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The Plone project was started in 1999 by Alan Runyan, Alexander Limi, and Vidar Andersen. It has quickly grown into one of the most popular and powerful open-source content management systems in the world. In 2004, the Plone Foundation was formed to handle development, marketing, and legal issues for the roughly 100 developers that make up the Plone Team. The Plone community has hosted a conference every year since 2003; this year it is held in Naples, Italy (October 8-12).
Plone is a content management framework that works hand-in-hand and sits on top of Zope, a widely-used Open Source web application server and development system. To use Plone, you don't need to learn anything about Zope, however to develop new Plone content types, a small amount of Zope knowledge is helpful.
Plone is built from the ground up with focus on internationalization (over 35 translations are currently available) and accessibility for sight and motor impaired individuals.
Zope itself is written in Python, an easy-to-learn, widely-used and supported Open Source programming language. Python can be used to add new features to Plone, and used to understand or make changes to the way that Zope and Plone work.
By default, Plone stores its contents in Zope's built in transactional object database, the ZODB. There are products and techniques, however, to share information with other sources if required, such as relational databases, LDAP, filesystem files, etc.
Plone runs on Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, and many other platforms; "everything included" installers are available for Windows and Mac OS X, and RPM packages are available for Linux, as well as being available in the packaging systems of most Linux distributions.
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