Charlie Clark wrote:
> Am 06.02.2010, 15:21 Uhr, schrieb Matthew Wilkes
> <>:
>> It seems like a lot of work for no gain.  I can think of a couple of
>> examples where DTML templates are monkey-patched in Plone and none of
>> those are anything particularly vital.  DTML works for the ZMI, new
>> pages can be written in ZPT, why bother going back and changing them all?
>>   I mean, how often do you really need to do maintenance on the security
>> form, for example?
> The reason for doing the work is not functional but aesthetical. This
> doesn't make it any less valid. Yes, it's a lot of work and yes I'm not a
> fast worker. But it is clearly definable and could best be done in two
> steps:

If the reason is entirely aesthetic, please consider that there is a ton 
of documentation out there, including books in print, which refers to 
the existing UI that's been in place for years and years. Changing it 
purely for aesthetic reasons would probably do more harm than good, and 
confuse a lot of users.

I don't think the ZMI is particularly pretty, and it has various 
usability issues. Maybe addressing those would make a change worthwhile. 
That would involve some actual analysis and a process of design, not 
ad-hoc changes. Small changes like improving some of the graphics, or 
maybe replacing the current frameset with something more modern that 
still retains the same basic UI metaphor could also be worthwhile.

This is far from the most pressing issue affecting Zope 2, though. I 
think you'll spend months doing this and get a cool reception at best, 
and at worst finding your work rejected out of conservatism. If I were 
in control of a budget, I wouldn't spend it on this. ;-)

If you really want to do this (and prepare to spend months on it: once 
you start digging, you may find yourself in a hole), I suggest you do it 
in steps.

  1) Change DTML into ZPT, but don't change anything else. At least this 
will give you a starting point and will make maintenance easier.

  2) Do some real usability analysis and come up with a consistent 
design that's going to deliver some real benefits. You'll need to go 
through a relatively detailed process of getting community agreement on 

  3) Pilot this and get some feedback on a branch.

  4) Presuming people agree with the direction, roll the new look and 
feel out across the ZMI.

I also think there's a company out there that has a possibly-commercial 
ZMI replacement that's more AJAX-y and pretty. Maybe worth looking for 
that, though I forget the name.


Author of `Professional Plone Development`, a book for developers who
want to work with Plone. See

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