[Zug-sig] Goals for the SIG

Chris Calloway cbc at unc.edu
Wed Nov 14 15:55:47 EST 2007

Tres Seaver wrote:
>  - Increase visibility of Zope-related user groups (including Plone
>    groups, Python groups willing to hear talks on Zopish topics, etc.)
>    on the zope.org web presence, and on the web as a whole (ZUG
>    web ring, maybe?)


>  - Share ideas, materials, etc. for user group meetings, local
>    conferences, etc.


>  - Coordinate events among groups related by geography or interest.


>  - Provide a sort of "speakers bureau" catalog, listing folks who are
>    willing and able to speak before user groups.  I know from running
>    UGs myself that the chair or program person is perpetually short
>    of speakers, and that managing somehow to have an interesting
>    speaker, month in and month out, is key to growing the group.


> Thoughts?

I think a lot of this can be done through zope.org.

Granting those local roles on the UG page will be a start.

My ZPUG used to publicize itself, share materials, coordinate, etc., 
through zope.org. One of our members had a wiki page for our ZPUG in his 
zope.org folder. We all contributed to it.

When NZO came along, our ZPUG content was migrated. But it was no longer 
shared beyond the owner of the folder and he had no way within his 
control to change the permissions that we knew of.

So we made our own independent web site. But that disconnected us from 
the Zope community at large unless we made extra efforts to republish 
our meeting information on zope.org in addition to our own site. We kind 
of drifted away from zope.org except for the occasional meeting 
announcement reposted there when somebody had the time and energy.

I just went to zope.org and created a new wiki page in my folder. Then I 
created a new dummy zope.org user. The new dummy user is not able to 
edit my wiki page. Effectively, it's a one person wiki, just like our 
old user group wiki.

So this is something about NZO which has bothered me from the start. 
zope.org is no longer a community collaboration site which could do 
things like foster the sort of interaction between user groups you are 

There are a couple of links off the zope.org navbar to wiki.zope.org. On 
that subdomain there are a couple of B-tree folders of wiki pages, one 
for Zope2 and one for Zope3, and 61 other normal folders holding wiki pages.

Only about five of those folders (zope3, ZODB, zope2, grok, and ZPT) 
show any significant activity because most of the rest of them do not 
have any significantly visible linkage from zope.org. That is, unless 
you visit the root of wiki.zope.org, which itself isn't linked anywhere 
on zope.org, most content on wiki.zope.org isn't discoverable, and thus 
is mighty stale.

There are many places on python.org where folders of wiki pages on 
wiki.python.org are linked and seem like a natural part of python.org. 
The Python UG page is one of those:


and is linked from this non-editable page called "Community" on python.org:


That kind of seems right to me, that the official python entrance to 
"community" links to wiki pages, which are community-editable.

Taking a cue from python.org, I think if wiki.zope.org hosted a folder 
called "Community" in which each ZUG could have their own subfolder to 
organize as they see fit, and if a link to that folder replaced the 
"User Groups" link on the zope.org navbar, would that be sweet? It might 
get the Zope community back on the road to using zope.org for community 
collaboration. Other content could also go in that top-level community 
folder, like speaker's bureau and regional events.

However, wiki.zope.org describes itself as "aim[ing] to be a simple, 
comprehensive, community-owned hitch-hiker's guide to all Zope 
documentation" and "focused on one thing: efficient zope documentation."

So there is a bit of a disconnect between the intention for 
wiki.zope.org (documentation) and our need (community collaboration).

Before I check with Simon Michael to see if he'd be amenable to having 
wiki.zope.org host community content other than documentation, and if 
he'd create that folder, I wanted to run this by you for feedback.

Because there are flaws with this idea. For instance, wiki pages are 
*not* controlled metadata content types with publication workflow. If 
you had a meeting announcement, you'd still have to publish it through 
someone's personal folder on zope.org in order to get it to syndicate 
through the news portlet. And, there is no attachment facility in ZWiki 
for hosting/sharing user group presentation materials in more common 
presentation formats. Also, anything placed on wiki.zope.org is 
automatically claimed under the GFDL, which might not suit the authors 
of some meeting presentation materials. In addition, even if this became 
available today, I don't think existing ZPUGs are going to stop 
maintaining their own websites in favor of posting their announcement 
and materials on wiki.zope.org (that is, we need something which 
consumes feeds and it syndicable itself).

Those flaws might only be resolved by getting some sort of collaborative 
facility built back into zope.org, like a sharing tab with local roles. 
I think zope.org is built on Plone 2.0.x, whereas the sharing tab didn't 
make it into Plone until Plone 2.1.x. Migration of Plone sites from 
2.0.x to 2.1.x or higher is also not trivial, especially after even the 
slightest degree of customization. I've heard rumblings that zope.org 
might be headed for an overhaul again, anyway.


Chris Calloway
office: 332 Chapman Hall   phone: (919) 962-4323
mail: Campus Box #3300, UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599

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