[Baypiggies] Is plone fo me?

Ken Seehart ken at seehart.com
Sat Sep 9 06:17:06 CEST 2006

I am fairly experienced with Zope.  I have heard people complain that 
Zope is monolithic to the point of being annoying.  My experience is 
that Zope really isn't all that bad.  But from what I've seen so far of 
Plone, by skimming the documentation and attempting to play with it, I 
am starting to get the impression that Plone really is as monolithic as 
I originally thought Zope would be.  I'm hoping to hear otherwise.

What I want to do:

1. Get complete control of the main look and feel.  I have implemented a 
Zope page template exactly as I want it.  The template is a finely tuned 
table with perfectly aligned graphics.  Plone seems to want to let me 
plug in bits and pieces to customize aspect of the look, but I need to 
actually control the arrangement of the entire page.  In fact, I don't 
think the final result will look much like a Plone page at all.

2. Allow users to add content by editing plain text.  The user should be 
able to select whether the page is a calendar event, a main menu page, 
etc, and automatically add a link to the appropriate list.  (this item 
is why I would look at Plone at all).  I will need to implement my own 
page templates with custom scripting to display certain lists.

3. I want to implement my own custom regular expression substitutions on 
the structured text content.

Is Plone too shrink-wrapped for what I need?  Should I just stick with 
Zope and implement my own variation on existing structured text tools?

Here's a link to my prototype: http://www.seehart.com/aikidosantacruz.org

If you take a look at that link, you will notice that it will use a 
rather small portion of the features available in Plone.  What I think 
is annoying about Plone is that it looks like I will spend a bunch of 
time removing unused features from the main page!  The default Plone 
page is really fancy, but I would much prefer to start with an empty 
page, and that add what I need.  Note that the bottom portion of the 
menu will not be visible to non-authenticated users, who will be in the 
majority.  I have no use for things like user customizable skins since 
only a few people will have accounts, and the target audience will be 
anonymous read-only users.

Plone looks like it has more than enough features for me.  I just want 
to start with a clean empty page, not the ridiculously excessive swiss 
army knife of the standard default page.


- Ken

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