need them to do even more.
Mikko and Craig are going to check out alternative visual scripting environments that might be cross-platform. Limi is asking if we could product an HTML/JS controller with something like a thin python http server to do the real work. That's feasible, but there could be some real security analysis needed.

David Bear's Notes:

- unified installer and buildout
- Open space discussion
same buildout.cfg all platforms	Steve
same repository ->			Steve
templer buildout for .cfgs 		Cris 
Automated  tests in jenkins 		Eric
QA - platform testers -- 		Liz
Visual Controller (qt?)  		Mikko