Plone 4.2 Released

by Rose Pruyne last modified Jul 09, 2012 01:36 AM
Contributors: Eric Steele, Jon Stahl

The Plone community is pleased to announce the release of Plone 4.2, the newest version of our easy-to-use, flexible and secure open-source content management system.

Plone 4.2 is a minor release that includes several significant new features and many bug fixes, and offers a seamless upgrade from previous versions. Plone 4.2 includes two major new features: new collections and Diazo integration with plone.app.theming.

“I couldn’t be happier with this release,” says release manager Eric Steele. “Plone’s Framework Team and developers have done an outstanding job of bringing together features to lower barriers to working with Plone. The new collections interface takes one of Plone’s strongest features and makes it easy to understand. Diazo will completely change the way our users approach the task of redesigning a Plone site. We’ve made sure that upgrades from prior versions are clear and straightforward. And, to top it all off, Plone’s getting even faster with each new release, something most other major CMSs can’t claim.”

Download Plone 4.2 at http://plone.org/products/plone/releases/4.2

New collections

Collections are Plone’s most powerful tool for building custom listings of content. Collections have been a part of Plone since version 2.0, and are popular with integrators and end-users alike. However, collections were built with a heavyweight backend that could affect site performance under some circumstances, and the user interface was a bit clumsy by modern standards.New Plone Collections

In Plone 4.2, collections now have a more lightweight backend that no longer depends on nested criteria types. This improves performance, and allows for a simpler, more intuitive end-user experience that makes building and editing collections faster and easier. Content managers now can build collections in one step and immediately see a preview of the results. Changing or adding criteria automatically updates this preview.

Rules-based theming with Diazo

While some folks are happy with the out-of-the-box look of their CMS, or are content to tweak existing free themes, most Plone users want to create custom website themes. In most CMSes, doing fully custom designs requires developing a deep understanding of the underlying technology stack. That’s why Plone 4.2 includes Diazo, a simple, innovative approach to website theming that makes it possible to create Plone themes without having to understand Plone’s underlying technology.

Diazo, integrated into Plone via plone.app.theming, lets people build fully customized Plone themes with their existing knowledge of HTML and CSS, plus a few simple rules to merge Plone content into their theme’s HTML template. In addition, Diazo can be used to theme virtually any website, not just Plone, which makes it ideal for applying a consistent look and feel across multiple subsites. Find out more about Diazo at: http://diazo.org.

Over two dozen free Diazo based Plone themes are already available at http://plone.org/products.

Other enhancements in Plone 4.2:

  • A simple way to test mail server settings using a form in the mail settings control panel
  • HTML5 support
  • A unified interface for listing content or representations of content (such as catalog brains). This makes it possible to widely reuse templates for content listings without modifying them.
  • Simplified, easier-to-scan search results, including the ability to search within a section, sorting options, and links to items’ locations on the site
  • Plone's installers will now use Python 2.7 by default. However, Plone will retain support for Python 2.6.

The following tickets at dev.plone.org provide more details on enhancements in Plone 4.2: