Error message

  • Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in include_once() (line 1389 of /Library/Server/Web/Data/Sites/Documents/jonathansblog/includes/
  • Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in require_once() (line 341 of /Library/Server/Web/Data/Sites/Documents/jonathansblog/includes/

Warning message

The service having id "facebook_widget" is missing, reactivate its module or save again the list of services.


Success! with Plone and Feedparser

Today (Friday) ended with the perfect start to the weekend. After weeks of misery, (well, okay, it wasn't that bad was it Richard?) together we solved the issue with Universal Feed Parser working as a module within Zope (Plone) using Python. Firstly, what is Feed Parser?

Feed Parser is a Python module that downloads and parses or processes RSS, Atom and CDF syndicated feeds. The Feed Parser module gives Zope (Plone) the ability to bring RSS feeds from external sources into its environment. So as we gear ourselves up for releasing the new Ultralab website, this is a significant step forward.

Our problems stemmed from an error message which Plone reported whenever we tried to access the Feed Parser module...

import of feedparser is unauthorized error message

This error only affects Mac OS X Server that has multiple versions / instances of Python installed. What we have discovered is that the Feed Parser module was installed using a version / instance of Python running on the server which was different to the version / instance that Zope and Plone use. A key learning moment is understanding that Zope modules must be installed using the same version of Python as the Zope environment is using.

Take a look at a sneak preview of the new website.

Ultraversity Team Talk

Mark, Greta and I (pictured from left to right) met today to discuss progress with Ultraversity's new Cohort 4 community / portfolio space. This is a new venture using the Plone 2.1 content management framework - configured 'out of the box'. We believe Plone has far more to offer than just managing content. Plone's major strength is the permissions and workflow model which underpins its operation. Understanding this rather complex model is a major feat in itself and probably demands a better user interface to be more useful. I dream of building a permissions model using a drag and drop Flash interface where users are moved into groups structured as Venn diagrams. Do Venn diagrams have any limitations?

Interestingly, Stephen Powell and I reflected on the complexities of Plone, and after some discussion, arrived at the conclusion that you can't have it both ways, simplicity and complexity, which sounds a bit daft. What I mean is - having a tool that can be understood and used by the masses, yet powerful enough to provide a solid set of permissions that is capable of niche and specific demands.

Plone 2.1 rc1 installed, working and Subversion

I'm really excited having just managed to download and install Plone 2.1 rc1 (release candidate 1) and all this after a long day yesterday with Richard Millwood and Matthew Eaves, working together on the new Ultralab website...

Plone is a content management system (CMS) or framework (CMF) as it is termed by the people at Plone. Essentially, Plone allows you to build complex websites where the data or content is stored within a database. This helps to organise your data or represent it in whichever way you please. Plone is particularly strong on building a sense of community, with a sound notion of Users and Groups and Privileges system, and is one of the defining factors why we are building the next Ultralab website and Ultraversity Portfolio/Community spaces using this tool.

Over the past 2 months, there has been an enormous learning curve to master - and we aren't there yet, but with each challenge, we seem to learn something new. Some things are still a mystery... like getting the FeedParser (RSS) to function from within ContentPanels (a Plone product) One of the most significant struggles is learning a new programming language, Python. Luckily, it is said that Python was a language developed to help people learn about programming. Shouldn't too hard then if you don't mind all the dots. !

So far we have been developing on Plone 2.0.5 and with Plone 2.1 (set for release on August 1st, now August 15th) - just around the corner, our recent concern has been, 'Will our development effort be wasted or lost during the upgrade process?' Currently, the latest version doesn't have a 'package installer' application and relies on downloading the binaries for install using commands such as

./configure; make; make install

Also, I've learnt about Subversion (a software application to manage version control) Thanks to Chris Davis, I've managed to make sense of the download and installation of Subversion. Thanks Chris. The web is just so handy for finding and learning new things.

This has led to me installing Zope 2.8.0, upgrading my version of Python to 2.3.5, installing Darwin Ports (whatever these are!) and using Subversion to download and install Plone 2.1 rc1

Now all I need to do is find out what happens to our development work when we import the site into the new version of Plone.

see also:


Zope / Plone rewrite rule

Notes on how to apply Apache / Plone rewrite rule to allow Plone to serve using a non standard port to a standard port (80)

... the sort of thing you do once in a blue moon.

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