Uploaded by webdevcafe on 15.03.2011

Hi, I'm Jason Noffsinger from the College of Veterinary Medicine
and I am here to talk about
Plone. Plone is an open source content management system
like Drupal and Joomla and WordPress.
So it's free, there's no license to use the software
there's just, you know, money you'd need to spend on people hours,
hardware, things like that.
And the source code is available to be customized if you need to.
One of the ways that Plone is different from Drupal, Joomla and WordPress is that it's not a PHP
MySQL system,
Plone is primarily written in Python.
Plone is built on top of the Zope
open-source web application server.
Plone uses the ZODB which is a Zope
objects database, so it's an object oriented database and not a relational database
like MySQL,
although you can connect to
relational databases if you need to.
Plone is platform neutral
so you can run it on a MAC, you can run it on Lynics,
and we run ours on Windows because most of our custom applications are dot net
so we can run them on the same Windows server as we do
all our other applications.
So Mike had an excellent talk about sort of what a CMS is.
So this is basically a Plone 4 site.
If you went to and downloaded it
and installed it on your machine
it would look pretty much like this.
And sort of the main,
you know, goal with the CMS
is to sort of break up the log jam
of only having one or a small team of people
who have the ability to update a website.
So I just want to sort of show you,
you know, the basic stuff.
For the Plone site you can, you know, add
sort of; these are the standard content types.
The main sort of structural
content type is the folder, you add a folder
and a folder is what you would use to organize your site.
So if you want to add a new section you create a folder, you can create subfolders, things like that.
When you create a folder it's set as private.
I'll get into workflow and things like that later.
And then the other
main content type is just the page. So you create a page.
The default sort of
editor for a Plone site
with a Plone 4 site is
TinyMCE, they're other ones like the CKE editor is available,
Kupu's available.
You have sort of the standard features
when you install a Plone site, you know bold, italic, you can
align left, right, center, you can do
lists, numbered or unordered.
There's other options that you can use, you know, superscript, subscript that you can turn on
in the control panel.
One of my favorites is the word paste so that when you copy and paste stuff from Word it removes all the
Microsoft formatting and stuff like that.
There are CSS dials that you can add
which you can apply using the drop-down menu.
The default ones are things like headings, subheadings, quotes.
So I just changed that to a heading.
You can create links
pretty easily, you just click on the link icon.
If you want to link to something that's
on the site, just click on the little circle next to it.
If you want to; and that way if it gets moved
it'll automatically be updated so you don't have to
go around looking for broken links. If you
want to link something that's your link you can just type in the URL or copy and paste it in.
And you can preview it to make sure it works
and you hit insert.
You can insert images.
Pretty standard options, you can do the alignment in line where you
need to break up the text before and after.
The left will put it on the left and wrap the text around on the right, the right will do the opposite.
A nice feature is the dimensions.
So say someone goes and they upload a
one megabyte file to your Plone site.
You don't probably need an image that big, it'll probably be way bigger than
the width of your webpage,
and it'll also take longer for people who are viewing the page to download it. So
you can set restrict sizes so they can't upload,
you know, really large images if you want to. But if somebody does and you don't have it set restricted
you can pick one of these and it'll take whatever the pixels are for the image, say it's
twenty-five thousand pixels,
and it'll then take that size
and shrink it down to say seven hundred pixels and it'll take the other side and
shrink down whatever the correct proportion is for that
and then it would create an image.
And when you insert it on the page, that'll be the size of the image
that people will download when they view it, not the one megabyte file.
So it's probably closer to fifty kilobytes or something.
There's other options, you know, you can add tags to pages that you can use
with searches and things like that.
There are dates,
like Mike was talking about so you can set something so that it goes live
on a certain date or
it expires on a certain date.
And then there's other options like
table of contents, you can exclude it from the navigation so that people who;
it won't necessarily say like show up here on the menu but it will show up other places.
And that's sort of just the basics
on how people, you know, edit Plone sites.
Plone has pretty good
usability and accessibility,
it does, it is, it's pretty much double A,
it meets the double A standards from the WCAG.
Some of that stuff's
a little bit subjective, I guess it says here.
It's XHGML and CSS compliant, you have pretty standard stuff like you
can change the text size,
you have access keys,
there are skip links.
It does nice things like when you upload an image to the website
you put a title in and when you insert the title, an image into a page
that title automatically is added as the alt tag. So if you can
train people to add sensible
titles when they upload images, you'll have
sensible alt tags automatically added.
Of course getting people to do that is the hard part.
Other things: like it kind of degrades pretty gracefully
even if you don't have;
so say someone doesn't have JavaScript or they can't use, or they don't have CSS
or the styles aren't working, you can still technically go through and use their Plone site,
you still have the same options that you do normally.
Plone has a good security track record,
you can integrate it with
other authentication systems like Novell, Active Directory, OpenID.
You can create groups to group people together
and give them access to edit the site.
And you can do security pretty granularly with Plone.
You can set security by a page, you can give people rights access to edit a single page,
to edit a folder, to edit;
you can even do things like set a
field. So people who are not authenticated can't see it and people who are can see it.
And Plone has a really good
workflow engine
so that you can set
custom workflows. You can have one group
that can automatically publish something straight to the website or another group
that needs to be reviewed by one or more people before it gets published,
so that's really nice.
Plone has a
really good community,
there's three hundred and forty core developers for Plone,
there's over three hundred solution providers in over fifty seven countries.
And with an open source system like Plone
where there isn't a company with a help desk that you have to call,
it's really important to have people that you can like ask questions when something
doesn't work. So it's nice Plone
has a really active
IRC chat room, there's an active mailing list, and there's a lot of
different ways you can get people;
you can get your questions answered.
And by solution providers, there's also a lot of
consultants who work on Plone and they
use it to build websites
for various companies and things like that. So
you know if you really get stuck, you could probably hire them to help you.
And then one of the other important things with the community is
the Plone Foundation. The Plone Foundation's a non charitable organization,
it's a nonprofit charitable organization, I missed something there.
So they own all the intellectual property and copyrights, there isn't one person or corporation that
could be bought out.
The Plone Foundation is controlled by the board and is
voted on by the Plone Foundation members who are Plone developers.
Plone is available in more than forty languages.
What that means is the
Plone interface here
if you, say, changed it to a different language
in Spanish, all of these things would be changed.
Your content
isn't going to be changed automatically but there is an add on that can help you manage
setting up different translations for all your content types.
There are lots of add on products for Plone.
You know you've got most of what you need to build a website here but if you want
to do a forum,
Plone isn't the best software to do a blog. You know, most Plone people would tell you to use WordPress if that's
what you're trying to do, but if you have a website and you just want to add a blog
you can do that, there is software to do that.
You know, there's Facebook and Twitter integration and there is
image sliders and all kinds of themes and things like that that you can download and
apply to your site.
We had talked about
theme a little bit.
You know with a Plone site,
there's a little bit, there's some things that I can't really show
because this is isn't my computer, but
probably the most basic way to
theme your site is just using CSS.
So in this case,
I'm gonna go pretty fast,
but you don't really need to know this, there's lots of documentation on how to do things like this.
So I sort of set up a custom training style sheet that just changes,
you know, changes the width of the site, it'll change the background color,
it'll change the logo and the color for the links.
And when I hit save
it's sort of an MSU-ish looking site
it doesn't fit the framing or anything like that.
The really cool thing with Plone is;
this is sort of the way you do it,
to style a site, you'd normally save that to the
file system so it wouldn't be stuck in your database, particularly if you do changes to templates
and things like that if you
try to upgrade later it could cause problems.
So it's always recommended that you separate it out and actually
save it to the file system,
and there's lots of documentation on that.
But with Plone 5,
the future of Plone,
you can actually do this with Plone 4 sites now, but
it's going to be the default way to theme things in Plone 5.
And with that you will need to take any
sort of HTML/CSS template
and then you can
use CSS selectors and an XML file and
basically apply that to your Plone site and so you can have a designer who doesn't know anything about
Plone sort of set it up for you
and you just plug in the pieces from your Plone site to there.
That's called XDV but they're changing the name to Diazo
and that's sort of going to be the default way to theme a site in the future.
Who uses Plone?
There's lots of universities, Arizona State, Penn State, Northwestern, UCLA, they all have
a whole bunch of Plone sites. Penn State
has a really good web project, and they have their website, their wiki
has a really, a whole lot of information
on Plone sites. In fact that's where most of the information I have here. They have a much larger list
of universities that are using Plone sites here.
Open courseware sites, the connections,
MIT's open courseware site.
Educam, Utah State, Notre Dame, those are all built on Plone.
Government sites, NASA, CIA,
The Brazilian government's a good example of a Plone site where
they actually have translations here
and the default site's in Portuguese. They have English
and Spanish translations as well.
And then there's even little city sites: New Port, West Virginia.
Corporations, Discover magazine's a Plone site.
lots of non-profits,
Oxfam, the free software foundation is a Plone site.
So there's a wide variety of
people using Plone
for different purposes.