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Plone Scholarly Journal - the site setup

Project description

Plone Scholarly Journal

The Plone Scholarly Journal (PSJ) is a collection of packages to create and maintain scholarly journals using Plone.

The special abilities of PSJ are:

  • High quality on-the-fly transformations of office documents using
  • Flexible metadata handling

This package is an umbrella package that brings all other psj-related packages together.

Currently, the whole thing consists of three packages:

  • psj.content (content types with extended metadata handling)
  • psj.policy (provides mainly office-document transformations using
  • (this package).

This package creates a vanilla psj-site with the required scripts to start, stop and maintain the site.

psj relies on the content management framework Plone. Visit

to learn more about Plone.

Plone itself is backed up by Zope, an open source application framework of upper-level quality and reliability. See

to learn more about Zope.


You need the following things to install this package:

  • Python 2.4

    Currently Python 2.4 is needed to run Zope (Plone and psj). You can find out, whether you have Python 2.4 installed by opening a shell and entering:

    $ python -V

    This should give you something like:

    Python 2.4.3

    Note, that the whole thing won’t work with Python <= 2.3 nor with newer versions (>= 2.5).

  • `easy_install` and Python `setuptools`

    If you don’t have easy_install already available, you can find the script to set it up on the PEAK EasyInstall page at:

    You need to download, which is available at:

    Then, you run it like this to install easy_install into your system Python:

    $ sudo python2.4

    This will make easy_install-2.4 available to you.

    Then you can install the Python setuptools simply by entering:

    $ sudo easy_install-2.4 setuptools
  • A C-compiler

    This is needed for compilation of the Zope 2 core elements. On Linux systems you normally have the Gnu C compiler gcc available.

  • PIL

    The Python Imaging Library must be installed in your Python path. You can check, whether this is true by opening a shell and entering:

    $ python2.4 -c "import PIL"

    If you get no output at all, everything is fine. If you get a complaint like this:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "<string>", line 1, in ?
    ImportError: No module named PIL

    then you have to install PIL before you proceed. PIL is available from

    Please follow the instructions given in the package.

You do not need to have a version of Plone or Zope already installed. Instead, the build process will grab, configure and install all other packages needed from the web.


First, make sure your system meets the requirements mentioned above.

psj uses a zc.buildout-driven installation process, that has to be initialized first. Because buildout needs a fairly recent version of setuptools, you should update your version of it:

$ sudo easy_install -U setuptools

This brings setuptools to the newest version available.

Now, we are ready to go. Bootstrap the initial buildout environment:

$ python2.4 bootstrap/

and run the buildout command:

$ bin/buildout

Lots of stuff will be downloaded, compiled and installed here.

Note that if you have more than one sandbox for a Zope-based web application, it will probably make sense to share the eggs between the different sandboxes. You can tell zc.buildout to use a central eggs directory by creating ~/.buildout/default.cfg with the following contents:

eggs-directory = /home/bruno/buildout-eggs

If you happen to change the values in buildout.cfg, you have to ‘rebuild’ the environment by running bin/buildout again.

Running the site

You can start Zope, Plone and psj with the following command:

$ bin/instance start

This will start the server process and send it back in the background. Stop the server with:

$ bin/instance stop

If you do not want the server process to detach from the running terminal, you can start it like this:

$ bin/instance fg

In this case you can stop the server by pressing CTRL-C.


$bin/instance --help

to get a complete list of things you can do with the start script.


After starting the server, you can reach it with your browser at


To log into the site, go to


and enter the credentials as in buildout.cfg. By default the username and password are both admin.

This way you reach the Zope Management Interface (ZMI), where you can manage your running Zope instance.


Initial programming was undertaken on behalf of the “Stiftung Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland” (Foundation German Humanities Institutes Abroad) for the publication platform

Funding was provided by the German “Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung” (Federal Ministry of Education and Research).

The programming was coordinated by the Fafalter GmbH, Duesseldorf, Germany, namely Ruth and Bories von dem Bussche.

Many thanks to all these institutions and persons!


0.1 (2008-12-09)

  • Pinned down versions in versions.cfg.
  • Initial version


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