Skip to main content

Easily import static HTML websites into Plone.

Project description


Easily import static websites into Plone


Parse2Plone is a “one off” HTML parser (in the form of a Buildout recipe that creates a script for you) to easily get content from static HTML websites (on the file system) into Plone.

It is designed to satisfy only the most trivial of use cases (e.g. a simple static site in /var/www/html); for more serious deployments, you might enjoy funnelweb.


This is a Buildout recipe for use with Plone; by itself it does nothing. If you don’t know what Plone is, please see: If you don’t know what Buildout is, please see:

Getting started

Because it drives the author nuts whenever he has to dig for a recipe’s options, here are this recipe’s options:

recipe = parse2plone

# core features
path = /Plone
illegal_chars = _ .
html_extensions = html
image_extensions = gif jpg jpeg png
file_extensions = mp3
target_tags = a div h1 h2 p

# additional bells & whistles
force = false
publish = false
collapse = false
replacetypes =
rename =
match =
paths =


Why did you create Parse2Plone when collective.transmogrifier already exists?

Here are some reasons:

  • Because Parse2Plone is aimed at lowering the bar for folks who don’t already know (or want to know) what a “transmogrifier blueprint” is but are able to update their buildout.cfg file; run Buildout; then run a single command; all without having to think too much.

  • collective.transmogrify provides a framework for creating reusable pipes (whose definitions are called blueprints). Parse2Plone provides a single, non-reusable script.

  • Transmogrifier and friends appear to be “developer’s tools”, while the author wants Parse2Plone to be an “end user’s tool”.

If you are a developer looking to create repeatable migrations, you probably want to be using collective.transmogrifier. If you are an end user that just wants to see your static website in Plone, then you might want to give Parse2Plone a try.

There is also this user/contributor comment, which captures the author’s sentiment:

Parse2Plone's release was very timely as I need either this or something very
similar - and while I've no doubt I could make transmogrify do the job, it's a
lot of work for a one-shot loading of legacy pages.

                                                -Derek Broughton, Pointer
                                                 Stop Consulting, Inc.

That’s great, but why didn’t you try to improve collective.transmogrifier and make it more user friendly?

Here are some reasons:

  • The author is a minimalist. One of the design aims of Parse2Plone was to have as few dependencies as possible. There are two “big” dependencies, zc.buildout and lxml. Using Buildout was a design compromise, and using lxml is pretty much a must if you want to “parse”. Oh, and BeautifulSoup was thrown in after the author read this:

  • parse2plone in addition to its primary role as a content importer, is intended to serve as an educational tool; both for the author and consumer. Python coding best practices, and demonstrating how to script tasks in Plone with “bin/instance run” are the aim. Forking and pull requests are encouraged.

  • The author had an itch to scratch; it will be nice for him to be able to say “just go write a script” and then point to an example.

All of that said, the author understands that reusability and conservation of developer resources are important goals, especially for the Plone project. But for better or worse, these were not the goals of Parse2Plone. However, you can be sure that the lessons learned while developing Parse2Plone will be applied outside of it, particularly with regard to the conservation of developer resources within the Plone project.


You can install Parse2Plone by editing your buildout.cfg file like so. First add an import section:

recipe = parse2plone

Then add the import section to the list of parts:

parts =

Now run bin/buildout as usual.


Now you can run Parse2Plone like this:

$ bin/plone run bin/import /path/to/files


If you have a site in /var/www/html that contains the following:


You should run:

$ bin/plone run bin/import /var/www/html

And the following will be created:


Modifying the default behavior of parse2plone is easy; just use the command line options or add parameters to your buildout.cfg file. Both approaches allow customization of the exact same set of options, but the command line arguments will trump any settings found in your buildout.cfg file.

Buildout options

You can configure the following parameters in your buildout.cfg file in the parse2plone recipe section.



Default value




Specify an alternate location in the database for the import to occur.


_ .

Specify illegal characters. parse2plone will ignore files that contain these characters.



Specify HTML file extensions. parse2plone will import HTML files with these extensions


png, gif, jpg, jpeg,

Specify image file extensions. parse2plone will import image files with these extensions.



Specify image file extensions. parse2plone will import files with with these extensions.


a h1 h2 p

Specify target tags. parse2plone will parse the contents of HTML tags listed. If any tag is provided as an XPath expression (any expression begining with /) the matching elements will first be extracted from the root document. Selections for the contents of other tags will then be performed only on the document subset. If only XPath expressions are given, then the entire subtree of the matched elements are returned (including HTML)



Force create folders that do not exist. For example, if you do –path=/Plone/foo and foo does not exist, you will get an error message. Use –force to tell parse2plone to create it.



Publish newly created content.



“collapse” content. (see collapse_parts() in


Rename content. (see rename_parts() in


Use custom types. (see replace_types())


Match files. (see match_files())


Specify a series of locations on the filesystem, with corresponding locations in the database for imports, with syntax: –paths=import_dirs:object_paths (–path will be ignored)


Instead of accepting the default parse2plone behaviour, in your buildout.cfg file you may specify the following:

recipe = parse2plone
path = /Plone/foo
html_extensions = htm
image_extensions = png
target_tags = p

This will configure parse2plone to (only) import content from:

  • Images ending in .png

  • HTML files ending in .htm

  • Text within p tags


  • A folder named /Plone/foo.

Command line options

The following parse2plone command line options are supported.

'--path', '-p'

You can specify an alternate import path (‘/Plone’ by default) with --path or -p:

$ bin/plone run bin/import /path/to/files --path=/Plone/foo

You can specify HTML file extensions with the --html-extensions option:

$ bin/plone run bin/import /path/to/files --html-extensions=htm

You can specify image file extensions with the --image-extensions option:

$ bin/plone run bin/import /path/to/files --image-extensions=png

You can specify generic file extensions with the --file-extensions option:

$ bin/plone run bin/import /path/to/files --file-extensions=pdf

You can specify the target tags to parse with the --target-tags option:

$ bin/plone run bin/import /path/to/files --target-tags=p

Force create folders that do not exist.


Publish newly created content.


“collapse” content (see collapse_parts()).


Rename content (see rename_files()).


Customize types (see replace_types() in


Match files (see match_files()).


You can specify a series of import paths and corresponding object paths:

$ bin/plone run bin/import --paths=sample:Plone/sample,sample2:Plone/sample2

And lastly, you can always ask parse2plone to tell you about its available options with the --help or -h option:

$ bin/plone run bin/import -h

Instead of accepting the default parse2plone behaviour, on the command line you may specify the following:

$ bin/plone run bin/import /path/to/files -p /Plone/foo --html-extensions=html \
    --image-extensions=png --target-tags=p

This will configure parse2plone to (only) import content from:

  • Images ending in .png

  • HTML files ending in .htm

  • Text within p tags


  • A Plone site folder named /Plone/foo.


Here are some trouble-shooting comments/tips.

Compiling lxml

Parse2Plone requires lxml which in turn requires libxml2 and libxslt. If you do not have lxml installed “globally” (i.e. in your system Python’s site-packages directory) then Buildout will try to install it for you. At this point lxml will look for the libxml2/libxslt2 development libraries to build against, and if you don’t have them installed on your system already your mileage may vary (i.e. Buildout will fail).

Database access

Before running parse2plone, you must either stop your Plone site or use ZEO. Otherwise parse2plone will not be able to access the database.


Questions, comments, or concerns? Please e-mail:


Development sponsored by Radio Free Asia


0.9.9 (11/16/2010)

  • Added a large number of tests; performed associated refactoring; 50% test coverage

0.9.8 (11/12/2010)

  • Add “paths” feature to allow multi-import dirs (on the file system), and corresponding object paths (in Plone) to be specified.

0.9.7 (11/08/2010)

  • Fix import error

  • Add file handler to logger; saves output to a file called “parse2plone.log”

0.9.6 (11/08/2010)

  • Fixes to “match” feature

  • Combine all modules into one

  • Remove a stray pdb (!)

  • Add tests (we’re at 20% test coverage people!)

  • Update docs

0.9.5 (11/08/2010)

  • Add match feature

  • Add more project justifications to the docs

0.9.4 (11/06/2010)

  • Remove bin/import script whenever recipe is uninstalled [aclark4life]

  • Add support for XPath syntax in target_tags [derek]

  • Add “typeswap” feature [aclark4life]

  • Update docs [aclark4life]

0.9.3 (11/04/2010)

  • Add Plone 2.5 compat

  • Bug fixes

    • Better handling of file system path; better base dir calculation

0.9.2 (11/03/2010)

  • More doc fixes

0.9.1 (11/03/2010)

  • Doc fixes

0.9.0 (11/03/2010)

  • Fix regressions introduced (or unresolved as of) 0.8.2. Thanks Derek Broughton for the bug report(s)

    • Many fixes to convert_parameter_values() method which converts recipe parameters to arguments passed to main()

    • Fix “slugify” feature

0.8.2 (11/02/2010)

  • Add rename feature

  • Fix regressions introduced in 0.8.1

0.8.1 (10/29/2010)

  • Refactor options/parameters functionality to universally support _SETTINGS dict

  • Add “slugify” feature

  • Doc fixes

  • Add support to optionally publish content after creation

  • Add support for generic file import

0.8 (10/27/2010)

  • Support the importing of content to folders within the Plone site object

0.7 (10/25/2010)

  • Documentation fixes

0.6 (10/25/2010)

  • Support customization via recipe parameters and command line arguments

0.5 (10/22/2010)

  • Revert ‘Add Plone to install_requires’

0.4 (10/22/2010)

  • Add ‘Plone’ to install_requires

0.3 (10/22/2010)

  • Another setuptools fix

0.2 (10/22/2010)

  • Setuptools fix

0.1 (10/21/2010)

  • Initial release

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution (64.2 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page