Best. Plone. Ever!
Presenting Plone 3
Jon Stahl ONE/Northwest
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 1
Is your local Plone running?
Copy is at Plone-3.0.1
start with zeocluster/bin/startcluster.sh
A whirlwind tour
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 2
For the next 45 minutes, we’ll take a whirlwind tour of Plone 3.
I’ll summarize and demonstrate the biggest new features of Plone 3, and rattle off a bunch of
little details. We’ll have a lot of time for questions at the end.
A lot has changed with this version of Plone, and my hope is that you’ll walk out of here with
a good sense of what’s new, and with a head full of ideas about what you want to dive deeper
into during the rest of the conference.
From Seattle, Washington, USA
Work at ONE/Northwest
Started with Plone in 2005
Ran Plone Conference 2006
Zero Python knowledge
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 3
I work at ONE/Northwest, a nonproﬁt based in Seattle, Washington.
We provide technology and communications strategy consulting to environmental NGOs,
mostly in the Northwestern US and Canada, with a focus on helping deepen public
engagement in environmental issues.
Plone is a big part of our consulting practice. We started building sites with Plone in 2005,
and have now launched over 100 small to midsized Plone sites for non-technical clients.
In early 2006, we started getting more deeply involved in the Plone Community. I was
honored to serve as the lead organizer of last year’s Plone Conference in Seattle.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, I have zero knowledge of Python. This is going to be a
completely content-free presentation! But don’t worry, I’ve got a couple of special guests
lined up to answer technical questions.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 4
Enough about me, let’s talk about Plone. ;-)
Plone 3 was released on August 21, 2007.
It’s the culmination of over a year of work from the Plone team. Wichert Akkerman was the
release manager. Wichert did a fantastic job of keeping a complex release process on track,
and continues to supervise the process of rolling out bug ﬁxes.
Big, exciting features
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 5
OK, let’s dive in. Plone 3 has a number of big, exciting new features, including
An upgraded graphical HTML editor
Improved image handling
Improved sharing and permissions management
Versioning, working copies and locking
A new set of workﬂows
A new portlets management system
Upgraded HTML editor
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 6
If you’ve used Plone in the past two years, you’ll know that Plone includes a graphical HTML
editor called Kupu. It’s a central part of the Plone experience for most users.
Plone 3 includes Kupu 1.4, which addresses a lot of small issues -- and a couple of big ones.
I’m going to brieﬂy demonstrate Kupu, but before I do, I’ll point that you can install this new
version of Kupu into an existing Plone 2.5 or Plone 2.1 site, so even if you’re not yet on Plone
3, you can enjoy some of its goodness.
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Kupu 1.4 handles images a lot better.
It’s easier to ﬁnd images to insert, because Kupu now previews images before you insert
Kupu now lets you insert automatically resized versions of your images.
And, ﬁnally, Kupu can now generate automatic captions for your images, drawn from the
Description ﬁeld on the image.
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Kupu 1.4 has nice support for HTML anchors, and for building automatic tables of contents.
This is really handy for making longer pages more accessible.
You can also build a table of contents in Edit>Settings... this is easier, but offers less control
over the content, format and placement of the TOC.
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Plone’s security and permissions system is one of its strongest features. Few other CMSes
can touch it. In previous versions of Plone, this power was a bit hard for average users to
In Plone 3, the Sharing tab has been massively overhauled, giving us a simple front-end to a
much-cleaned up set of permissions and roles.
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Ok, here’s the old sharing tab in Plone. The key thing to notice here is that it’s really, really
LONG. And it doesn’t really do what I want, which is make it easy to give people permission
to view a page, add content to a folder, and edit content. So much power, but all buried.
Let’s click over to a live copy of the Plone 3 sharing tab.localhost
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Workﬂows let you transition a piece of content through a series of “states” in which it can
have different permissions or be reviewed by different people. Plone’s workﬂow engine is
powerful and mature, and has long been one of its strongest selling points for larger
Plone 3 now ships a simpler default workﬂow, along with the classic Plone workﬂow and
several new workﬂows.
Workﬂows can now be assigned both to individual content types and to speciﬁc sections of
your site with the CMFPlacefulWorkﬂow product . This allows you to set up powerful, ﬂexible
permission systems entirely by pointing and clicking.
Keep track of stuff
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Content management is more than just writing new stuff; it’s also about managing the
process of updating content you already have.
Plone 3 has three powerful new features for helping you keep track of content as it evolves,
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 13
Versioning in Plone 3 is enabled automatically. Each time you edit a page, it saves the
differences from the previous version.
The new “history” tab lets you access that version history.
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Plone automatically locks documents that are being edited. You can break a lock, but only if
you really want to. Totally automatic. No conﬁguration needed.
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Ever wish you could take a page in your site, check it out to work on it for a while, let others
review your work, then publish it back over the old copy? Working copies lets you do just
that. Some people call this feature “staging.
Working copies is a very simple implementation of this idea. It allows you check out one
document at a time...
More complex staging scenarios (e.g. checking out an entire folder at once) are supported by
add-on products like StagingAddOn and EnSimpleStaging.
All-new portlets system
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This is Geir Bækholt and Martin Aspeli, who created Plone 3’s new system for managing
The most important thing to know is that your old portlets still work just ﬁne in Plone 3!
The new portlets system pushes a lot of control over portlets up to site administrators, and if
you create new Plone 3 style portlets, you can make your portlets do some new tricks, like
give them conﬁguration options.
Portlets can be assigned to:
groups or roles
Portlets can cascade down through a folder hierarchy or (for the ﬁrst time!) you can block
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 17
Content Rules is another entirely new system in Plone 3, also written by Martin. He’s quite
Content rules includes a bunch of triggers and actions for doing things automatically to
content objects, and is very easy to extend.
For example, you could write a content rule every time a user publishes a News Item, move it
to the News folder. Or send an email to the site admin. Or popup a notiﬁcation.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 18
called KSS, created by Godefroid Chapelle and Balazs Ree.
Godefroid and Balazs are both doing talks about KSS today and tomorrow, if you want to
know more about KSS.
A “Nu” Theme
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Plone 3 ships with the same default “classic” Plone theme you know and love, but also
includes “NuPlone”, a clean new visual theme by Cornelis Kolbach and Alex Limi.
NuPlone is an experiment in giving Plone an even cleaner, simpler visual design, and it’s very
much still a work in progress. Expect to see it continue to evolve rapidly.
Some add-on products still look a little funny with it. Use with care.
but still exciting
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 20
Plone 3 also includes a lot of small, but still exciting features. I’ll give you a quick run-
Wiki markup [[link like this]]
Link integrity checking
Full-text indexing of Word & PDFs out of the
HTML ﬁeld on Collections
New markup formats
* Requires some supporting Python libraries that aren’t bundled with
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 21
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 22
Plone puts a lot of effort into the upgrade process.
There is now really good documentation for upgrading Plone sites.
Difficulty depends on how much custom programming you’ve done and the readiness of any
add-on Products you’re using.
Overall, difficulty seems about the same as 2.1->2.5, and a lot less painful than 2.0->2.1.
In other words, we’ve learned a lot. ;-)
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