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PloneFormGen add on for Plone

README.rst

Introduction

This package provides a generic Plone form generator. Use it to build simple, one-of-a-kind, web forms that save or mail form input.

Repository for this add on is at https://github.com/smcmahon/Products.PloneFormGen. A documentation area is at http://developer.plone.org/reference_manuals/active/ploneformgen/ and an issue tracker at https://github.com/smcmahon/Products.PloneFormGen/issues

Please use the Plone users' mailing list or the #plone irc channel for support requests. If you are unable to get your questions answered there, or are interested in helping develop the product, contact Steve McMahon: steve@dcn.org.

1.7 Notes

PFG 1.7 is intended for use with Plone 4.1+. If you're using Plone < 4.1, PFG 1.6 will be a better choice.

If upgrading from an earlier version, uninstall and reinstall PFG to add new functionality.

jQuery UI

PloneFormGen depends on collective.js.jqueryui. Depending on the version of Plone you're on, you'll have to install a different version of collective.js.jqueryui. Please refer to collective.js.jqueryui documentation for more information: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/collective.js.jqueryui/1.10.3

Overview

PloneFormGen is a generic Plone form generator using fields, widgets and validators from Archetypes. Use it to build simple, one-of-a-kind, web forms that save or mail form input.

To build a web form, create a form folder, then add form fields as contents. Individual fields can display and validate themselves for testing purposes. The form folder creates a form from all the contained field content objects.

Final disposition of form input is handled via plug-in action products. Action adapters included with this release include a mailer, a save-data adapter that saves input in tab-separated format for later download, and a custom-script adapter that makes it possible to script simple actions without recourse to the Zope Management Interface.

To make it easy to get started, newly created form folders are pre-populated to act as a simple e-mail response form.

Dependencies

Plone: Plone 4.1+

Requires PythonField, TALESField and TemplateFields from Jens W. Klein's ScriptableFields bundle: http://plone.org/products/scriptablefields/ (automatically loaded if you install via Python package).

Encryption of e-mail requires the Gnu Privacy Guard, GnuPG, also known as gpg. See README_GPG.txt for details.

CAPTCHA support requires either collective.captcha or collective.recaptcha. See README_CAPTCHA.txt for details.

Installation

  • Just add Products.PloneFormGen to the eggs section of your buildout configuration and run buildout.
  • Restart Zope.
  • Go to the Site Setup page in the Plone interface and click on the Add/Remove Products link. Choose PloneFormGen (check its checkbox) and click the Install button. If PloneFormGen is not available on the Add/Remove Products list, it usually means that the product did not load due to missing prerequisites.
  • If necessary, use the PloneFormGen configlet in the "Add-on Product Configuration" section of Site Setup to customize the product for your site.

Permissions

Site managers may control the visibility and availability of many PloneFormGen functions by changing permissions for user roles. A control panel configlet controls role/permission associations for the portal root. For an explanation of how PloneFormGen permissions map to form folder and form field fields, see improvement proposal #3, Provide ways to hide advanced options from classes of users: http://plone.org/products/ploneformgen/roadmap/3 .

Security

As shipped, only managers may use TALES expressions to override defaults and validators. You may wish to add additional roles, but keep in mind that this is a potential security risk; it basically gives the same powers as scripting or skin editing.

Javascript/CSS Support for Some Fields

Some fields, like the rich text editor and the calendar widget on the date/time field require JS or CSS support that often is not loaded for anonymous users. If you wish this support for anon users, you'll need to remove the "not: portal/portal_membership/isAnonymousUser" condition for their support code in portal_css and portal_javascripts.

Rationale For This Product

  • Plone needs a general-purpose form generator that may be used for mail forms, RDBMS database interactions and other functions that don't require the Archetypes' persistence machinery;
  • Designing a form using such a form generator should not require a) work on the file system, b) creation of new content types, c) use of the ZMI (except for scripting field population or custom validation). [PloneFormMailer is an outstanding, useful product, that suffers only for its reliance on the ZMI/Formulator for design.]
  • Archetypes, in conjunction with the CMF Form Controller, has a form generator built-in. Ideally, it should be possible to repurpose the Archetypes widgets and validators (which were evidently intended to be generally useful) for a more general-purpose form generator.

Credits

Archetypes has been ruthlessly mined for concepts and functionality. The base view and edit macro templates are very slightly modified versions of Archetype's base_edit and edit_macros.

Form and field icons are scavenged from Martijn Faassen's Formulator, and were edited only to add transparency to make them look a bit better on the add items menu.

The mail adapter is basically a tailored version of PloneFormMailer, minus the Formulator adapter machinery. Thanks to PloneFormMailer's authors, Jens Klein and Reinout van Rees.

Pierre-Yves Landure provided tremendous help with the i18n machinery. Sebastien Douche and Pierre-Yves Landure provided the French translation.

Martin Aspeli's RichDocument has provided an invaluable reference, particularly in how to handle installation and testing issues.

Martin Aspeli, Wichert Akkerman, Eric Steele, Jens Klein and Reinout van Rees all provided valuable early feedback.

Titus Anderson provided the base code for the Ratings-Scale Field. Andreas Jung contributed the record-editing feature for the Save Data adapter.

Fulvio Casali, Alex Tokar, David Glick, Steve McMahon, Jesse Snyder, Michael Dunlap, Paul Bugni, Jon Baldivieso and Andrew Burkhalter all did amazing things at the December 2008 PFG sprint sponsored by OneNW. Special thanks to David, for the CAPTCHA work, and Andrew for export/ import.

Thomas Buchberger provided the initial CAPTCHA field implementation.

David Glick effectively has been co-maintainer for versions since 1.2.5. Thanks, David!

Nenad Mancevic (Manca) added the widget toolbox and dramatically enhanced the quick edit mode for his Google Summer of Code 2010 project. Thanks to Manca and Google!

See the CHANGES.txt file for the very long list of people who helped with particular features or bugs.

License

Distributed under the GPL.

See LICENSE.txt and LICENSE.GPL for details.

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