Andy McKay: Introduction to Plone


Andy McKay from Agmweb Consulting is giving an Introduction to Plone. Plone is an open source content managment system built on CMF and Zope, which I've always thought of as an open source content management tool. Actually, Zope likes to think of itself as application server for content.

Plone is a bundling of products: External Editor, Photo, Collector, and Wiki from Zope and PIL, ReportLab, Win32Extension from Python. Plone, like any good CMS separates the logic, presentation (CSS), and content. As an example, a "printable" view of a page is just a CSS change. There are built-in content types for documents, news items, events, etc. Content types are used for creating new documents. They appear to be template types. The underlying architecture provides user registration, a search engine (ZCatalog), workflow, and support for protocols like HTTP, WebDAV, FTP, XML-RPC, etc. The workflow is unusual as far as open source CMS systems go. This separates the configuration of security, events, approvals, and so on from the content. For example, press releases could go to a certain user for approval before they're put on the site.

Andy is discussing a feature called ArchTypes, a feature to be released in Plone 1.2. Archtypes allows users to easily create new content types using UML. A generator converts the UML into a new type. He gave a demo where he created a new content type for Products using UML and then inside Plone, the page for creating the product (field names, etc.) is available for use.

There will be a Plone conference in New Orleans on Oct 15-17. The slides for this talk are available online.