Periodically, I trawl through the Plone Collective repository (both via Github and via PyPi) to see what folks are building but not publicizing widely via Plone.org. As usual, I found some hidden gems that I think deserve a bit wider attention.
Fair warning: I’ve tested each of these products in a Plone 4.1.5 development instance, but I’ve not deployed any in production or reviewed the code. All are written by experienced Plone community members, though, so they should be at least reasonable sane. I’d love to hear about your experiences with any of them.
collective.folderorder – Jens Klein and BlueDynamics Alliance
Plone’s default folder view shows items in the order they were added, and while you can manually rearrange items, there’s no way to automatically resort items in a folder view. (Although you can add a collection as the default view of a folder, this is not always obvious to new users, and quite a few clicks.) With collective.folderorder, you get a new “Order” option the Actions menu for a folder, and you can easily choose from several default folder ordering schemes, including: reverse order, unordered, and partial ordering. Even better, it provides an easy way for developers to add new ordering schemes.
I’d love to see this one PLIPed for future inclusion in Plone, possibly with a few more ordering options (e.g. last modified, creation date). It’s a small but welcome UI affordance.
collective.folderposition – Laurence Rowe
Another small but welcome improvement to folder ordering. This one adds a nice little set of buttons below a folder listing that allows you to move items instantly to the top, the bottom or up/down a designated number of slots. Again, super convenient when you need to rearrange a lot of folder items.
collective.prettydate – Franco Pellegrini & Héctor Velarde
collective.prettydate reformats the display absolute dates/times (e.g. 3/1/2012) to relative date (e.g. one month ago, four days ago, etc.) This is really nice for news sites or sites with upcoming events.
collective.embedly – Quintagroup
collective.embedly makes it stupidly simple to embed almost any externally hosted multimedia (YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare.net, etc.) into Plone. It uses the fantastic service “Embedly” which is itself built on the open “oembed” standard. Developers who want a bit more power may also want to look at collective.oembed.
collective.routes – Nathan Van Gheem
This one is a bit conceptual, but pretty awesome. From the prolific and talented Nathan Van Gheem comes collective.routes, which makes it possible to build URLs in Plone that do catalog queries, e.g. http://mysite.com/blog/date/of/blog/post. This isn’t really an end-user product, but it makes it easy for integrators to build really nice URLs for their custom Plone apps.