In a shared Google document, Plone puts the project in context with its competitors and reveals its general roadmap of the future for the popular open source content management system. But first, Plone gives the project plenty of wiggle room in its Plone Roadmap Overview Summary, which says:
Anyone who has traveled realizes that a roadmap is different than a flight plan. A flight plan puts forth with great specificity exactly the path and timing of the steps involved in getting from one place to another. A roadmap is a set of options, different places you can go, different ways you can get there. A roadmap offers opportunities to change your path, pick up something new along the way, take short cuts when time is short, or pause to take stock when it is important to include as many inputs and options as necessary to be sure the final destination you have planned is where your passengers really want you to be going."
Near-term goals for the project focus on standards, such as adopting HTML5, CSS3 and providing simple access to jQuery UI widgets. The project will also focus on an improved interface for collections and for developing content types as soon as Plone 4.3, along with Diazo theming support out of the box. In either Plone 4.3 or 4.4, users can expect improved Plone calendaring and event management.
Plone has more "ambitious changes" outlined for the medium term, which is looking forward a year or two:
We'll be separating the user interface for Plone from the content with an innovation called CMSUI -- which will simplify theming and greatly speed up non-editor views of pages. We'll also add a system for creating complex page layouts using 'tiles' called 'Deco Lite.'"
The project also plans to replace its Zope Page Templates with Chameleon, a faster engine for rendering page templates. A standard method for handling forms, how pages are viewed and where Plone settings are stored is also in the works.
Looking beyond two years, Plone should have a unified rendering model based on tiles ("Blocks"), a page-centric content type model and simplified publisher and access control.
Plans aside, Plone still stacks up well against other open source content management systems. Last year, Plone placed third in Packt Publishing's Open Source Awards in the Open Source CMS category.