Plone is a content management and layout system built upon the zope application server/object database. This is a very, very powerful combination. I'm pretty sure that it'll give me a wonderful productivity. I've already done some things with it and it works wonders.
You get so much for free: through-the-web editing, user management, workflow, object database. And it's all adaptable, customisable, extendable using python.
One thing that kept bugging me about plone, however, was the flexibility regarding the layout of the html pages. You can do a lot with plone in a very flexible way, but I missed a good overview of which layers are stacked on top of each other. I've done some experimenting and here's my list of what's inside plone's
portal_skins folder. (Plone 1.0).
Below list is loaded by plone from the top onwards, which means that if something plone needs is found in "custom", then plone won't look any further. So if you're looking for something you want to changes, just work down this list. (Yes, I'm going to do it myself, I'm in the process of moving this site over to plone).
Your own set of additions/changes to the other styles.
Edit and view Page Templates for archetypes.
Edit and view Page Templates for zwiki.
Wysiwyg editor window.
The pieces of html (in Page Templates again) that make up all those little sidebar boxes (like the login or the navigation tree box).
Deprecated (now in plone_templates/ui_slots).
Topic handling (don't know yet what topics are).
Default index_html, folder contents view, default error message, main_template (the basis for the looks of the site!), header/footer (header includes html "head" contents and the header of the site). All of this done in Page Templates. (Also included here are DTML standard_html_header/footer files).
CSS files. (With that horrible fixed-10pt font size thingy...)
Python scripts for forms (called with the form parameters in order to change the values in the object, others are used to validate form parameters).
All sorts of python scripts used in a site. Breadcrumbs, moving folders, logging in, etc. (Hmmm. I could overwrite the breadcrumbs script for wikis!)
Forms used by plone. Discussion form, reply form, login form, search form, etc.
Icons, images (amongst which logo.jpg).
Edit forms and views for the standard content types like images, documents, files.
View/edit for topics.
View/edit for calendar. Includes python scripts to hop back/forward a month etc.
Edit forms and views for the standard content types like images, documents, files. (Mostly) overwritten by plone_content.
Looks a bit like plone_forms. Login/logout Page Templates. Add objects to folders, folder contents, etc.
CMF default startpage, etc. Probably not used if you disable plone.
Old dtml-using versions of the above. Can probably be removed.
My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.
Most of my website content is in my weblog. You can keep up to date by subscribing to the automatic feeds (for instance with Google reader):