Repoze Blog

2007-10-25 00:00:00-05:00

Screencast Two: Setting Up Deliverance

Want to theme Plone without learning the stack? Want to use an existing HTML look-and-feel, without touching it, to give the basic style to your content...Plone or otherwise?

Screencast 2: Setting Up Deliverance shows you how to use WSGI middleware and boring old web standards to theme your content. (3.6 Mb, 3m18s duration, Quicktime 7-ish.) This demo shows:

  • Inspecting the theme and the content for merge points
  • Editing the Paste config file to insert the WSGI middleware (Deliverance). One word plus 3 lines of change!
  • Writing a simple rules file to merge the Plone content into the theme.
  • Restarting the server and seeing your newly-themed site.

I have waited a long, long time to be able to give this screencast. Years ago, in the original Zope 3 wiki, I wrote a proposal for Zope Site Themes. I worked on a couple of mod_python implementations. Then Ian and Luke at OpenPlans picked up the idea and converted it from a useless toy into a real-deal software package as WSGI middleware.

Unfortunately there was always a piece missing. If you wanted to do Plone, you wanted to do Zope2. And that mostly meant no WSGI. Ian had a publisher hack you could use, but it wasn't really a mainstream option. And not everyone would be willing to roll up their sleeves and get mod_python going.

With Repoze, Chris and Tres have now made all of this not just possible, but probable.

As an example, we spent money on a theme produced by some cools guys to the west of here. They delivered HTML, CSS, etc., just as the Deliverance theory anticipates. Instead of hacking into a ZPT with macros/slots, we used it as-is, fronting:

  • www.repoze.org, a WSGI app that converts STX on the filesystem on-the-fly using a Zope-publisher-like thing
  • blog.repoze.org, running pyblosxom
  • bugs.repoze.org, running Roundup
  • And soon, demo.repoze.org (a Plone) and lists.repoze.org (Mailman) will get themed

All of these use exactly the same, untouched HTML/CSS/JS/PNG for the theme. It took Tres around 20 minutes to "theme" Roundup...without touching Roundup either!

Me likey.

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