Building Another Editing Website

There are a lot of ways to build software.  One picks and chooses different solutions as different needs become evident.  For speed, PHP or an Object-Oriented development environment like Ruby on Rails or Django are good.  But if one needs the monolithic production environment for an editing program, one must choose a toolkit like Plone, with all its overhead instead.

I felt pretty good about the software developments I had made using Plone to create the New Holland Press newspaper.  The site produced .PDFs right from editor’s copy!  But it was slow.  Now that I want to create a new technical journal I want a similar site that is a bit more speedy.

I liked the way objects could be stored in the Plone database.  One could adapt the software for an object like a ImageFrame and create a WatermarkedImageFrame.  All this without making changes to any database schema or taking “round-trips” to carefully edit the existing data so that the new product would work.  All that you had to do (practically) was to create the new WatermarkedImageFrame.  Of course it had to fit into the entire framework of the site and you had to learn how to do that.  The framework was a bit more complicated than PHP.

I came up with PHPZope as a way to harvest the data that was stored so neatly in the Plone database so that it could be presented on a PHP site.  The name is really a misnomer – it really should be called PHP-Pickle.  It almost is done and almost succeeds at reading Python Pickles and turning them into a PHP Array.  The new product (see previous post) does not seem to deal with Zope persistence properly however.

What I would like to do is design an editing environment using Python.  A logged in user would be able to create a new document, edit it, proofread it and print it.  The functions to do this would be built using Python’s correct object-oriented design and persistence that preserves the object’s state.  Then PHP Pickle would create a fast website for viewing the results!

PHP Pickles

I’m very excited about my new project.  I call it PHPZope but it is really not Zope; so I’ve got to change the name.

I have written a PHP Extension to take a pickled Python object and turn it into something that PHP can deal with.

Its still fairly primitive software: I have a lot of work to do to improve it!

But if you want to check out the code so far go to

Programmer’s Tools

People look at my resume and exclaim that I have worked at a lot of companies.  This has happened for various reasons.  Recently I began to look at what I actually “brought home” from each company as a new tip of the trade.  Here is the partial list:

  1. Beyond Compare, a fabulous tool for searching in files.
  2. SnagIt by TechSmith: much more than a clipboard buffer!
  3. Notepad++, a free notepad that can’t be beat!
  4. Sublime Text editor: a code editor for someone who does a lot of work.
  5. WinSCP: why not treat your server as just another file system?

This list goes on, I am sure!  I shall try to add to it as I think of more examples of great software I have learned about on-the-job.

IT Finance

It’s a nice thing to be able to plan out your expenses and expenditures for your Information Technology venture.  But your Norton subscription expires or you just have to have a copy of Sublime Text editor and out goes $170.  I realize that I am supposed to match outflows with inflows but although I have a completed Galileo board for sale on Etsy (newhollandpress store) and am getting a lot of links, I haven’t sold one yet.  Not complaining, just thinking!