A number 1/4 for A vs. B means that B is 4 times slower than A.
The Computer Language Benchmarks Game is more a community benchmark than a programming language benchmark. You get some ballpark figures that confirm what you already know beforehand: C++ is faster than Ruby :-)
Plone is an Open SourceCMS 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.
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 Erlangweb 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 Plone.org 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.
$ grep -h import *.py|sort -u from __future__ import with_statement from cStringIO import StringIO from ftplib import FTP from xml.etree import ElementTree import ConfigParser import csv import glob import logging, logging.handlers import os import sys import time import traceback import zipfile
Small program (500 lines, w/o empty lines and comments), but a lot of things get done.
You don't have to download and install a single additional library for this. Everything is included in the standard distribution of Python 2.5. "Batteries Included", they call it. And it fits.
I know, this isn't unique to Python. But it's seldom enough in the programming language world to be mentioned. And it's not only quantity. The libraries are very usable and have most of the features you need. It was possible to generate some data from multiple XML files and send it in a ZIP archive to a ftp server - all without generating any real files in the local filesystem.
$ python Python 2.4.4 (#2, Apr 5 2007, 20:11:18) [GCC 4.1.2 20061115 (prerelease) (Debian 4.1.1-21)] on linux2 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> import StringIO >>> x = StringIO.StringIO(u"m\xf6p") >>> import cStringIO >>> x = cStringIO.StringIO(u"m\xf6p") >>> $ python2.5 Python 2.5 (release25-maint, Dec 9 2006, 14:35:53) [GCC 4.1.2 20061115 (prerelease) (Debian 4.1.1-20)] on linux2 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> import StringIO >>> x = StringIO.StringIO(u"m\xf6p") >>> import cStringIO >>> x = cStringIO.StringIO(u"m\xf6p") Traceback (most recent call last): File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module> UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xf6' in position 1: ordinal not in range(128) >>>