In May 2004, the Plone Foundation was formed as a supporting organization for Plone, an open source web content management solution. They have finally achieved one of their key objectives -- to have the Plone community at large take ownership of the "Plone" word in nearly all areas of the world.
In doing so, the open source community has set the bar just that much higher for what we all consider “open source”.The Plone foundation, modeled after similar open source ventures like the Apache Software Foundation, was created to ensure the Plone content management system continues to grow and be used widely. Key objectives focus on ensuring that the community remains committed to providing clear, neutral and sustainable ownership of code and that it acts as the voice of Plone for all communications and promotional material.
In an attempt to further define the Plone name as community owned and not applicable to any single company, Plone Solutions -- one of the biggest contributors to the Plone cms -- has chosen to change their name to Jarn (old Norse for “iron”).
This move demonstrates the support many companies are giving to the community agenda and not their own ambitions.
This is what Open Source is supposed to be about, right? A large independent community of developers and companies supporting a product that they believe is the best solution without the the competing interests of individual vendors involved . Not many other CMS community's can say this.
In fact, in 2006, Zea Partners changed its name (Zope Europe Association) for the same reasons: to maintain a clear separation between Zea organization and Zope the community project. (Zope is the open source web server and development platform that Plone is built upon.)
In a recent discussion with CMSWire, Scott Paley, CTO of Abstract Edge, a consulting company deeply focused on Plone-based solutions, summed-up the news handily:
“This is an exciting landmark in the maturation of Plone and makes Plone's organization a beacon for other open source projects. While many open source projects are centered around a single company, or sometimes a few, that dominate -- for example, MySQL and now Drupal -- there is little risk that Plone's direction can possibly be controlled by any single vendor. [...] Plone, as a enormously successful community-driven project, is now organized as a true democratic community, something that should greatly enhance the project.
Remember that one of the great selling points of open source software is that you are not locked in to a single vendor. However, in OS projects where a single vendor dominates, is that completely true? The Plone Foundation's ownership of the trademark shows that in the case of Plone, it most certainly is the case.”
For more details on Plone, readers might be interested in our deployment case study for DISCOVER MAGAZINE. See the article entitled Discovering Plone Content Management System (Part 1).