Q1 Status Update
Tons of activity in the Zope, CMF, and Plone communities. This is a status update for the first quarter of 2003.
Plone News 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 functionality. Archetypes -- 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. PloneStaging -- 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. CMFMember -- 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. GroupUserFolder -- 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. QuickInstaller -- 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 in Austria. 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**