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Plone & Diazo

This is a small tutorial on how to create a Plone theme, using Plone 4 and the Plone installer. It is a long article but it is aimed at web designers or Plone administrators with just a basic knowledge of Plone.

Download the Plone installer from plone.org:

(Tip: make sure there is no older version of Plone installed in applications folder in your computer)

Open the terminal (an application that can be found in your computer’s Applications/Utilities folder) and start the Plone instance. Alternative for the mac terminal is iTerm, it has a more pleasant User Interface. 

Navigate inside the terminal to zinstance (located in Application/plone/zinstance):

YourComputer-Name:Plone user$ cd zinstance/

Start-up this Plone Instance by typing: bin/instance fg:

YourComputer-Name:zinstance user$ bin/instance fg

…now wait till you see something like this in the terminal: “2013-11-05 15:56:54 INFO Zope Ready to handle requests”

Important note: Before quitting the terminal at the end of a working session, remember to shutdown the instance from inside the terminal: enter ‘control + c’

Or you can shut down from the browser, in the Control Panel click on “Shutdown” button:

My conclusion though: Diazo might be a great help to get Plone themed, but not a low enough bar for the average (and also higher than average) designer. Plone is hard to customize which translates to expensive. 

5 things STILL! TOO! HARD! in Plone 5 
from Dylan Jay

Getting started is hard “I create an empty site but how do I make it into shop/blog/intranet/brochureware site?” “I just want to start with a simple blog, do I really have to run my own server?” “I want to try a plugin. Do I really have to use this command line thing?” “adding this plugin broke plone by upgrading something”


Theming/Customisation “I want to script something. buildout/packages/mr.bob wtf?” “why do I need these rules when I can hack an html file?” “why do I need to hack an xml file when wordpress has so many themes?” “Why do I need to theme the backend? No other CMS does.” “I have to do what to change this wording?” “I have to do what to change a LESS variable?” “grunt/bower/bootstrap/registries/jbot/…?”