Q1 Status Update
April 18, 2003
by plone.org Administrator
Tons of activity in the Zope, CMF, and Plone communities. This is a status update
for the first quarter of 2003.
Unless you trawl weblogs, CVS commit mailing lists, and hang out in the #plone
IRC channel you probably do not know the recent happenings in the Plone and CMF
communities. So here is a quick run-down from the Plone perspective.
Plone has been mentioned quite a bit in the media. May and June's issue of Linux
Journal (At The Forge) features articles on Plone penned by Reuven M. Lerner. This
is the first mention of Plone in a print magazine (that we know of). Hopefully this
will spur other Plonistas into writing articles for their local technology magazines
or even online websites such as DeveloperWorks or DevShed.
The same day we found Lerner's article in Linux Journal there was a review of
Plone [ http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,1007949,00.asp ] at eWeek. The review
was favorable. A great quote from the author, Jim Rapoza: And Plone which runs on
Linux, Mac OS X and Windows is quite possibly the most easily deployed server application
we've ever seen, open-source or commercial. How eloquent is that? ;)
Plone is a CMS meant to be a good base to build your own system on top of. We
don't have certain features such as media asset management yet (Sean Upton has talked
about developing one), but we do not see this as a fundamental barrier. Alan has
emailed many people (including Lerner and Rapoza) asking about Bricolage featureset
compared to Plone featureset, unfortunately he haven't received any response yet.
Please add your comments below if you have Bricolage experience.
There's also a lot of new functionality available to Plone that provides key
- The next generation of content definition creation. It enables to easily
(on the filesystem) subclass and describe your class through a Schema attribute
on the class definition. Then at runtime the class generates accessor/mutator
methods on the class as defined by the Schema. Also edit_forms and views are
dynamically generated using presentation widgets that decorate your Field objects
in your Schema. For the simple content people. We are slowly ($$$ will make
this happen faster) trying to get through-the-web Archetypes rolling. This will
enable the creation of content classes using the ZMI or Plone interface. Think
ZClasses for Plone but being full members of the Zope/Plone/CMF system - instead
of a hack like ZClasses are. Sponsorships and donations accepted.
- Tarball was released a few weeks ago. This comes bundled with all the Zope
Products you need. You should be able to read the README and install the system.
There are lots of unresolved UI issues (the paradigm needs to be reworked IMHO)
but the system works. One idea (Tres gave me awhile back, have not verified
it) is to make the mount points for the Production folders to be DBTabs that
mount a remote ZEO Server. This way when you promote content to a production
system its actually copied to a remote machine. DBTab/ZEO will hopefully be
included with Zope 2.7 standard distribution. Thanks to Sidnei and x3ng for
getting this in a working state.
- Originally based on CMFTypes, this enables system administrators to manage
members as if they were content. This works exactly how it sounds. Members can
be workflowed. They can be edited. Deleted, etc. Ben Saller and Jonah Bossewitch
from AbstractEdge.com originally wrote the system. Now Geoff Davis has come
along, ported it to Archetypes, refactored it and it's in an almost working
state (for developers). Please check it out from CVS. It, like so many other
wonderful products such as CMFSin and MPoll are available from the Collective
[ http://sf.net/projects/collective/ ] - this also goes for PloneStaging, mentioned
above. If you are looking for high end websites/graphic design AbstractEdge
produces amazing results.
- An Ingeniweb product that they donated to Plone. This will most likely be
the implementation for Groups in Plone 1.1. They have created their own sf.net
project full of Plone products! Olivier, PJ, Kamon (who knows where to find
the best indian food ;-), and Maik are all wonderful people and produce really
great software. Check out Ingeniweb products at SF [ http://sourceforge.net/projects/ingeniweb/
] if you are interested. If you are in France/Europe and need Zope/CMF/Plone
consulting - look them up.
- A straightforward system that will ship with Plone 1.1. Through the Plone
interface you can install/uninstall Products. The really cool thing is that
it keeps track of what modifications products make to Plone when they are installed
so it can undo them on the uninstall. Philipp Auersperg finished this up at
the Plone Sprint in Berne. Its really cool and there is a tarball at the collective.
BlueDynamics does Python/Zope/Plone consulting throughout Europe and are located
These are only some of the highlights of developments centered around Plone.
Tres "Sifu" Seaver just merged his typeinfo/actionproviderbase branch into CMF head.
CMF1.4 should have an alpha very soon now. What does this mean? If you look at your
Plone and look at a tool that is a action provider you will see a Actions tab -
look at the Actions that you can modify. Now goto portal_types/Folder/Actions tab
you will notice they are lacking Conditions. Essentially Tres removed the differences
between portal_type Actions and "tool" Actions. Yvo Shubbe has single-handedly refactored
almost all of CMF. The Zope/CMF communities are wonderful healthy entities that
are the biggest asset of the Zope application server.
That's about a wrap. Thanks to everyone working on their part. If you speak a
language (Hebrew, Afrikaans, Lojban) that does not have a translation available
for Plone - please help. We need more languages. If you are writing a article on
Plone and want indepth insight - please feel free to email the plone-developers
list or Alan/Alex directly. If you want Plone to succeed - get involved; evangelize
Plone; test/debug Products.
The Plone Team