Might as well face it, I’m addicted to Plone. Plone, the content management system for online communities

I’ve been working with Ultralab (1990-2006)’s Director, Richard Millwood on the Create at BETT website.

To find out more about Create at BETT, follow this link to my article and read about it.

The ‘Create at BETT’ website is built within the Plone content management system environment.

Basically, I’m a big fan of Drupal, this webpage you are reading is written with a Drupal system….but now I’m investigating other online community software too.

This weblog was once hosted in Ultralab (1990-2006)‘s installation of Movable Type, like Drupal, online communityware for bloggers. The Ultralab (1990-2006) server suffered from serious amounts of Internet spamming (loans, viagra, casino, free money, etc) and it became a terrible pain to remove the spam. Pete Bradshaw found some code to solve the spamming problem, and Ultralab (1990-2006)’s community of Movable Type bloggers are now safe from the scum of the Internet spamming them.

I moved to Drupal, and find Drupal much easier to configure and manage. Soon after installing Drupal on ‘Captain Birdseye’, my faithful server (touch wood) she also got spammed. Jonathan Furness of Jonathan’s Blog pointed out how the Drupal community were very fast at coming together to resolve the issue. My blog (this webpage) does not get spammed anymore, but when it was spammed, I was able to remove the spam much more easily than in Movable Type, as I had full control over the database content, stored in a PHP database.

The great thing about the ‘spamming’ is it got me back into ‘IP’ (Internet Protocol) tracking. When I was at University we covered IP in incredible detail, it was great to re-investigate IP, and revisit my skills in tracking down where data is posted from. I was able to identify and block the servers spamming me. This Drupal blog is great in giving IP’s when comments are posted, although I’m spam free now, so there is no need anymore to trace where data is coming from.

Movable Type, Drupal and Plone are all open source software projects. This means that they are all free, and are developed mainly in peoples homes, as solutions to provide free alternatives to the major software houses selling content management systems.

Working with Richard, I am impressed by Plone, which I have downloaded and installed on my laptop.

On and off, over the next few weeks I’ll be playing with Plone, and I’ll feedback what I learn….but as a place to host a community, to share ideas, collaborate, communicate and discuss…..it is pretty fine.

If anyone in the Ultralab (1990-2006) team is interested in having a play too, let me know and I’ll grant access to my Plone Play Area.

Straight from the Plone website, in their its own words, this is Plone:

Plone: A user friendly and powerful open source Content Management System

Development Actions

This is the development and community site for Plone. Here, you’ll find news about Plone and its related products, documentation, links to downloads, and information about the non-profit Plone Foundation.

What is Plone?

Plone is powerful and flexible. It is ideal as an intranet and extranet server, as a document publishing system, a portal server and as a groupware tool for collaboration between separately located entities.

Plone is easy to use. The Plone Team includes usability experts who have made Plone easy and attractive for content managers to add, update, and maintain content.

Plone is easy to install. You can install Plone with a click-and-run installer, and have a content management system running on your computer in just a few minutes.

Plone is international. The Plone interface has been translated into over 40 languages, and tools exist for managing multilingual content.

Plone is standard. Plone carefully follows standards for usability and accessibility. Plone pages are compliant with US Section 508, and the W3C’s AA rating for accessibility, in addition to using best-practice web standards like XHTML and CSS.

Plone is Open Source. Plone is licensed under the GNU General Public License, the same license Linux uses. This gives you the right to use Plone without a license fee, and to improve upon the product.

Plone is supported. There are close to a hundred developers in the Plone Development Team around the world, and a multitude of companies specializing in Plone development and support.

Plone is extensible. There are many add-on products for Plone that add new features and content types. In addition, Plone can be scripted using web standard solutions and Open Source languages.

Plone is technology neutral. Plone can interoperate with most relational database systems, open source and commercial, and runs on a vast array of platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris and BSD.

Plone is protected. The nonprofit Plone Foundation was formed in 2004 to promote the use of Plone around the world and protect the Plone IP and trademarks.

Plone is built using Zope, an object oriented application server. The language that drives Zope and Plone is Python – the agile language preferred by Google, NASA, Industrial Light and Magic and many others. Why? Because Python offers unprecedented programmer productivity.

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