The reality of Stefan Scholl

"I hope there's pudding"

Plone is like Emacs

Not about beer

No, this has nothing to do with the Emacs is like beer article. The article was about Emacs users and this is more about the critics of Emacs and Plone.


People (mostly vi users) laughed at Emacs, because it was a big, fat editor. "Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping" was the meaning of the name back then.

Today Vim isn't much smaller anymore and we hardly remember the time when 8 MiB of RAM were a lot of memory. Emacs looks relatively small when compared to big IDEs, written in Java.


That's similar to Plone.

Plone is an Open Source CMS written in Python. And it has the reputation of being fat and slow. A resource hog that needs a big server just to show a few pages in bearable time.

The speed got better from release to release and is still an important point in the development. But what's more important: Today's servers have more than just 256 MiB RAM, as recommended for a straightforward Plone site.

The server setup of

You can get a similar system for about 60€/month from respected hosting companies.

We programmers are always looking for technology that scales and can handle many concurrent users. That's the reason for the rise of Erlang web frameworks and the downfall of Ruby on Rails. But most of the time our projects won't get as many hits in a year as gets in a day. A medium sized server can handle more than one medium sized Plone site for you.

So, Plone is like Emacs. Once laughed at because of the size. But computers became bigger and faster, making this a non issue. What stays is the question of the complexity. To quote Wikipedia: Plone's weaknesses include Python and Zope experience requirements for those wishing to add or extend the feature set, making for a considerable learning curve for developers.

Tags: Plone, Python, Emacs