Good morning from the land down under and welcome to World Plone Day
2010! It’s right on the hour (well, just after now) and 28 April 2010 —
and yes, that’s World Plone Day to the uninitiated. To celebrate and to
mark the occasion, I’ll be holding a bit of a discussion today about
what Plone is, why it’s so useful, and what we, as users, are hanging
out for in Plone 4 and above. But, what fun is that without sweets to
eat? And what’s potentially tastier than Plone? Plone cupcakes!
Today, we’re looking at how to utilise computed fields within a
Dexterity-based content type. The specific use-case is that of having
two separate fields (first name and surname, for a Person type, for
example) generate the complete object title. The first part of this —
having the title of the content displayed correctly — is pretty
straight forward once you know what documentation to read and understand
how things happen. The second part — having the ID of the content
correctly generated to be first name/surname is slightly more complicated.
Writing unit tests (especial doctests) for your Plone product is
reasonably time consuming. For us developers, having tested code is
absolutely essential. This is especially true when clients are beating
down your door looking for a fully functional product and you need to
know what you’ve written works and isn’t going to fall over (just yet,
anyway). Web apps are able to be tested using a multitude of frameworks,
Zope’s doctest machinery is right there within your Plone product. In
order to write these, enter zope …
Ever the issue-magnet, I’ve spent the better part of my morning trying
to debug a mistmatched tag error from within some ZCML (aka XML for the
non-initiated). Essentially, the issue boiled down to the system
telling me that it was certain that I had a mistmatched tag within my
configuration, and presented me with the problematic XML tag (complete
with line numbers). However, life’s not always that simple.
There’s a lot of different resources and posts on the
web about how to export a Plone site to static html content, but no
methodology would actually solve all of my problems. Now, Plone is
inherently a complicated beast, given just how much it does, and that’s
definitely putting it lightly. But here goes at my attempt to provide an
actual, workable solution. Word for the wise though, this is for more
than just your front-end administrator to handle. Also, instructions
are designed for Ubuntu 9.10. Mileage may/will vary on other distros or OSes.
Microsoft and IE are insane. Yes, we all knew this, but
here’s the proof:
IE won't accept more than 30 style sheets to be loaded via <style> tags within a single page.
Insanity? Yes. It’s made even worse by the fact they openly admit this
lunacy! See the relevant support article from MS as proof.
Good gosh. I can just imagine the staff (managers, probably) from
Microsoft thinking “30 style sheets? Who needs more than 30 style
sheets? Just kill off anything after that and those sites that use that
many can BURN.”
Essentially, the issue is that Deliverance doesn’t theme (and rightly
so) the Kupu editor within Plone and hence any styles applied to normal
pages by Deliverance don’t show up. My workaround, as detailed on that
post, is to customise the “emptypageresources” page template and include
a suitable link to the CSS file, like so:
It’s another one of those ‘strange’ problems that has cropped up, but by
default in Plone, users who aren’t authenticated aren’t actually able to
bring up a pop-up calendar on a date field.
It’s amazing that I haven’t run into this issue before with something
like PloneFormGen, where you’d think that a simple Date input field
would be pretty common. Although, I guess it’s the case that even
though I’ve used these given forms, I’ve probably never taken much
notice of the popup calendar icon and just selected a random date …
Rightio! So we’ve got Plone 4.0a2 installed and up and running. Boy,
she looks sweet:
The new Plone site setup is flawlessly simple. No more ZMI for those
of us that don’t want to use it. It’ll always still be useful, but
having Plone throw up a simple, no no-nonsense front-end installer is
just what it needed. Other PHP based CMSes always had it too easy ;-)
Editing view: clearer tabs at the top (no idea how many clients miss
those, me included to start!) and resizable editing fields. Great.
TinyMCE as the editor — just what the …
Plone 4 is approaching! Excellent! Lots of new features to play around
with and plenty more things to have to fix with the upgrade. I’ve been
keeping tabs on the change log of updates and it’s looking really good.
Lots of little, but significant, changes are afoot. Now, how about
actually installing the Alpha 2 version of Plone 4 to see it for real?
Let’s do it!
My steps are not going to work on your computer. I don’t think you’ll
be able to follow my words/commands exactly, but here goes anyway about