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TalkQuintagroup is a place to engage with us on topics important to you concerning the information technology industry. Read blogs from Quintagroup employees, customers, and analysts, visit our forums and let us know what you think. The topics are broad and relevant, including Zope and Plone hosting, Zope and Plone development, Plone skins, web design and content management solutions.

New Theme for Companies Incorporated

Companies Incorporated official website moved to the brand-new modern theme.

Quintagroup has recently finished migration of Companies Incorporated official website to the new theme. Visit http://www.companiesinc.com/ website to see the new outstanding design featuring:

    comapiesinc-new.png
  • Companies Incorporated front page has a special block developed to be displayed under site global navigation. This block contains person's photo and personal data (this is one of random sets that changes with every page refresh). There is also a text of different styles added with a guarantee label at the bottom.
  • Site home page main content area is subdivided into several sections, it is organized as a composite page with the help of CompositePack product.
  • Above-footer set of portlets was added, including 3 static text portlets. This is a right column of portlets displayed under the content area. These portlets can be managed as usual portlets in Plone. See three bottom portlets on all site inner pages.
  • Contact form block was added to site subsections (e.g. Incorporate section), containing a form, created with PloneFormMailer product. The form was nicely designed to be subdivided into 2 columns. Form description is context-sensitive (compare Incorporate and Limited Liability Company sections). Each site section can have different text  displayed as form description.
  • Companies Incorporated is a multilingual website, containing content in English ans Spanish languages. Drop-down menu that allow to shift between two languages is available on all site inner pages.
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World Plone Day 2009 in Lviv, Ukraine

Yesterday was the second annual World Plone Day held around the globe to promote Plone.

WPD 2009This year Plone community decided to continue tradition of celebration of World Plone Day, aimed to promote Plone. Ukrainian Plone Users Group joined the celebrations and organized a meeting in Lviv, Ukraine. It was one of approximately 45 seminars that took place around the world on all continents. About 20 attendees were present at the seminar, where 3 reports were presented.

 

More photos from World Plone Day 2009 in Lviv are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/quintagroup/sets/72157617126947845

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News from Quintagroup Plone Products Releases

Overview of the recent Plone products releases by Quintagroup (March - April 2009).

Ping Tool

Ping Tool (quintagroup.pingtool) was modernized and is now available as an eggified package for Plone 3 series. See release 1.1.3 which has adapters, utilities, uninstall configlet, modified tests, and integration with Outbound Syndication (Vice) added.

quintagroup.pingtool package is based on formerly known qPingTool product.

Plone SEO

quintagroup.seotimizer package had more releases issued - 2.0.4 and 2.0.5. New releases include some improvements ans modernization of SEOptimizer product from Quintagroup. Adding of a new feature is worth mentioning here which is canonical URL, useful for search engine marketing purposes.

Theme 3 Template

quintagroup.themetemplate - is a brand new package from Quintagroup. This is an enhanced "Plone 3 Theme" template from Zopeskel.

This package includes addcontent local command, which allows to extend base Plone theme by additional elements, such as: skin layers, portlets, viewlets, css and js resources, and objects in zexp files. This package is an analogue of Archetype template in terms of its functionality.

Helpful Links

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Live Plone Themes Slideshows

Launching of a slideshow series, representing live websites with Quintagroup Plone Themes installed.

Quintagroup has been monitoring the way our Plone skins and themes are used. We tried to collect live websites that use our free or premium skins, both on web and intranet projects. Inspection of the websites, we've managed to find so far, gave us a possibility to see how customers use our skins, sometimes leaving them in their original state, sometimes changing them drastically, making it impossible to recognize our skin at first sight.

As we gathered more and more such sites, we decided to make slideshows, displaying different realizations of our themes in one place. We created a separate slideshow for every Plone theme, each one displaying live websites with certain Plone skin installed.

Have a look at Live Plone Themes page, that include links to all the slideshows we've created on Picasa: Chameleon, Brio, Schools, Flow, WhiteBlack, Lite, Business4, and Coral Live Plone Theme Slideshows.

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Quintagroup theme on plone4lib website

Estate Lite Plone theme used on a new Plone community website.

Quintagroup is proud to know that one of our Plone Themes was used for the new Plone online project - plone4lib. Plone4lib is an online community site for libraries and librarians using Plone open-source content management system. The goal of this project is to share information and ideas about using Plone in libraries. So, all types of librarians/libraries using or interested in Plone are welcomed to get involved in Plone4Lib.

Estate Lite Plone theme, that is one of the newest free Quintagroup themes, was used as a basis for plone4lib website. Even though the site still lacks its own logo, Estate Lite theme seems to be a nice choice for this website.

We are very glad that our theme was selected among the wide range of other Plone Skins!

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Plone theme installation challenge

Overview of the recent Plone theme installation methods and how to succeed in installing Plone theme.

We have recently received a couple of emails from Matthew Polack, who shared the difficulties he faced while installing new-styled themes for Plone. This client has successfully experienced installation of our Schools Skin for his Intranet website. Thanks to our skin installation instructions for Plone 2.1 - 2.5 is was the easy thing to do. Old-styled Plone products (School Skin was one of those) were really easy to install. Unpack skin product into the Products folder of Zope Instance, Zope restart, and installation via QuickInstaller. Only 3 steps and you are done!

What concerns new way of developing themes as python packages, and releasing them as eggs, the situating gets worse... It is fine and probably much easier for experiences Plone users to deal with it. But for Plone novices such instructions as: "Add to the list of eggs to install" or "Tell the plone.recipe.zope2instance recipe to install a ZCML slug" may sound a little like Latin. And it is understandable. Comparing to previous installation process such new instructions are a real hurdle.

That is why users from Windows background with no experience in Python programming and in Plone structural architecture find this too complicated. Installation of new-styled themes (such as Estate Lite theme), which normally takes couple of minuted, took them several days!

Trying to help our clients and satisfy their needs, we decided to expand instructions on installing themes for Plone 3. Out new tutorial How to Install Free Plone Themes on Plone 3 includes information on installing Plone themes on traditional Zope instances as well as on buildout-based ones. We also added information on ways of using both theme source tar.gz packages and eggs. We made our best to help Plone newbies succeed in carrying out installation process.

Our new instructions did make the task much easier. We received 'thank you' email for our work on the tutorial, saying that instructions already make a sense. Hope no more problems with themes installation will arise. If you still have any difficulties with themes installation or any other relevant issue - feel free to send us feedbacks.

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Recent Quintagroup Products releases

Overview of the latest Quintagroup Plone products releases (January - March 2009).

Quintagroup has recently prepared and released some new products for Plone 3. These products are eggified to be used on instances that use buildout.

Moreover, old-style Quintagroup products have been actively transformed to the new buildout-based standards for the last months. Since the beginning of this year 2009, we have managed to release the following products in their new form: all eggified to be used on buildout-based instances: quintagroup.plonetabs (0.5 alpha) and quintagroup.seoptimizer (2.0.2 release).

All products mentioned above are available for download form PyPi website.

Besides, we still support traditional way of installing Plone products, that's why we also prepared releases of the following products for Plone 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2.

To stay informed about Quintagroup new product releases - subscribe to our rss2-icon.png Plone Products RSS feed.

 

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Zope at Google AppEngine

GAE exposed a challenge to run Zope in severe environment

When Google released GAE, a lot of folks in Zope world turned their sights to Google because Python, the heart of Zope was the language GAE was talking in then. Preliminary experiments showed that Zope and namely ZODB, persistence machinery behind Zope had little chances to survive at GAE. Folks succeeded into porting component architecture there, in running with non-ZODB storage, and in many other initiatives.

We set the goal high: Run Zope3 at GAE with ZODB and persistency. After 9 month of growth together with GAE, its SDK and service we've had basic zope3, worldcookery and grok' adder running at Google. We've learned a lot about GAE at its limits, were puzzled with a lot of obscure moments. Experienced unexpected and unreported kills. Rewrote launch and processing machinery several times.

There are many details to what was accomplished and how it was accomplished, you can see some from slides below. Zope3 is far from being production ready for GAE, but it works! We've even came with quick-n-dirty buildout that transforms Zope into GAE deliverable with single bin/buildout. Comments are welcome.

Topical discussion at http://chatterous.com/zope-gae.

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Plone translated into Ukrainian

Plone is now available in Ukrainian thanks to Ukrainian Plone Users Group efforts!

About 2 months ago Ukrainian Plone Users Group (aimed to unite people, interested in Plone Ukrainian community life) decided to take the initiative to complete the translation of Plone into Ukrainian.

There is a Ukrainian translation included into Plone 3.0, but this is rather poor translation with much less than 50% of the translated data. So, we began to translate every line one by one, sometimes correcting the existing variants, sometimes skipping lines to get back to them later.

We tried to do our best in making Plone interface Ukrainian from cover to cover. Even though we are not still 100% sure about translation of some phrases, we believe our translation serves the important tool to those, who use Ukrainian on their sites.

Moreover, we spent much time on translating Kupu Visual Editor interface into Ukrainian as well. Leaving Kupu interface non-translated seemed too big gab, since Kupu is used by most Plone-users.

Now Ukrainian translation of Plone is committed to plone.org SVN and we hope to see it included in the coming Plone releases.

Another thing worth mentioning here is the beginning of Ukrainian Plone community project - Plone Ukraine. This is the first site, on which we actively use our translation. This website is a result of our long work in the sphere of localization of Plone CMS for Ukrainian market. Plone Ukraine - is a place for members of Plone community to share their thoughts, achievements and popularize Plone CMS within Ukraine. We also hope to collect all the news of Plone activity in Ukraine here. We will try to make our site as useful to its users as possible! All the content that appears on site is written exclusively in Ukrainian. We believe that with the help of this web site more Ukrainian companies will get interested in Plone powerful solutions.

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Plone Book for Content Managers - now applies to Plone 3

With the active spread of Plone 3.0 release - Plone book was updated to include information about work in Plone 3.

Plone 3.0 is now actively used by content managers, that is why we tried to update Plone book to their needs. As earlier it dealt with Plone 2.5 and 2.1 issues, now more information was added concerning work in Plone 3.0.

Plone book now has a clear explanations to what Plone versions they apply. It is specified in each article description, e.g. 'This article applies to: Plone 3.0.x, Plone 2.5.x, Plone 2.1.x' or 'This article applies to Kupu 1.4.x'. I hope this will be helpful for those, who consult the book when managing content in Plone.

  • The first chapter Plone Site Description has some new screenshots added to compare Plone 2.x and Plone 3.0.x Personal and Task bars.
  • Plone 2.5.x Smart Folder (Topic) is now called Collection in Plone 3.
  • Navigation Settings were divided and now Navigation portlet can be configured in 'Manage Portlets' -> 'Navigation Portlet', in earlier versions it was possible to do it done in 'Site Setup' -> 'Navigation Settings'.
  • Plone portlets has new way of management, without need to do it through ZMI.
  • Plone footer can be edited in ZMI, but at different location: it moved from plone_skins -> plone_templates to portal_view_customization.
  • Article about Multilingual Plone Site creation - Language setting can now be found at different location as well: if in Plone 2.x everything was at Site Setup -> Language Settings, now they can be reached at ZMI -> portal_languages.
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