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Blog Entry for the Week Ending February 24

by Broadnax, Levi A. last modified Feb 24, 2017 08:40 PM

This week I constructed a custom control panel to modify the registry using Chapter 35 of the Mastering Plone Training guide. The recommended method for most Plone users looking to make or modify control panels is to interact with the UI directly, but there are advanced actions that cannot be performed without performing them programmatically. The main purpose of a Plone control panel is to access and modify values within the Plone registry, these are settings that persist throughout the Plone site for all users to allow for maximum customizability.

This chapter was a challenge for me, as it was discussing advanced topics on a system I really only understood the fundamentals of. There were references to previous chapters, and I felt to really get a good grasp on the topic, I had to either complete the chapters, or re-familiarize myself with concepts that were not quite concrete yet. Although the developing was much harder in this chapter compared to the first few chapters, I felt it allowed me to really see what makes Plone so popular.

500 Lines or Less is an open-source book based around providing the users incomplete solutions to many different problems in an environment where users can begin to modify, and develop the functions of these projects. At the time of writing there are 22 chapters of the book, with the lessons ranging from how a compiler turns text into instructions to how a database efficiently persists data. I decided to work on a web-crawler. I purposefully gave myself a challenge, as the web-crawler is written in Python. Although Python is not my weakest language, the JavaScript projects would have been much easier to handle. I feel that by using a language I am less familiar with, it will encourage me to slow down and read every line instead of making any assumptions. The program as it is written does not do anything with the crawled pages, it is however very fast using multiple parallel connections and also reuses connections for multiple requests. My goal for next week is to devise an addition to this project, without hurting its’ speed.

Next week I will have read Karl Fogel’s Producing Open Source Software chapter on bug-tracking, so I can produce an opinion on the differences between Plone’s and OpenMRS’ bug-tracking methods and how they facilitate bug-fixing and bug-reporting. I will also document the web-crawler code to my liking so I know that I understand the whole project, and will then begin to generate ideas on how I can make it better.

Until next time,

Levi Broadnax

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