After my last post about problems with the laptop I headed off for a few days of r & r, a little skiing with my sister, brother in law and their kids. Kay isn’t a skier so she held the fort down at home. It was a great time no broken bones or bruses just one whoops !!!! on the last day which was a good laugh.
No pics to post from skiing as they are on the V2000 that’s acting up again. I’ll get them on Flickr by the weekend. It was working good without the battery in, only shut down once in a week, but yesterday it went down twice. Granted I put the battery back in and that’s probably the problem. It could be worse, the drive is fine so I’m not concerned about the data… a minor inconvenience.
Last week was one of catch up with work and one last hockey game before a few weeks off and another session starts. You know your getting old when guys come out to release frustration and your just out their to sweat and have a good time…. yes youth does make you brave.
I did finish getting a department intranet website upgraded so it will be interesting to see what anyone may have to say. The addition of OpenFire went over like a tree falling in a forest, but I didn’t expect much. At least with the site upgrade it’s on the current version of Plone and I’ve enabled anyone to join. Where before I needed to have local mail running, which would never have been validated on the network, I can now use esmtp settings. So we’ll see what that does to the traffic stats, maybe it will peak some other peoples interests.
For some time now I’ve been wanting to have a test server I can dedicate to a DMZ. Thanks to the parents for looking to donate an old tower system and I can make that work.. It was a good opportunity to try the Edgy server install but that didn’t go so well. The load went fine but the boot was toast. That might have been something to dig into but I was looking to get it up and I just didn’t feel like it was worth the effort at the time. So I settled on the server install. No problems their, added a few packages and then installed Plone. I’ve been a fan of this product for some time and still believe it is an excellent content management package out of the box. An entry I made a few months back mentioned a backup for a site at work and that’s complete.
I have some other plans for it as well related to general storage. It’s great to have a place where I can put stuff now and not worry about it. The access as a DMZ is also a plus when on the road. The drive is only 20GB but for now that will do the trick.
I read an interesting article this afternoon at IT Managers Journal where again Plone was being utilized in enterprize business. The site is TalkBMC if you don’t want to find it in the article. For me one of the more visable deployments of Plone is with Ubuntu. A great distribution and one I currently use.
It’s always nice to know sometimes the ideas one has is also seen by others in the IT world. In a previous post I commented how Plone helped me create a proof of concept intranet in 2001. It is still used today all be it not adopted or supported by the company… such a rebel I am !!! But that’s ok their are many choices in the content management application arena and it is only one.
See the entire list at Plone Sites.
As I talk with customers every day more and more information is moving to the web. Either an application from a software provider, a business process from a supplier or vendor, and even the customer themselves. Yes the web has been around for a while and this might seem like old news but from a business perspective sharing information over a public channel has been somewhat scary. However for the information that can be and should be shared internally, externally or both there are some very fine open source products to help.
Late 2001 I started a side project, for a proof of concept, to create an intranet for then department with my currnet employer. My requirements were it needed to be web based, users with accounts could post documents, and anyone can search to find information. In my search I found a number of CMS (Content Management Software) applications but only one stood out, Plone. What caught my eye the most was it’s UI, it conformed to all web standards and was usable in any browser. Now that didn’t mean a lot to the company, were’re a Microsoft shop, but it was important to me. Not to mention the fact is was a GPL product and the whole project would cost $0.00.
That was good cause I was completely on my own with no resources from the company.
The backend of Plone is Zope which is a great tool itself for building intranets and interactive sites from scratch. The pro’s I found were:
- Considerable room for customization
- Submission workflow so that posts can be reviewed prior to publishing
- Users can be assigned different permissions which control access
- Keyword association for like documents
- Plain text, formatted text, html or proprietary document formats can be posted
- Separate directory tree display for folder structure view
- Ports for Linux, Windows, Mac, and BSD
The con’s were not that many:
- Not current Linux distribution friendly, one to two distros behind
- For non programmers could be difficult to modify or customize
Needless to say it has been a great learning expierence and has been well received. After 6 months the site had 25 different catagories of information with a total of 200 + pages of documentation, news, a calendar and a place for members personal web pages. And all of it came from the vanilla setup.
If you are looking for a CMS type solution on any major platform consider Plone.