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Plone Content Management Essentials is a practical and thorough hands-on guide to using the powerful open-source content website publishing system, Plone. With this book as your guide, you will thoroughly understand how and when to utilize Plone, as well as how to install, configure and maintain a Plone-based website. You'll also be able to download the latest Plone installation from our website so that you can apply what you learn in the book. No prior knowledge of Plone is required to learn from this book, but it will enhance what you takeaway.
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About the Author
Julie C. Meloni is the technical director for i2i Interactive, a multimedia company located in Los Altos, California. She has been developing web-based applications since the web first saw the light of day and remembers the excitement surrounding the first GUI web browser. She has authored several books and articles on web-based programming languages and database topics, most notably PHP, MySQL and Apache. You can find translations of her work in several languages, including Chinese, Danish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and even Serbian. Although Julie can't read these languages, she thinks that's very cool. Julie is also a course developer and instructor at Sessions.edu Online School of Design, where she teaches students the wonders of dynamic websites.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Plone and Content Management.
Underlying Architecture of Plone.
When to Use Plone.
Examples of Plone in Use.
Why a Content-Management System?
Features of a Content-Management System.
Anatomy of a Plone Site.
2. Installing Plone.
Plone User Roles.
The Manager Role.
The Member Role.
Installation and Access Requirements.
Installing on Windows.
Installing on Mac OS X.
Installing on Linux/Unix.
Where Do We Go from Here?
3. Using Your New Plone Site.
Joining a Plone Site.
The Member Home Page.
The Member Folder.
Working with Content in Plone.
Creating and Modifying Documents.
Adding and Modifying Events and News.
Adding and Editing Files.
Adding and Editing Other Content Types.
Publishing Content in Plone.
Utilizing the Content Discussion Feature.
Using Advanced Search.
4. Additional Plone Elements.
Using the CMF Collective.
Working with CMFBoard.
Creating a CMFBoard Forum.
Setting Up ForumNBs.
Adding Topics and Posts.
Member Preferences for CMFBoard.
Additional CMFBoard Information.
Working with CMFMessage and CMFUserTrackTool.
Installing CMFMessage and CMFUserTrackTool.
Viewing the CMFMessage and CMFUserTrackTool Slots.
Sending an Instant Message.
Taking Action After Receiving an Instant Message.
Working with CMFPhoto and CMFPhotoAlbum.
Installing CMFPhoto and CMFPhotoAlbum.
Creating a Photo Album with CMFPhotoAlbum.
Adding Photos to a Photo Album.
The End-User View of a Photo Album.
Working with SimpleBlog.
Adding a Blog Folder.
Adding a Blog Entry.
Publishing Your Blog Entries.
Additional SimpleBlog Configuration.
Working with Wikis.
Working with Your Zwiki Wiki.
5. Customizing Plone.
Working with Standard Slots.
Changing the Location of Slots.
Modifying the Visibility of Standard Slots.
Making Slots Visible to Members Only.
Creating and Maintaining Custom Slots.
Customizing Tabs and Graphics.
Changing the Tabs.
Customizing Logos and Other Images.
Internationalization and Localization of Your Plone Site.
Localizing Your Plone Site.
International Character Sets.
6. Creating and Implementing a Custom Skin.
What’s a Skin?
Elements of a Plone Skin.
Preparing to Use a Custom Skin.
Working with the Plone Base Properties File.
Working with the Plone Style Sheet.
Quick Style Sheet Primer.
Structure of the Plone Style Sheet.
Pulling It All Together.
Define Your Goals.
Developing the Overall Site Architecture.
Determine Your Navigational Elements.
Developing the Look and Feel.
Fitting the Pieces Together.
Plone Customization Example.
7. Additional Content-Related Techniques.
Working with Plone Page Templates.
The Zope Template Language.
Working with Existing Templates.
Creating a New Plone Template.
Implementing Content Syndication.
How RSS Works.
Syndicating a Plone Folder.
Creating and Using New Content Types.
Customizing the New Content Type.
Other Methods for Adding Content Types.
8. Technical Administration.
Basic Plone Administration.
The Plone Setup Screen.
Backing Up Your Plone Site.
Caching Elements in Plone.
Additional Cache Managers.
Using Plone with Other Applications.
Zope Virtual Hosts.
Running Plone with Apache.
Running Plone with Microsoft IIS.
Appendix A: Using Python for Greater Customization.
Getting Started with Python.
Working with the Interpreter.
Working with Strings.
Working with Lists.
Basic Flow Control in Python.
File Access with Python.
Defining Your Own Functions and Modules in Python.
What’s in the Standard Library?
Appendix B: Introduction to Zope and the ZMI.
Fun with Application Servers.
The Zope Framework.
The Components of the Zope Framework.
Zope and Objects.
The Basics About Objects.
Publishing and Managing Objects.
The Zope Management Interface (ZMI).
The ZMI Navigator Frame.
The ZMI Workspace Frame.
The Status Frame.
Working with Objects in the ZMI.
Where to Find More Information.
Welcome to Plone Fast Track! This book serves as a guide for working with Plone 2.0, from installation (or upgrading) to ongoing administration and customization. You'll learn about the underlying reasons for using a content-management system (CMS) through examples and practical application. You'll also learn how to work with the core feature set of Plone, and you'll see examples of third-party add-ons, including how to install and integrate them within your Plone site. Additionally, a basic Python primer is included at the end of the book, if you want to get your feet wet with the language used to extend Plone even further by writing modules and implementing custom code.
Who Should Read This Book?
Just as Plone is a fully administrable application geared toward "the masses," this book is aimed at users who do not possess an in-depth knowledge of Python programming and Zope/Plone administration. If you have any sort of working knowledge in these areas, all the more power to you, and you can probably skip the appendixes and skim certain portions of other chapters. However, before you begin, you must be familiar with installing software on your operating system of choice, either via the command line or by following wizard-based installers. You must already have, or have access to obtaining, the proper permissions on your operating system for installing server software. Finally, you must be familiar enough with installation processes to understand how to troubleshoot installation and configuration issues as they are explained in the book or as they come up on their own because of the esoteric nature of various operating systems.
By the end of this book, you will thoroughly understand how and when to utilize a content-management systemspecifically, how to install, configure, and maintain a Plone-based web site. Although this is by no means a comprehensive, technically oriented book on the inner workings of Plone and the Zope application server, it serves its intended purpose: to introduce new users to the features of Plone and guide them through the creation and maintenance of their first Plone-based websites.
How This Book Is Organized
This book contains eight chapters and two appendixes. Although the chapters are meant to be read linearlythat is, you'll find installation instructions at the beginning of the book, not at the endyou can skip around when you get a feel for how to operate within Plone and Zope.
- Chapter 1, "Introduction to Plone and Content Management," discusses the underlying architecture of Plone and the basics of using a content-management system. Then it dissects the anatomy of a standard Plone site (for example, the elements found in the standard Plone template).
- Chapter 2, "Installing Plone," goes through the installation process for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix users. It also covers the upgrade process, if you are coming to Plone 2.0 from Plone 1.0.
- Chapter 3, "Using Your New Plone Site," walks you through how to join a Plone site and what you gain by doing soyour own home page, folder, and presence in the content-publishing workflow. This chapter also shows you how to add and modify the various types of content within Plone, such as documents, new items, and events. Other content-related topics are explained, including the discussion feature and how to search through content stored in your Plone site.
- Chapter 4, "Additional Plone Elements," describes how to obtain, install, and configure the freely available third-party add-ons for Plone, such as wikis, photo album software, blogging tools, and so forth.
- Chapter 5, "Customizing Plone," details how to add, modify, or remove elements of the standard Plone template, including side slots, navigation tabs, and custom graphics. Internationalization and localization of your Plone template is also discussed, with examples.
- Chapter 6, "Creating and Implementing a Custom Skin," discusses the files used to create a Plone "look and feel," how to modify these files, and the process behind creating and implementing a skinthat is, a set of thematic display elementsfor your Plone site.
- Chapter 7, "Additional Content-Related Techniques," discusses how to work with page templates and the Zope Template Language, how to syndicate your content (and the reasons for doing so), and how to create new content types beyond the standard set found in Plone.
- Chapter 8, "Technical Administration," discusses the process of ongoing maintenance for your Plone site, as well as how to accomplish other technical tasks, such as running Plone with web servers other than the built-in Zope web server.
- Appendix A, "Using Python for Greater Customization," introduces you to the Python language. Here you create scripts and work with the Python interpreter.
- Appendix B, "Introduction to Zope and the ZMI," provides a very basic overview of the Zope application server, as well as a quickstart guide (of sorts) to working with the Zope Management Interface.
At the end of each chapter, you will find general troubleshooting information for the items discussed, including pointers for where to look for more information or additional help.
Conventions Used in This Book
This book uses different typefaces to differentiate between code and plain English, and also to help you identify important concepts. Throughout the lessons, code, commands, and text that you type or see onscreen appear in a computer typeface. New terms appear in italics at the point in the text where they are defined. Additionally, icons accompany special blocks of information:
Note - A Note presents an interesting piece of information related to the current topic.
Tip - A Tip offers advice or teaches an easier method for performing a task.
Caution - A Caution warns you about potential pitfalls and explains how to avoid them.
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