Plone 3 Intranets – yet another review


This is a review of the latest book about Plone from Packt Publishing: “Plone 3 Intranets: Design, build, and deploy a reliable, full-featured, and secure Plone-based enterprise intranet easily from scratch”. Written by VГ­ctor Fernandez de Alba

Is it worth reading? Yes. Is it worth buying?. Sure. If you’re curious why, read below.

Welcome to yet another review of “Plone 3 Intranets” after Steve’s and Mark’s . I’s almost a plague don’t you think?

After reading this book I come to conclusion that in reality there are 2 books in 1. First book may be called “Plone Intranets for Dummies” and the other “Plone Intranets for Geeks”.

First part consists of chapters 1 – 7. It describes step by step how to configure Plone based Intranet without writing single line of code. Just using Plone administration interface and ZMI. Almost. We will have to get our hands dirty and run couple of Linux commands to run buildout . Although we can ignore all the complexity, treat it as a black box that just installs the software we need; at least in this part. All steps needed to configure our Plone Intranet are presented clearly and precisely.

I like to think about myself as a experienced Plone developer and user. But even in the first chapters I found few interesting things that I didn’t know before. For example I finally understood why my presentation mode never worked or that the Plone has build in functionality for finding “broken links” (stop laughing!).

In second part which starts with chapter 8 we’re entering into real details. There is more technical, Plone-related language, more XML and Python snippets and bash/buildout commands. It is obvious that Victor knows what he is writing about and his recipes can be used in real world. He guides us through useful add-on products, basic development of new functionality, theming and few small but interesting features.

I especially liked the description of deployments for 3 different scenarios: small, medium and large Intranet. But I also found fragments that are in my opinion unnecessary. For example diving into Plone rendering process. It probably leaves the reader with more questions than before. Or inserting 2 pages long XML snippet.

Overall, very good book. Step by step guide how to create functional and reliable Plone-based Intranet.

And in case you’re wondering: yes, I did receive a free e-book from Packt Publishing. But it was weeks ago and probably they have lost hope that I write anything 😉

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