[Plone-UI] [Plone-developers] Theme Distribution

Alex Clark aclark at aclark.net
Fri Sep 9 14:33:41 UTC 2011

On 9/9/11 6:31 AM, Martin Aspeli wrote:
> On 9 September 2011 00:08, Ross Patterson <me at rpatterson.net
> <mailto:me at rpatterson.net>> wrote:
>     What about versioning themes then?  Wouldn't we have to reinvent a bunch
>     of wheels if we don't use eggs?
> People know how to version zip files - just append a filename. ;-)
> The point here is that it's completely unreasonable to expect someone
> whose skills are in HTML and CSS only to:
>   - create a python package
>   - put the right files + manifest in the right places
>   - use buildout to create a develop egg
>   - upload to pypi
> and then for users of those themes
>   - use buildout to install the egg
> We think it is reasonable for those people to mange zip files through a
> control panel on a running Plone site and possibly to extract some files
> on the filesystem.

I think we are discussing two completely different things:

- What do we *promote* as "best practice" or even "a practice"? vs.
- What do we *support* as a reasonable approach or "an approach".

As such, we are also discussing two completely different audiences:

- End users (i.e. people that can use Plone TTW to edit content, turn 
knobs, and install a zip file theme)

- Power users (i.e. developers, integrators, anyone who is not an end user).


Using zip files fits my new "black box approach" to Plone. We can put a 
Plone installation and a zip file in front of and end user and 
reasonably expect them to be able to install it. They don't need to know 
anything about how Plone works, and can use their existing knowledge of 
zip files and pointing and clicking. You cannot say the same for Python 
packages and Buildout, that's a developer thing.

In the old days, Zope2 products got away with a zip-file-like approach 
because it was so simple and so very closely resembled the zip file 
approach. Toward achieving that end again, we may want to think about 
supporting a drop-in place for zips. I think elro's resource directory 
in p.r.zope2instance almost supports this. (I.e. you can extract a zip 
to a resource dir, I think)

Under the hood

Back to non-end-user-land, I am a Plone developer and I want to develop 
and distribute themes. I'm not terribly inclined to drop everything I've 
learned over the past 5 years and start versioning files by changing the 
zip file name ;-) We need a happy medium approach that supports both 
these audiences IMHO.


> Martin
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Alex Clark · http://aclark.net

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