A new look for plone.org!

Introducing plone.org’s new visual design. Read on for more details on the technology behind the scenes, and to learn how you can help us stomp out the last remaining bugs.

Finally, after 8 years with the same design on plone.org, we have a new look. We hope you are as excited about the new design as we are! Judging from the feedback coming in via Twitter, people are responding really well to the change.

While our old design will probably live on for a few more years over at Wikipedia

(Hint: Do a “view source” on their CSS file to see where they originally got it from)

, we’re ecstatic to finally push the new design live on the main site.

This is only the beginning

It is worth noting that this is of course only Step 1 in our plan for total world domination.™ There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming to plone.org soon. Look for the following changes over the next few months:

  • A noticeable and expanded marketing push, more exciting promotional content is coming very soon.
  • A new layout and better organization for the documentation section
  • Improved “Support” section.
  • Tighter integration with plone.net, the Plone business network.
  • Continuous improvements to the new design, it still has some rough edges in certain browsers and edge cases.

Pushing the envelope

One of the cool things we’re doing with this relaunch is to prototype some of the technology that may or may not end up in the upcoming Plone 4 release.

For theming, we use Deliverance, we are also testing the shiny new Deco CSS layout/grid framework from Plone 4 in a limited capacity, and various other bits and pieces that need some real-world exposure before we ship them with a Plone release.

The goal is to test this newfangled stuff on larger sites, and since plone.org is a site we all have access to, it’s a great place to start. This does mean that you have to live with some issues now and then, so we ask you to be patient, and help us locate and fix the bugs that might show up.

Goodbye, Internet Explorer 6

Yes, we said it. The new plone.org doesn’t look very good in Internet Explorer 6. The reasons for this are many, but mainly that we’re not interested doing lots of workarounds for a browser that is 8 years old. Browsing the internet with an 8 year old browser is like trying to view HD television on a black and white television set.

Other reasons why we dropped IE6 support:

  • Internet Explorer 7 & 8 are both available, and we support those — in addition to standards-compliant browsers like Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.
  • Less than 10% of our audience uses IE6, based on our web stats.
  • The site will work just fine, just be uglier — so you will still be able to get to the information you need from that customer site where they only have IE6 installed.
  • We show a non-intrusive warning that you can dismiss with a single click, and it will remember that you closed it and not show up again.
  • Most importantly: The Plone CMS itself still supports IE6! We are just taking a stance with our web site, it’s time to upgrade your browser if you’re still on version 6 of Internet Explorer.

Pardon our dust, contents may settle during transportation

Whenever an update of this magnitude is done, there will be small things that don’t work exactly as they should. If you spot something that isn’t quite right, please help us by filing a ticket in the plone.org bug tracker. Note that this is different from the bug tracker for Plone itself.

As always, be sure to search before you open a new ticket, to make sure someone else hasn’t already spotted your error. Try to get a screen capture if you can, and be sure to tell us which browser and operating system you’re using.

That dreaded 500 Internal Error

One error that deserves special mention — and one that you’ll probably see in multiple locations in these first few days after the switch — is the blank page with 500 Internal Error in the title bar of your browser. This is caused by pages that have invalid markup — since we’re using a stricter XML parser, some pages have bad markup, and need to be fixed. It’ll be a bit painful for a short time, but the end result will be cleaner HTML on plone.org.

What to do if you find a page like this: File a bug in the plone.org tracker — remember to include the URL that has the error. If you need to get to the content, try appending /body or /text at the end of the URL to get the raw output as a temporary workaround. We’ll fix all reported issues, so take a few seconds to tell us about them.

We’d like to thank the Academy…

A lot of amazing and talented people have put in a ton of effort behind the scenes to make this a reality, including:

We hope you enjoy the new, shiny plone.org! Now help us locate and squish those last remaining bugs.

Happy bug hunting!