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Blog Entry for the Week Ending February 17

by Broadnax, Levi A. last modified Feb 17, 2017 03:56 PM

This week I spent a good amount of time familiarizing myself with the Plone framework using the Mastering Plone Guide. Some of my work this week was on externals such as customizing themes and adding new content types. Content types are ways for Plone developers to extend the kinds of contend and forms that can be added to a website. Since so many websites need to have such customization, Plone makes it easy to allow for additional content types within the framework.

Using the externals is important to know the kinds of things that a Plone developer does in a typical day, but I am more fascinated by the internals. I spent a good deal of time looking at the Zope framework to see what makes Plone tick. Zope does everything from opening database connections to checking permission constraints and even generating HTML. The process of understanding Zope seems to be outside of the scope of our project. The Zope documentation is very arcane to me, and in the Mastering Plone Guide there was a piece of Zope that was described, literally, as “magic.”

My team of myself, Cory Lewis, and Cooper Walbrun has discussed a couple of Plone project ideas to accomplish before May. Plone currently has the flaw of only being able to check for dead links across a single Plone site, and not across the entire installation, and we felt with our experience we would be able to provide a customizable tool that could help the thousands of Plone users. My second idea put a spark in Kim Nguyen’s eye, which felt great since he is a Plone Guru. We could provide a simple gamification framework, that once built we believe will be quickly adopted and supported by other interested developers. Gamification is the process of making software usage a game of sorts, giving badges for discovering new things on a website, and can function as both a tutorial and a way to keep users interested. To determine if either of these ideas are viable, I will complete Chapter 35 of the Mastering Plone training guide: Manage Settings with Registry, Controlpanels and Vocabularies for next week.

Next week my team will also have our first weekly meeting to try to generate more ideas on how we can extend on Plone in a meaningful way.

Until next week,

Levi Broadnax

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