“Deliverance” talk at the Sorrento sprint (by Rob Miller)

Tags: sorrentosprint2007, plone, deliverance

Rob Miller is photo hunting

Webdesigners know a lot about webpages and how to design and build them. On the other side there are the web content management systems that know how to maintain content. Those CMSs do make it harder to change the interface.

It is based on an idea of Paul Everitt, so by definition it has XSLT at the heart of it. It divides "content" and "theme". Templating still has a place on the CMS/content side of things, it are the looks that are to be separated out. The output of the content part is: html. The output of the theme part is: html and css.

Deliverance takes the html of the content part and the html+css of the theme part and hooks them up together based upon a mapping. Did we mention XSLT? Basically you grab identifiable chunks out of the content and inject them into the theme's html.

Late sprinting in the sprint room downstairs

You can have deliverance running as either a proxy server or as wsgi. It has both a python and an xslt transformation engine, the xslt one is twice as fast at the moment. The python transformation engine does mean that you can do all python can do to the content that comes out of it eventually.

Deliverance has a couple of xml files that are loaded by a top-level rule xml file that defines which html items to grab from the source and where to inject them in the theme. You can even grab bits and pieces from different files. The demo he showed was to put plone.org's content in burningman's website. A comment he got was "you're helping phishing sites" :-)

A real example: http://openplans.org/projects/topp-the-organization is the content, http://topp.openplans.org is the site that gets created out of it. They also use it for some other sites, mixing the theme of the actual site with the openplans.org content management stuff.

According to what I heard, it seemed that Limi liked the approach and that a variant of this approach might end up as the default way to

Nate Aune gave a second demonstration. He deals a lot with small artists that have a small html-only website designed by the proverbial nephew. After a while, they want something more, but can't as they don't have a CMS. In cases like this, deliverance can allow you to manage your content in plone, while reusing the original html site's layout.

There are a couple of challenges. In a way, a lot of double work is being done. Plone renders a complete page, but afterwards most of it gets cut away. A way to handle this is to make the plone interface much more lightweight.

Rob showed a possible upcoming openplans architecture where deliverance is placed right up in front.

(Old imported comments)
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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.

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