Monday, October 6, 2014

A Spontaneous Weekend Plone Sprint

TLDR; I unintentionally did a Plone sprint this weekend with Alex Clark on the fantastic Plone installer called Plock.

How I came to Plock

I'm working on something called the Plone Newbie Developer Kit (PNDK), more about that in another post. My philosophy in developing the Plone Newbie Developer Kit (PNDK) is to make use of tools that have already been developed. Where necessary this may involve contributing to the development of those tools. One such tools is a Plone installer called Plock developed by Alex Clark.

I had tried Plock in the past and it worked, however, because it used a methodology of pulling each dependent package as an individual download, it just took too long to do an install. So I contributed some code that allows a user to harvest the packages from Plone's Unified Installer cache. Yeah, I know that last sentence or two was basically jargon for 99% of the world but the bottom line is that Plock can now do faster installs. On my machines (Chromebook in devmode and an iMac) that translated to a 6 minute installation time down from 17 minutes with the old Plock way.

How the sprint was conducted

All communication was conducted via the Plone IRC channel on freenode. The Plock code was already in a repository at so I basically forked the code to my own repository, added my unified installer related changes and did a pull request and alerted Alex about it. and the conversation 

By the afternoon of the day we had a new release of Plock and Alex was inspired enough to start hacking on getting a pure pip deployment approach for Plone to Heroku using the new features.

 Alex added an issue tracker to which we've added a growing list of "todos" in the form of future features and fixes.

Summary of tasks accomplished

The following is a bullet list of what we got done on the weekend.
Given that this was a spontaneous and virtual sprint, just imagine what we can get done with a bit more planning. I think Plock is a good project for a motivated newbie who knows enough Python, one thing that I'd like to see is making Plock work on the Windows operating system, there's an entry in the issue tracker for that.


Alex Clark said...

Nice! Thanks for the writeup

David B said...

No problem Alex. Haven't blogged for a few months, so this article was a good excuse.

Unknown said...


I like it very much! A question: how does it take to prepare it to support Plone 5? Will be there a way to choose Plone version? Thanks!

David B said...

I'd definitely like it to support Plone 5 but I don't know if much work will happen on that before the final release of Plone 5.

Sign up for my upcoming Plone 5 Book & Video tutorials

plone 5 for newbies book and videos