Panels are sets of portlets appearing in various layout configurations which you can insert into a selection of Plone's existing locations (above and below page contents, portal top and footer).
It aims to render a number of existing add-ons obsolete, including Collage, collective.portletpage and Products.ContentWellPortlets. The functionality represented by these add-ons is mostly available in panels, too, and comes in an implementation that builds directly on Plone's portlets framework.
There's an alternative to panels still in development in Carlos de la Guardia's collective.cover. It supports a number of advanced use-cases mostly related to workflow and security. Panels does not currently integrate with Plone's permission system except require the blanket "can manage portlets" permission.
Compatibility: Plone 4+ required.
You often have a need to add supplemental content to existing pages, content items or folders.
The included portlets infrastructure serves some, but not all of these needs, letting you add portlets in the left and right column, which are inherited down the content hierarchy.
Panels provide a simple mechanism to add portlets to additional locations, without inheritance, and let you display portlets in different layouts.
Instead of, or in addition to, a page acting as the default content on a folder, you can create a collage of portlets and display it below an introductory text.
There's a lot of flexibility because you can integrate the panel display with Plone's built-in content views. For instance, you could provide a search interface in addition to the standard folder listing.
Supplement static content
Use panels to add portlets above or below a static page.
Features or advertisement
Add panels to the 'portal top' location which by default renders just below the section navigation for an impressive effect.
To create a new panel, or manage existing ones, the editor clicks the
"Manage panels" link appearing in the footer (it links to
@@manage-panels) — similar to Plone's column portlets.
The management view is an overlay of the default content view.
Creating a new panel
To create a new panel, there's a collapsible form appearing just below the page title ("Add panel").
If no panels exist already, the add form appears open to begin with.
Then, simply choose a location (a default choice is already provided), and select a layout. Then add portlets using the "Manage panel" form (see next).
Managing existing panels
In the management interface, a collapsible form appears below existing panels ("Manage panel").
This is similar to Plone's standard portlet interface and in fact uses it directly.
It provides options to add a new portlet, change panel layout or manage existing portlet assignments.
The management interface checks with Plone's viewlet visibility
settings to list only the applicable adding locations. This allows an
administrator to visit the portal's
@@manage-viewlets screen and
put a restriction on panel locations.
Adding additional locations is currently not supported. The limitation here is that Plone's viewlet manager framework does not provide labels, or other enumeration.
There's a choice of layout for each panel, selected when the panel is first added, with an option to change later on. These layouts are registered as components using an included ZCML-directive.
Use the directive to add additional layouts:
<browser:panel name="example" title="Example" template="templates/example.pt" layer=".interfaces.IThemeSpecific" />
Malthe Borch <email@example.com>