I just did a little experiment today (prompted by a clever idea from Erik Rose) to see if I could achieve Plone blogging nirvana by mashing together QuillsEnabled and Scrawl. Not only did it work, it made me cackle with such evil genius glee that I needed to write it up.
OK, so you’re probably thinking: Scrawl and QuillsEnabled are both blogging products for Plone — how could you possibly combine them without creating a rupture in the very fabric of spacetime itself? And yet…
QuillsEnabled is content-type agnostic. It just provides some very nice portlets (archive, tag cloud, etc), some smart syndication, and a sweet little blog-style view on a folder. Just create a folder, hit “enable blog” in Actions (which applies a marker interface to your folder) and start blogging.
Scrawl is in many ways just the opposite. It provides a Blog Entry content type (a straight-up copy of a News Item), some default settings on the Blog Entry (comments enabled, and a blog-style view for the Blog Entry).
Either of them alone provides a pretty nice blogging experience in Plone. But each is missing something. QuillsEnabled can’t let you have comments automatically enabled on only your blog posts, because it’s just using standard Plone content types, and comments get enabled per-type or per-item, but not per-location. On the other hand, Scrawl doesn’t have nice blog-style portlets, and setting up a blog in Scrawl involves a bunch more pointing-and-clicking than with QuillsEnabled.
Erik suggested that I could install both Scrawl and QuillsEnabled, then tell QuillsEnabled to use Scrawl’s “Blog Entry” objects as its “blog” type (which is a configurable option in QuillsEnabled). So I did, and it worked beautifully! I now have a blog based on Scrawl’s Blog Entry objects, which have a nice blog view and default to having comments enabled, wrapped up in QuillsEnabled’s lovely master blog view and portlets.
If you want to give it a try, here’s how:
- Add Products.QuillsEnabled, Products.basesyndication (required by Quills) and Products.Scrawl to your buildout.
- Install QuillsEnabled, fatsyndication and Scrawl in your Plone site.
- Add a folder; use the actions menu to mark it as a blog.
- Click the “configure blog” link in the Weblog Admin portlet on the right side of your screen. Change the “default type” from Document to Blog Entry.
- Add Blog Entries to your blog and publish them.
Voila! You’re now publishing beautiful Scrawl blog entries in a Quills blog.
Warning: I have no idea if this is a good idea or a horrible one. I certainly wouldn’t advise you to try it in production unless you know how to extract yourself from a sticky situation.