Plone (software)

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Plone is a free and open source content management system built on top of the Zope application server. Plone can be used for in principle any kind of website, including blogs, internet sites, webshops and internal websites. It is also well positioned to be used as a document publishing system and groupware collaboration tool. The strengths of Plone are its flexible and adaptable workflow, very good security, extensibility, high usability and flexibility.

Plone is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is designed to be extensible. Major development is conducted periodically during special meetings called Plone Sprints. Additional functionality is added to Plone with Products, which may be distributed through the Plone website or otherwise. The Plone Foundation owns and protects all copyrights and trademarks. Plone also has legal backing from the council of the Software Freedom Law Center.

MediaWiki's "Monobook" layout is based partially on the Plone style sheets.[1]



The Plone project was begun in 1999, by Alexander Limi, Alan Runyan, and Vidar Andersen. It was made as a usability layer on top of the Zope Content Management Framework. The first version was released in 2001. The project quickly grew into a community, receiving plenty of new add-on products from its users. The increase in community led to the creation of the annual Plone conference in 2003, which is still running today. In addition, "sprints" are held, where groups of developers meet to work on Plone, ranging from a couple of days to a week. In March 2004, Plone 2.0 was released. This release brought more customizable features to Plone, and enhanced the add-on functions. In May 2004, the Plone Foundation was created for the development, marketing, and protection of Plone. The Foundation has ownership rights over the Plone codebase, trademarks, and domain names. Even though the foundation was set up to protect ownership rights, Plone remains open source.[2] In March 12, 2007, Plone 3 was released. This new release brought inline editing, an upgraded visual editor, and strengthened security, among many other enhancements.[3] Up to September 2007, there have been over 200 developers contributing to Plone's code. Plone won two Packt Open Source CMS Awards.[4]


Plone is built on the Zope application server, which is written in Python. Plone is made such that all information stored in Plone is stored in Zope's built-in transactional object database (ZODB). Plone comes with installers for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, along with other operating systems. New updates are released regularly on Plone's website. Plone is available in over 35 languages. Its interface conforms to WCAG-AAA[citation needed] and U.S. section 508, which allows people with disabilities to properly access and use Plone. A major part of Plone is its use of skins and themes. When working with Plone, templates can be used to customize a website's look. These templates are written with Cascading Style Sheets. In addition, Plone comes with a user management system called Pluggable Authentication Service. Introduced in Plone 2.5, "PAS" is used to properly sort actions from different users to their respective folders or accounts. PAS is also used to search for users and groups in Plone. Most importantly, PAS covers the security involved for users, requiring authentication in order to login to Plone. This gives users an increase in both security and organization with their content.[5] A large part of Plone's changes have come from its community. Since Plone is open source, the members of the Plone community regularly make alterations or add-ons to Plone's interface, and make these changes available to the rest of the community via Plone's website.


Plone is mainly developed in Python. However, there are other languges used within the project. Here is a table that summarizes the languages used in Plone, as it appears at the ohloh site of Plone project:

  • Python 73%
  • XML 15%
  • JavaScript 6%
  • Other 6%

The other category includes Perl, PHP, AWK and so on.


Since its release, many of Plone's updates and add-ons have come from its community. Events called Plone "sprints" consist of members of the community coming together for a week and helping improve Plone. The Plone conference is also attended and supported by the members of the Plone community. In addition, Plone has an active IRC channel to give support to users who have questions or concerns. Up through 2007, there have been over one million downloads of Plone. Plone's development team has also been ranked in the top 2% of the largest open source communities.

Strengths and weaknesses

Plone excels when compared to other content-management systems in standards conformance, access control, internationalization, aggregation, user-generated content, micro-applications, active user groups and value.[6] It's available on many different operating systems, due to its use of platform-independent underlying technologies such as Python and Zope. Plone's Web-based administrative interface is optimized for standards, allowing it to work with most common web browsers, and uses additional accessibility standards to help users who have disabilities. All of Plone's features are customizable, and free add-ons are available from the Plone website.

Plone has an excellent security record compared to other popular content management systems.[7]

Plone has been rated as lagging in repository services when compared to other major CMSs.[6]


These are some of the features available[8] in Plone 3.0:

  • Inline editing
  • Working Copy support
  • Link and reference integrity checking
  • Automatic locking and unlocking
  • Collaboration and sharing
  • Versioning, history and reverting content
  • Upgraded visual HTML editor
  • Workflow capabilities
  • Authentication back-end
  • Full-text indexing of Word and PDF documents
  • Collections
  • Presentation mode for content
  • Support for the search engine Sitemap protocol
  • Support for multiple mark-up formats
  • Wiki support
  • Automatic previous/next navigation
  • Rules engine for content
  • Auto-generated tables of contents
  • Portlets engine
  • Support, development, hosting & training
  • LiveSearch
  • Multilingual content management
  • Time-based publishing
  • Human-readable URLs
  • Powerful graphical page editor
  • Navigation and updated site maps
  • Resource compression
  • Caching proxy integration
  • Drag and drop reordering of content
  • XML exports of site configurations
  • Localized workflow configuration
  • Adjustable templates on content
  • Standard content types
  • Content is automatically formatted for printing
  • Standards-compliant XHTML and CSS
  • Accessibility compliant
  • RSS feed support
  • Automatic image scaling and thumbnail generation
  • Free add-on products
  • Cross-platform
  • Comment capabilities on any content
  • Microformat support
  • Installer packages for multiple platforms
  • WebDAV and FTP support
  • In-context editing
  • Backup support
  • Cut/copy/paste operations on content

See also


External links


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