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Blog Entry for Week Ending February 17

by Springer, Matthew C. last modified Feb 17, 2017 04:49 PM
The third week of Software Engineering II

For this week, I started by reinstalling VMWare, our recomended VM, and Plone on my desktop at home.  This was pretty painless the second time around because I was expecting to need to change my BIOS, and the random errors that got thrown along the way.  I have (as of writing this) no regrets for taking the time to do this because this VM instance (as expected) runs significantly faster than when it was on my laptop.  After that, I got started with Chapter 13 of the “Mastering Plone” training.

Chapter 13 or “Dexterity I: ‘Through The Web’” is as the name suggests, about Dexterity.  This chapter has a surprisingly well constructed explanation of what Dexterity is (a content type creation tool) and expresses its advantages over Archetypes (Dexterity’s predeccesor).  Then it moves into modifying the fields within content types and making custom content types “TTW” (through the web).  I found the tutorial somewhat lacking in explaining behaviors, but thankfully Dexterity (and this chapter) are some of the most organized features I’ve encountered thus far.

I also setup an account through  This was also very simple with step-by-step instructions as to how to do it.  Unfortunately neither of my group partners had as much luck, with the system reverting them to guests at random.  Part of the result of this was that we no longer have control over the channel.  For this first weekend we’re going to try to use the system, despite none of us having control anymore of the channel that we created.  Assuming we can all get connected and stay connected, the worst case scenario will be that I’m the only person with a sensical name.

At the end of the week I read through some of the other chapters from the “Mastering Plone” training.  Chapter 7 gave a decent introduction to and brief history of Zope, the database system behind Plone.  Chapter 8 was about what’s new in Plone 5, and since I have no context for any other version of Plone, this seemed like the details probably weren’t going to be terribly helpful, so I skimmed through the major points about a new default theme, UI, and widgets as well as changes to viewing folders, the system that handles content types, and a different rendering engine.  Chapter 11 was about “Extending Plone.”  Another (better this time at least) explanation of Zope 2 versus Zope 3 was the first major section.  Unlike in chapter 7, the Zope Toolkit was actually briefly described here.  I at least vaguely know what it is now.  The rest of the chapter was, I think, about two different configuration systems: ZCML and Grok.  As far as I could tell, ZCML is the more versatile choice, but requires a bit more work.

Overall, this week went pretty well, with far fewer points of paralyzingly aimless instruction than last week.  For this next week, our group is going to attempt our first online-stand-up meeting.  I imagine most of this time will be to try to identify a sensible project since none of us have any ideas (mainly because we don’t know where Plone lacks because we’ve each worked with it for less than ten hours).

Things I learned:
How to create simple content types with Dexterity.

Some history of Zope.

Zope Toolkit, ZCML, and Grok exist.

Obstacles faced:

Slight oddities along the way, but nothing serious screwing with my partners’ accounts was derailing

Things achieved:

A VM instance that doesn’t suck

Got through Chapter 13 account created channel (##MattJessicaMatt) created by team member, it’s gone rogue because of how bad freenode is though

What’s next:

Trying to come up with a group project

by Springer, Matthew C. last modified Feb 17, 2017 04:49 PM
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