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redturtle.custommenu.factories (0.2)

by Olha Pelishok last modified 2010-03-01
Released on 2010-02-21 by RedTurtle Technology, Luca Fabbri for Plone 3.3, Plone 4.0 under GPL - GNU General Public License available for All platforms.
Software development stage: beta
Customize the Plone "add portal content" menu

This product make possible the customization of the Plone "Add new..." menu, commonly filled from the Plone available content types.

This is designed for avoiding useless content types but, at the same time, help UI experience of non-technical users.

This product has been tested on Plone 3.3 and Plone 4.

You can use this to add new non-standard stuff to the menu (like Javascript links). See below.

Idea behind this

The case is related to developed content types that gets added to Plone only for usability enhancements.

One example: have you ever used Plone4ArtistsVideo, or collective.flowplayer? In those products users that want to add new video to a site must use the "Add new..." menu and select the File content.

So the editor (that is never a developer in real life... you must accept it) must know that when he add a new file, it magically became a video... This is not so simple to understand; also is impossible to understand it without a training or by past experience. Can't be better if the user could read "Add new video" in the menu instead?

Right now the best usability choice is to add a new content type to the menu, or develop a new helper portlet that show some links like "add a new video here".

In the first case, just copy/paste the original used content if enough (copy/paste the File content type and rename it in something like "Video"). But you know... we don't really need those new content types.

In the second case all is ok, but what Plone users know is to look at the right menu to search for addable types, not to look in a menu and also in another place.


  • user know that for adding new content types, they must use the "Add new..."
  • users often ignores the magic behind Plone (like the File that became a Video)
  • developer don't like to add new silly content types only to help end users (no, the are not bad guys).

The problem above is related to the not-customizable state of the "Add new..." menu: the editor and the developer will be both happy if a new, fake entry could be added to this menu. Going back to the video example:

  • the classic File entry (that point to http://myhost/mysite/createObject?type_name=File)
  • a new "Video" entry (again pointing to http://myhost/mysite/createObject?type_name=File)

This products is designed only for this or similar usability issues, however can help you to customize existing elements of the menu on context (for example: the action of adding a new "News Item" content in a folder can be customized to be an alias for another content type, but only for this special folder)

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