[Plone-UI] How easy is it to customise Plone, really?

Veda Williams veda at onenw.org
Wed Nov 26 18:43:47 UTC 2008

Hi there, Greg.

I was just looking at your other email...

If paster scares you, don't worry too much. You can generate a theme product
using: http://paster.joelburton.com. It's just a TTW representation of
paster and it's basic recipes. Eventually, if you get to where you can use
paster using your Terminal window, you can, since when you install Plone it
installs paster, ZopeSkel, etc. for you.

Now, as for building out websites... First the ecommerce bit. I assume
you've been looking at GetPaid? That's pretty much your only serious
ecommerce option for Plone. Your other option would be to skin around a
different ecommerce product and make it look like a Plone site. We've done
that for snowleopard.org, with ZenCart, I think.

As for skinning, you're right, it's tough. But yes, you can get away without
knowing anything about Python. I think at this point, your best resource,
other than the tutorials I've already shown you, would be to buy the new
Practical Plone book which is about 1 week away from going into print and is
currently accepting preorders. I worked with David Convent on a really great
chapter on skinning for Plone that I think will help a lot of people, or at
least I hope so. 


Martin Aspeli's Practical Plone Development also covers theming, but his
treatment is really fast and a bit obtuse. I'm sorry that my own theming
book isn't done yet, it's probably going to be March before it's finished,
as the rate I'm going.

As far as the top tutorials I'd recommend:





(this one is hands down the best of them all in terms of trying to walk you
through the step by step process)

http://plone.org/documentation/manual/theme-reference  (worth spending some
quality time with this one)

When you get to the point of needing a new home page design, you're going to
need some programming expertise -- probably TAL instead of Python, or you
can always come back and ask. Maybe one of us will have a solution for you.
I think that's the nature of any CMS you work with.

By the way, James Cameron Cooper¹s book is good, but it is *quite* outdated,
so bear that in mind. I¹d recommend a combination of Definitive Guide to
Plone and Martin Aspeli¹s book to start with.

Let me know if this does not answer your question...

- Veda

On 11/26/08 8:35 AM, "bluemonkey" <gmiller at aktion.com> wrote:

> I've found I'm in this exact same boat, except I was hired by a company to
> build web designs/skins for Plone/eCommerce.  My company employs a very good
> Python developer. However, I do not think they (the company higher-ups) know
> much about Plone. I am very good at learning on my own--but I wasn't prepared
> for this. I've got quite a bit of experience working in interface design and
> web design but strictly no Python programming experience. I've also done quite
> a bit of stuff with ActionScript.  I've been spending the past four weeks
> pouring over tutorials, manuals, and reading selective chapters of the Cooper
> and Aspeli's books.  This actually makes a lot of sense, I've been playing
> around with base_properties, the idea of the CSS layers and etc, but no-where
> was there info about how to upload a folder of images and point to them using
> the CSS pages. I would be very interested in working with the Plone Forum to
> build out my skin idea as, my company is creating a long, long list of clients
> who want eCommerce sites and me to design them all. Yikes! --blueMonkey

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