A sane, working, editor-friendly way of creating front pages and other composite pages. Working now, for mere mortals.
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README.rst

collective.cover

Life, the Universe, and Everything

collective.cover is a package that allows the creation of elaborate covers for website homepages, especially for news portals, government sites and intranets that require more resources than a simple page or collection can offer. However, despite offering rich resources to build a cover, collective.cover also provides a very easy mechanism for managing its contents, built around a drag-and-drop interface.

collective.cover is based on Blocks and Tiles, like Mosaic, the new layout solution for Plone.

Demo

For impatient types, there is a demo installation of collective.cover on Heroku. It needs about 60 seconds to spin up and it will purge all changes after about an hour of non-usage.

Use cases

Suppose you are running The Planet, a news portal that has a bunch of editors focused on getting news on different topics, like Economy, Health or Sports.

If you are the main publisher of the site, you may want to delegate the construction of the front page of the Economy section to the people working on that content area, but you might not want them messing around the Sports section as well.

Also, suppose you have the final game of the World Cup and the match is going to be defined on penalties: you may want to prepare a couple of cover pages and publish the right one focused on the team that won in the end.

These are the kind of issues we want to solve with this package; we are still far from it, but that is the idea.

Who is using it?

These are some of the sites using collective.cover:

https://raw.github.com/collective/collective.cover/master/cover.png

The Presidency of Brazil uses collective.cover on the front page of its site.

Mostly Harmless

https://badge.waffle.io/collective/collective.cover.png?label=ready&title=Ready

Got an idea? Found a bug? Let us know by opening a support ticket.

Known issues

See the complete list of bugs on GitHub.

Don't Panic

We are currently working on the documentation of the package; this is what we have right now (contributions are always welcomed):

Installation

To enable this package in a buildout-based installation:

Edit your buildout.cfg and add add the following to it:

[buildout]
...
eggs =
    collective.cover

[versions]
...
collective.js.bootstrap = 2.3.1.1
plone.app.blocks = 4.0.6
plone.app.tiles = 3.0.3
plone.tiles = 2.0.0b2

If you want to use a newer release of collective.js.bootstrap, you will need to update plone.app.jquery:

[versions]
plone.app.jquery = 1.8.3

After updating the configuration you need to run ''bin/buildout'', which will take care of updating your system.

Go to the 'Site Setup' page in a Plone site and click on the 'Add-ons' link.

Check the box next to collective.cover and click the 'Activate' button.

Note

You may have to empty your browser cache and save your resource registries in order to see the effects of the product installation.

Not entirely unlike

Over the years there have been some packages designed to solve the problem of creating section covers in Plone. We have used and have taken ideas from the following:

CompositePack
Very old; the legacy code is so complex that is not maintainable anymore. It has (arguably) the best user interface of all. Layouts can not be created TTW. Viewlets are just page templates associated with content types; you can drag&drop viewlets around the layout. Publishers love it.
CMFContentPanels
Code is very old, but still maintained (at least works in Plone 4). Allows to create complex layouts TTW and use any layout as a template. Easy to extend and edit (but is terrible to find a content to use). Needs a lot of memory to work and aggressive cache settings.
Collage
Allows the creation of layouts TTW but it has (arguably) the worst user interface of all. It is easily extended and there are several add-ons available that provide new functionality for it.
Home Page Editor of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies Site
Strongly based on Collage, this package was presented at the World Plone Day 2012 Brasilia. It allows editing of home pages and the definition of permissions on blocks of content. Works under Plone 3 only.
collective.panels
A new package that lets site editors add portlets to a set of new locations: above and below page contents, portal top and footer. The package comes with a number of flexible layouts that are used to position the portlets, and locations can be fixed to the nearest site object, to facilitate inheritance. In collective.cover (this package), we don't want to use portlets at all.