If I had a single item in my wishlist for Plone 4…

… it would be: “Rethink the Document/Page”.

First, the right term for the right feature ! The Plone/AT Document is not for Documents. It is for “simple presentation pages”. That confusion was fixed in Plone 3 (IIRC) by renaming the feature to “Page”. I would argue “Page” is too vague, since the CMS always serves a page, you see what I mean. Some of you probably already have it in mind, why not “Article”.

“Article” described as in “Generic content item where you can add text, images, and links”. This is actually what Ingeniweb and others have been adding to Plone for years via the PloneArticle product. Another way of doing is with RichDocument, though I don’t have experience with it. It’s funny, everytime we build a Plone site with editorial features (most of them), we disable the “Document” content type (in the types registry) and replace it with the “Article”.

You get me ! I would like to see an implementation of Article support in Plone “à la” PloneArticle, the main use case being “easy for a content manager to add images, files, links, and maybe other pieces of content, in an article”. Presented like this, it looks like a Folder actually, but a folder with a predefined structure where the content manager do not need to think about that structure. Note that there may be other pieces of content that a content manager would like to add within an article, such as links to arbitrary Plone content (using references – PloneArticle does that), references to Documents within an exernal DMS, some photos from a Flickr account, etc…

This would probably be done in an extensible way, using a Python/Zope 3 library that allows handling references to diverse objects, decoupled of where these objects are stored. Reminds me of Alec Mitchell’s talk on plone.app.relations, something I still need to investigate !

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4 Responses to If I had a single item in my wishlist for Plone 4…

  1. toutpt says:

    An article to replace the page inside Plone is something needed, but is just the first step towards a real document implementation. I still don’t understand why a CMS like Plone continue to let the user put content that mix presentation with the pure content.
    Many text format seperate the content from the presentation like docbook, structured text and opendocument.

    How to support well multi export format like PDF or ODT with the poor page content type ? And editors like Kupu or FCKeditor sucks. They let user think he can do what he wants (the world ?). That is a big problem if you want a web site accessible (AAA).

    I think we have to take a look at ODT spec, and make something similar for plone content. At least you can cache the cooked body in html in annotation for example.

  2. […] I had a single item in my wishlist for Plone 4…“ by Kamon […]

  3. kamon says:

    Thanks toutpt. I get the filling you are talking about the Office/PDF File support here, which is a different use case, since I am not sure a user has to edit an office file directly through the web. I guess other people have ideas about improving that area too (Office transforms, WebDAV…) We’ll see how it goes !

  4. glenfant says:

    Hi Kamon,

    What about a component like “collage” (but without its edition pain). It’s actually a dashboard++.

    IMO this would be a killer page composer for Plone.

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