Python-like urlparser module for Javascript

I had to deconstruct and reconstruct URLs from pieces when doing advanced Javascripting for Plone.

I found this nice library from Denis Laprise. However, it had a bug with fragment extractor and lacked reconstruction possibilies. So I decided to make a new version.

Download urlparse.js version 0.2. thank you 🙂

Couple of examples:

var p = new Poly9.URLParser('');
p.getHost() == '';
p.getProtocol() == 'http';
p.getPathname() == '/pathname';
p.getQuerystring() == 'arguments=1';
p.getFragment() == 'fragment';
p.getUsername() == 'user';
p.getPassword() == 'password';

var p = new Poly9.URLParser("http://localhost:8080/path);


var url = p.getURL() // http://localhost:7070/path?foo=bar#anchor

How do you prefer your documentation?

Lately there have been three long email chains related to Plone development documentation here, here and here (total ~100 messages). This little post tries to summarize the current discussion.

I think the dicussion is mostly fueled by third party developers’ frustration with the current development documentation situation. Developing for Plone is difficult, since finding references, how tos and examples for those little things you need is very hard. This is a turn off for many developers who would otherwise use this great system – high developer learning curve and gaps in the documentation makes the system useless.

Points everyone agree are

  • Plone development documentation is not good
  • Sphinx is good for API documentation – already happening
  • Contributors are needed

Points discussed are

  • Should developer documentation be more open ended (Wiki-like). This covers
    • Developer manual
    • How tos and other misc. references
    • API documentation
  • Mostly, it is not about generic end user, admin or system integrator or getting started documentation (here, here)

Pro wiki-like documentation stances

  • It should be more open ended (here, here, here)
  • It’s better to have something messy instead of nothing at all – the current approval process discourages contribution (here)

Con wiki stances

  • It should not be open ended, since this results to messy documentation (here, here)
  • There should be less documents (here)
  • Wikis are bad (here)
  • Incomplete wikis are discouraging (here)

Let’s wait and see where this goes.

Userland templates for Plone – template engine abstraction layer for Python

I have been working with collective.easytemplate product which allows users to use template tags on various places on Plone site. Currently supporting

  • Kupu
  • Outgoing email actions (Content rules ones)

The users can place ${title}, ${object_url} and other template in the edit mode. These variables which are directly mapped from Archetypes fields when the content is viewed/sent. Also, one can register custom snippet generators like $list_folder_content.

I hope Easy Template to cover some more actions in the future. I have noted PloneFormGen and Singing & Dancing product authors that we could add some mixed in functionality together.

Currently Easy Template uses Cheetah template backend. Cheetah is not Zope security friendly and exposing templated actions should be allowed only to trusted members. I am not huge fan of Plone’s TAL template language which is based on XML attributes and thus suitable only be used in XML context – this language is aimed only for hardcore hackers and software designers and ordinary folk really cannot wrap their minds around it.

Because I am not sure which will be the chosen template backend in the future I chose to abstract the template engine layer away. I created collective.templateengines product. It is a bunch of Zope interfaces and utility functions to abstract away common template actions like

  • Applying a template
  • Adding a template context variables
  • Registering custom template tags

Currently collective.templateengines supports Cheetah and Django templates.

So, dear audience, what do you think of all this? What template engine would you suggest which would be Kupu friendly – you can edit the template language in WYSIWYG editor? Do you see any other usages for collective.templateengines? Which other projects could adopt template engine abstraction layer?