Reboot of my Plone activities

The first months of this year have seen more activities on the Plone front in my realm, and there are signs of a regain of energy for future work and collaborations. Let me share some information here.

Meetups in Geneva

I started proposing a monthly Plone meetup. Though everyone is busy these days, we had 3 participants for each of the february and march meetups. Here is the combined summary of the stuff we discussed with links to useful resources for people interested.

Plone theming

We talked about Diazo in the perspective of the "move from old practices to use the currently recommended way" mantra.

Diazo is a theming engine integrated to Plone, actually since Plone 4.2. Diazo allows you to apply an HTML/CSS theme to your Plone site. Since Plone 4.3, there is a theme editor which you can see showcased in this video by Eric Steele.

File-system-based vs. Through-the-web customizations

In summary, the advice is this: Avoid doing everything through the web!

Through the web customization, though helpful, can lead to a trap: the inability to translate your work into code which can be versioned, reused across sites and by a community of webmasters. And sometimes simply debugging and fixing your customizations will be tricky.

In case you have missed it, this article from the Six Feet Up blog gives advices for keeping all customizations (e.g., templates, Python code, stylesheets, javascript code) in version control and using the through-the-web trick sparingly. The article also discusses how to make customizations properly when needed.

Bob templates

mr.bob is a generic Python project scaffolding tool. It helps speed developers' work and their adherence to best practices. In the Plone world, mr.bob provides a replacement for ZopeSkel with the bobtemplates.plone package, a set of templates for creating our add-on packages.

Front-end stuff

  • Icono: Not strickly related to Plone, but Icono is an icon pack I like to use for small projects or static apps. It doesn’t require external resources; only CSS (i.e. no font or svg). Can be seen as a lightweight alternative to FontAwesome, which I also use.

Plone support offer

I re-started helping people with projects where Plone is the preferred choice. Or Pyramid.

Note that my process for taking and delivering work is more optimized for cases where you come with a clearly defined picture of you want and you need me for specific tasks.

To make things dead simple for me and others, I am using the microtasks platform Fiverr for handling everything. So if you are someone who sees outsourcing as a natural way of doing things and getting productive, or if you just want to offload small maintenance tasks, you are welcome to use my Fiverr Gigs. You can also use their custom order feature when you have more involved work planned.

In addition to that, I am available on AirPair, a micro-consulting service site.

On the horizon

  • I started exploring Node.js which, added to Python, gives us the choice between 2 powerful sets of scripting tools and frameworks. Obviously, I quickly came accross Express, and I will definitely play with it on a project this year.

  • There is a Static Apps online class in the works. I will talk about it in a dedicated post.

Thanks

I want to thank Nicola Lazzari and Gianguglielmo Calvi I recently met in Geneva and started collaborating with, for their trust in Plone, and their commitment to try and convince people around them to use these tools for their Internet and intranet projects.

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