Christopher Merle

Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Month: November 2008

Planet Plone

To keep up on the Python universe I follow Planet Python which is a blog aggregator and to keep up on my two favorite Python products Django and Plone I follow Django Community and Planet Plone respectively.

I sort of fell into Python through Zope when I started working at my current job as a web administrator. Python has a fairly gently learning curve and you can become productive for simple programming tasks fairly quickly. Zope on the other hand has a very steep learning curve. I’ve probably mentioned this before in previous posts, but I was tasked to upgrade the website and after looking at dozens of PHP based content management systems I decided upon Plone. Due to legacy Zope applications the current website is a hybrid of Zope and Plone. I’ve seen Plone evolve from version 2.0 to 2.1 to 2.5 to 3.0 to version 3.1. I think with version 3.x Plone has finally come of age as a content management system and would pit it against high end commercial CMSes. What I really like about Plone is its security, workflow, and it’s shallow learning curve for end users.

Plone is open source and is used by a number of high profile sites, Oxfam America,Discover Magazine and University of Louisville come to mind. Plone also has a steep learning curve and it’s a little frustrating when you have relearn how to customize it from version to version. There wasn’t as much of a change from 2.x to 2.5, but the change to 3.x was pretty big. When I did a test migration from a 2.5 site to a 3.0 site it broke all of my template customizations. I relearned how to redo the customizations and I like the 3.x way better.

You do have to keep up Plone developments and one of the best ways is to read Planet Plone which is a blog aggregator of Plone/Zope/Python blogs. I have yet to attend a Plone conference but I have attended three Pycons 2006, 2007, and 2008 and I plan to attend 2009.

I have devoted some attention to Django which is a very nice web framework and I’ve used it to replace a number of outdated Zope applications. I’ll go into more detail about it in a future post. I see it as having a different workspace than Plone does. Anyway, back to Planet Plone. I found a few posts from it that I wanted to share to show how useful it is to follow.

Plone Conference 2008 Video Offerings

Plone Replaces Sharepoint, Red Dot, and Vignette

And last week was World Plone Day to raise awareness of this underappreciated CMS, but that is changing.

World Plone Day After Action Report

Twitterize Me

I’m not going to give a complete list of social web tools that I’m using, but I have this blog, a Livejournal account, Facebook, Twitter, and for IM I use Trillian to aggregate ICQ, AOL IM, and Yahoo! Messenger. Not to mention LinkedIn, and a few other websites I subscribe to.

There are a number of Twitter applications so I don’t have to use the website, but I thought wouldn’t it be great if I could use Trillian to manage my Twitter posts. So far no luck, but Pidgin (formerly Gaim), does have a plugin for Twitter. I’ve used Pidgin under Ubuntu. I took a look at Pidgin and it supports far more chat protocols than Trillian does. So I’ll be switching to it in short order, though I need to do a little more research. Besides supporting Twitter it also supports IRC. Something that I ought to be using more.

Links

Twitter & Pidgin

Character counting plugin for Pidgin

Plone Resources

Although I’ve become a big fan of Django, my introduction to Python was through Zope. Zope led to Plone which I’ve been using for a few years now. Plone can be customized but it’s a steep learning curve. I’ve found a slide show with some tips for customizing this wonderful content management system.

I found this as a related slide show about World Plone Day 2008

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