They're just really annoying
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Viewlets don't suck! They are just really annoying.


This is a small Plone viewlet tutorial that adds/removes a bit of template code to the portal top viewlet manager. The tongue-in-cheek title refers to the following:

  • In essence, viewlets are really cool. They allow you to customize any part of a Plone page without touching any Plone code.
  • In practice, they are a bit harder to work with than they should be (in the author's opinion) due to but not limited to the following reasons (some of which may be limitations of Plone):
    • They require GenericSetup [1]
    • They require a Python package [2]
    • They require an understanding of the ZCA [3]


The goal of this package is to add/remove a viewlet as quickly as possible. The steps are roughly:

  1. Create a Python package (viewlets_dont_suck)
  2. Create namespace packages (they.are.just.really.annoying)
  3. Create generic setup profiles (default AKA install, uninstall)
  4. Create ZCML to configure viewlet (added to the portal top viewlet manager)
  5. Create template (
  6. Add GS code to hide the viewlet on uninstall (is there any more we can do?)
  7. Add Python code to call the GS code to hide the viewlet (Extensions/
  8. Add GS code to customize the order on install (last but not least)
[1]Technically, they don't; i.e. you can add viewlets and viewlet managers with ZCML.
[2]Technically, they don't; i.e. you can add ZCML without a Python package via the plone.recipe.zope2instance recipe, but GenericSetup requires a Python package (to register a directory full of XML configuration).
[3]ZCA is Zope Component Architecture. Viewlet managers provide an interface that viewlets may configure themselves to use (via manager=<INTERFACE> in ZCML)