Plone themes with bundled example site setup

How would you like, if we could bundle example theme site setup into new style zipped themes?

I think, the original idea came from Dylan Jay, but I've been playing with an experimental implementation for a while now.

Here's an example of me installing a theme with an embedded configuration for a plone based blog:

My workflow for creating that was:

  • find and install a nice zipped theme
  • configure Plone site to work as a blog
  • export portlets and site structure / content into theme usin c.themesitesetup export
  • trim portlets.xml to only include assignments
  • export zip

Current issues (visible also in demo):

  • catalog must be manually reindexed after theme activation (maybe there could be a treshold to make it automatically when the site as almost no content)
  • new styles collection criteria was not exported nor imported (that's due to Archetypes RFC822-marshalling, which cannot be extended for custom fields like the criteria field, but could be fixed for Dexterity because the new extensible plone.rfc822)

Of course, there's also more small issues with content export / import, but actually none that could not be fixed, because GenericSetups' filesystem export / import framework seems to extensible enough.

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Had to try a re-take with my experimental collective.atrfc822 replacing the default Archetypes RFC822 Marshaller with the plone.rfc822 one. Now also collection's queryfield and even the news item image were export and imported:

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My collective.themesitesetup based "fat theme" approach just had its second birthday :slight_smile:


We've used it for a few themes lately. Its extremely satisfying to keep everything together.

Could you share those? I'd love to highlight more nice Plone themes in the /download section. And don't forget the new pypi classifier New pypi classifier "Framework :: Plone :: Theme"

I don't know about Dylan's use case, but I've used fat themes because of ease of deployment (scripted zip-upload), not so much because of reusability (which is hard anyway with customer branded themes). For me, fat themes has replaced the need for site specific policy packages.

This is the story of Plone themes :slight_smile: (that integrators are able to create and apply very nice themes to Plone sites but are not free to share them, since they are the brands of their customers).

Still, I think we would all like to see more shared Plone themes like Vikas' from last year. Perhaps someone cough @pigeonflight cough would like to organize a theming sprint?

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I'm very willing. Just need to get a few hands raised. November/December is a great time here in Jamaica!

or maybe January 2018???


Yes this is the same for us, customer themes. Although we have been doing zip deployments for themes for a long time (since we went eggless).

@tkimnguyen I suspect the marketplace for ootb themese comes when plone is more attractive to solo webmasters (like no buildout) and as they start making their own personal themes. But maybe its chicken and eggs?
It would be good to see some ootb fat themes that include example content.

Yes, a different 'market' than integrators. Perhaps we can try encouraging more theme creation some other way. I would support a Jamaica sprint if one of its foci included that. :slight_smile:

Still, I think we would all like to see more shared Plone themes like Vikas' from last year. Perhaps someone cough @pigeonflight cough would like to organize a theming sprint?

@tkimnguyen Vikas' proposal for the 2016 Summer of Code is well done! I submitted a proposal for a theme pack for this year's GSoC which was not as thorough as I would have liked or even close to as good as Vikas', so I'm not holding much hopes of getting in, but I'll still contribute one quality theme regardless. :slight_smile:

I saw @pigeonflight's "Opinionated Theme Hitlist" from last year, and I'm thinking of focusing on a reviews type of theme.

But let's still remember that the idea of Dylan's eggless approach and also this add-on is that themes could be (miss?)used to include complete site configurations, with content types and all. Like 1) install Plone 2) upload configuration and initial configuration for a blog 3) tweak theme for your taste. We re doing more and more sites like Dylan proposed years ago: we have a bunch of generic backend packages shared by all of our sites and then a fat theme configuring everything.

(Of course, things are not perfect yet. The example content import with generic setup has issues [and Dylan has been proposing better approach for that], supporting both maintained fat theme and TTW customizations needs thought, as do automated testing testing of fat themes.)

Yes, sorry, badly worded... I did not mean we should do only regular themes. I like the idea of these fat themes. Is there any way you can share one that you've made but strip out the branding and leave something generic in terms of design?