Eric Steele: A Look at Plone 4

published Oct 29, 2009, last modified Oct 30, 2009

By Eric Steele, WebLion Group, Penn State University, United States

An overview of the new features and benefits of Plone 4 and how we got here.

A PLIP is a PLone Improvement Proposal. The framework teams reviews these to see if they are fine for inclusion in Plone 4. A record 26 plips have made the cut and go into the new Plone 4.0. The framework team and implementers require a round of applause and beers!

New in Plone 4:

  • Zope 2.12 (fully eggified, flexible storage options)
  • python 2.6 (faster, better memory management, officially supported)
  • CMF 2.2
  • Better performance (improvement in median response time).
  • SecureMailHost is made redundant by improvements in Products.MailHost. Optional mail queueing.
  • plone.folder as new standard folder implementation, essentially Large Plone Folder but with ordering support.
  • GS import for sharing page roles, so simpler to add new roles here.
  • AddView support (port ofCMF functionality)
  • Blob support: store file data outside of the Data.fs, much more efficient, managed by zodb.
  • Deprecated CMFActionIcons: one less tool.
  • use upgrade profiles to handle upgrades.
  • flexible user registration: @@join_form is now a view, show/hide possible fields, utility lookup for extra fields.
  • East Asian Language search was hard: for full text indexing we split words on spaces, which works in English, but not for these languages. Now it works.
  • New default theme. Based on theme. Uses the deco grid system.
  • Group dashboards: assign portlets to dashboards on per-group basis.
  • Dublin Core properties: we now expose these metadata in the html.
  • Show blocked portlets in the management interface.
  • Show/hide portlets.
  • Use real names: display user's full name in several spots.
  • archetypes.referencebrowserwidget: replacement for Products.ATReferenceBrowserWidget. Large performance improvements, proper test coverage.
  • jQueryTools integration: gives us tabs, tooltips, expose, overlay, scrollable, flashembed
  • TinyMCE as default editor instead of kupu. Actively maintained, easily extendible, easy to theme. We still ship kupu too.
  • Search form improvements: collapse advanced search options by default, hide options based on logged-in status.
  • Set image id from title.
  • Choose groups for new users.
  • Mailing action variable substitutions. New variables: Workflow, Dublin Core.
  • Email login: use your email address to login.
  • New Zope front page that is much friendlier. Easily visible button to add Plone Site, instead of selecting it from a long list.
  • 'bin/instance fg' automatically turns on debug mode for portal_css, portal_javascript and portal_kss.
  • We will use distribute instead of setuptools.

When? We need releases for Zope 2.12.1 and CMF 2.2, we need to fix bugs in Plone. Hopefully we will get things fixed within a week.

Planned for 4.1:

  •, recurring
  • collective.controlpanel.edit_css: in Plone editing of css
  • collective.amberjack
  • collections: improved criteria selection UI, live update of results

Please join sprints for Plone 4 this weekend.

The development buildout is here: