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My Plone doesn't show translated msgids located in a locales directory !!

by Mikel Larreategi — last modified Apr 16, 2008 12:00 AM
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In a project I'm currently working on, I have written a product following the new way of writing Plone products: creating an egg and putting its translations in a locales directory.

After translating the msgids, creating the po files and reading once and again the Maurits' post although I'm on Plone 2.5, I was seeing always the same translated strings, always in the language my browser was configured in, no matter I changed the language using Plone's language selector.

After googling a bit, I found this Five and i18n tutorial in which Phillip says:

The goal of the sprint was to allow both fallback translation services (PTS, Localizer) and Zope 3 translation domains come to the same conclusion regarding which language should be chosen. The use case is that you have a site running Localizer or PTS and a bunch of "old" products using either one of those for translation. Now you have an additional, "new" Five-based product using Zope 3 translation domains. Most of the time, a page contains user messages from more than one domain, so you would all domains be translated to the same language.

So, I just have to add an overrides.zcml file to my product (and load it in my buildout), with the following content:


Now, Five and Zope3 components of my Plone site, negotiate the language just like PTS does, so I have correctly translated msgids in my site.

How to parse big XML files in Python

by Gari Araolaza — last modified Mar 05, 2008 01:20 PM
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Parsing big  XML files in Python (some 60 MB is already big for me) was a bit painful until now. I used to import minidom and sometimes sax

. The problem with minidom is that the whole XML file loads into memory. Unless you have a 16GB machine, go to get a coffee, as you won't be able to do anything else until the cpu ends processing the file. If you try to do it with SAX, you have to work detecting every element start and end.  Quite crappy.


Today I learned a better solution from Erral: use lxml library. Here is an example so that you see how can we convert an XML file into a list of dicts:
from lxml import etree
coords = etree.parse("/path/to/your/xml/file").getroot()
coords_list = []
for coord in coords:
    this = {}
    for child in coord.getchildren():
        this[child.tag] = child.text
Quite straightforward, isn't it? It's already in Kelpi: XML to list of dict parsing


Paster is your friend

by Mikel Larreategi — last modified Feb 26, 2008 12:58 PM
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If you are starting a new Plone project, paster is definetely your friend. Your necesary and helpful friend.paster can be seen as a code generation tool, and perhaps it can be seen as something to avoid, but it helps, and helps a lot, to write all that boilerplate code you need to write each time you start a Plone project, such as the buildout.cfg file (now that zc.buildout seems to be the de facto standard to manage both development and deployment of Plone projects), skin, css and javascript registratin in a so called theme product, or new profile and content-type registration ina content-type or archetype product.

One of the thing I like the most from paster is the '--svn-repository' option. Before using paste, I found myself many times importing incomplete projects to our svn repository or deleting and later checkouting products. Now, each time I create a new product, or egg, I only have to add a '--svn-repository=http://url-to-my-svn' and I'm done. paster creates the trunk, branches and tags structure, it checkouts the trunk, adds the files, and everything is set to start working.

paster would be nothing for Plone if ZopeSkel wouldn't exist. ZopeSkel is a collection of paster templates you can use to create your producs. For example, there is a template to create a theme product or a buildout file or an archetypes based product. To use is, you just have to invoke paster with the name of the template:

erral@lindari:/tmp$ paster create -t plone3_buildout myproject --svn-repository=http://myurl

Answer just a couple of questions and you'll have a ready-to-go buildout configuration file in your repository.

The archetype template and the support of local ZopeSkel commands (as explained by Mustapha helps you to create a new Archetypes based content-type. But not only it creates the base boilerplate code. Thanks to the local-command support, you can add new content-types, new portlets or even new browser views, just anytime after creating the project. You can add today a browser view, and tomorrow a new content-type. You just have to worry to invoke the correct `paster`command, everything else (add configure.zcml lines, new Generic Setup profile configuration files, etc) is done by paster:

erral@lindari:/tmp$ paster create -t archetype my.content
erral@lindari:/tmp$ cd my.content/
erral@lindari:/tmp$ ls
erral@lindari:/tmp/my.content$ paster addcontent --list
Available templates:
  atschema:     A handy AT schema builder
  contenttype:  A content type skeleton
  portlet:      A Plone 3 portlet
  view:         A browser view skeleton
  zcmlmeta:     A ZCML meta directive skeleton
erral@lindari:/tmp/my.content$ ls my/content/
browser    configure.zcml    portlets  tests  content  profiles
erral@lindari:/tmp/my.content$ paster addcontent contenttype
erral@lindari:/tmp/my.content$ ls my/content/content

Awesome !!!

Many people don't like code generation tools. I don't know I should call paster a code generation tool or a helpful-boilerplate-writing-avoider-tool. Is something you will want to use after trying it for the first time.

Using Plone4ArtistsAudio in a zc.buildout based Plone installation

by Mikel Larreategi — last modified Jan 22, 2008 12:00 AM

For two recently launched websites ( and I have used Plone4ArtistsAudio, to easily create an audio album with podcasting capabilities without creating a new content-type. P4AAudio, is a product for Plone that exposes some python libraries to re-use common Plone content-types, like Files, to use them like an audio album.

For example, Gari has in his blog a folder called podcast, where he uploads his radio programs broadcasted by Euskadi Irratia every two weeks. I added Plone4ArtistsAudio to this Plone installation and enabled media in this folder, and only in this folder, and all audio files uploaded like Plone standard files were audio enhanced automagically to have this pretty look and feel.

Gari's podcast example

This is pretty cool: I had to add no custom content-type (so, no new portal types) to Plone. Some zope3 concepts like interfaces, adaptation or event subscribers are used by Plone4ArtistsAudio to create this product.

But everything has its cons. The installation of Plone4ArtistsAudio was a pain. In our latest projects we have used zc.buildout to deploy our sites following Martin's tutorial on and many other suggestions from Plone community.

Plone4ArtistsAudio is just a bundle of python modules, p4a.ploneaudio, p4a.common, p4a.z2utils and It ships all these modules inside a folder called pythonlib and it add this folder to the sys.path when loading.

For some reason, this way of including the modules in the PYTHONPATH is not compatible with the buildout way of working, because when starting, zope complained about not being found.

After some searching on the Internet, I found that something similar happened with PloneGetPaid but I couldn't fix it. So, after some help by Tim Terlegård, I decided to leave Plone4ArtistsAudio in my products folder, but add the libraries it ships as develop-eggs. Be careful, you cannot add this libraries directly as installable eggs from the PyPI, because some of them are marked to be zip_safe eggs, which aren't because they need the zcml files inside them loaded by Zope.

So, my buildout.cfg file is now something like this:

newest = false
index =
versions = versions

parts =
    instance zopepyeggs =

develop =
    src/  [...]

And svn:externals set to the following URLs inside src directory:
p4a.fileimage -r 18164

So, Plone4ArtistsAudio is a great product, it provides not only a nice interface without adding new content types, but also uses zope3 concepts like interfaces, adapters and subscriber and it also provides a podcast RSS feed, but its installation is not as easy as dropping the product in the Products folder.

Wow, this first post was quite long, but I hope it will be helpful for those trying to install Plone4ArtistsAudio in their buildout based Plone.

Happy Ploning and happy buildouting.. ;)