I just received a copy of the Plone book by Andy McKay (german translation). Lot’s of new things are in there. Good for studying after some extensive trial & error sessions.
I had a discussion with Peter Baumgartner two days ago about Plone – and it seems like they’re going to substitute Userland Manila with Plone in their department. This is something I was considering to do several times before as well. But unfortunatly there are two major drawbacks:
a) Plone does not yet come with a full blown bug-free weblog software (I tried Quills, but it is still in development and somewhat undocumented & buggy) and
b) changing designs for Plone is a daunting task. The skinning system is very flexible and advanced but also very complex to learn. You can’t just go a head without deep understanding of the application logic of Plone and advanced knowledge about CSS and Zope. It is too difficult for a youg student to redesign a weblog novice HTML skills. But that is what we need. Redesigning a site according to personal preference is an extremely important must-have-feature for students.
I am using Plone right know to supplement a course I teach. There are approx. 200 students registered. I am using CMFboard, Quills and ZWiki as extensions for Plone. While Zwiki is fine – CMFboard does make some problems: discussion group posts don’t show up in chronological order and the templates for CMFBoard are confusing.
And to make the problem even more difficult: Zope3 is coming up – and I don’t know about any work of Porting Plone to Zope3 (or I think they integrate the best ideas from Plone in Zope3 anyway, huh?).
So without superb weblog-support (and templating easy enough for kids) and without a very good discussion board add on – Plone will remain some kind of community CMS.
There does not seem to be a quick solution for the templating issue at hand. So we think of using WordPress MU for just the weblogging. Maybe Typo3 for the Extranet and Plone+Custom Products for the Intranet.