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Workflow management and application generation tool for Plone.

Project description


Our vision for uwosh.northstar is as a complete through-the-web (TTW)
tool for generating workflow applications, ie. a custom content type
combined with an assigned custom workflow.

Right now it adds a control panel entry ``Workflow Manager`` where you
can access the workflow tool. It also adds a ``Workflow App Generator``
control panel entry where you can generate your workflow app products.

Creating content types is easily done by using Dexterity. The tool will
simply dump your dexterity content type. If you can not use dexterity,
the tool also supports using PloneFormGen as your modeling tool in which
it'll create a corresponding Archetype for the PloneFormGen form you've

uwosh.northstar is strictly for add-on product workflows and content types.
By design, the tool cannot be used to edit default Plone workflows.

It provides all the functionality you need to manipulate workflows
easily through the web, using an AJAX-powered interface and to generate the
products of the content types and workflows you've created TTW.

You can take a look at the new video demonstrating the workflow editor

Tested with
* Firefox
* Google Chrome
* Safari
* Opera
* IE8


Just add `uwosh.northstar` to your buildout eggs sections and then
install the "North* " product in the add/remove products control

In older versions of Plone, you might need to add to your zcml slug section of your buildout also.

Workflow App Generation with PloneFormGen

>>> eggs =
>>> ...
>>> Products.PloneFormGen
>>> ZopeSkel
>>> Paste

Workflow App Generation with Dexterity

>>> eggs =
>>> ...
>>> ZopeSkel
>>> zopeskel.dexterity
>>> Paste


One feature of North* is that it can create a Diagram of the workflows
you create TTW.

The inspiration for this piece was pretty much taken from DCWorkflowGraph.

In order to enable this feature, you'll need to install the Graphviz library.
Information can be found at

Once you've built Graphviz and have installed it, make sure the "dot"
executable it creates is in your PATH, e.g.

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/bin

assuming "make install" placed the Graphviz executables into
/usr/local/bin. You can test that your PATH is set correctly if "which
dot" finds the "dot" executable.

Then restart your Zope or ZEO client. The next time you are looking at
a custom workflow in Workflow Manager, you should see a new "Diagram"
button. When you click on it, it generates a GIF depicting the
workflow's states and transitions.

Windows Compatibility

We have encountered a problem on Windows in which the Workflow App
Generator creates a tar file but it doesn't contain everything
expected. We suspect either a Python or paster problem.

Produced by Secret Laboratory Number 1 at UW Oshkosh.


1.0 (2011-01-06)

* Just bumping the version number. We serve no wine before its time,
and it's time!

0.9rc6 (2011-01-06)

* Fix for in which
an old version of jquery was being used for Plone 3.3

0.9rc5 (2010-12-22)

* got rid of the whole zip thing... problem was that the generated
file was an ungzipped tar and the inline filename was fooling
Windows and *nix but not OS X; fixed now

0.9rc4 (2010-11-29)

* on Windows will generate a zip file instead of a gzipped tar file

* can force creation of a zip file by adding a boolean property
"uwosh.northstar.useZip" in portal_properties/site_properties and
checking the box

* displays more detailed information about what products might be
missing when you try to use the Workflow App Generator

0.9rc3 (T. Kim Nguyen, 2010-11-01)

* fix in for handling fieldsets, which do not have a __name__ attribute

* fix in to ensure filename for content type Python file
is lowercased, otherwise can get a file not found error when
generating a file system product

0.9rc2 (T. Kim Nguyen, 2010-09-02)

* fixed 'archetype' paster create command for Workflow App Generator
used with PloneFormGen

* in case there is no FormFolder or custom Dexterity type or if
ZopeSkel and Paste are not installed, displays a message saying so
in the Workflow App Generator

0.9rc1 (2010-07027)

* fixed the close button on form pop ups not being style properly with newer
versions of


* move to using content rules for actions instead of python scripts. Gives
us more action types and the extensibility of content rules.

* reorganized code

* some css polishing

* stop using action icons...

* move jquery tool graphics into product since newer version of
do not bring the graphics along with.

* update product generation to also update content schema classes and also
now exports content rules since workflow actions use it.


* added Manage Workflows permission and Generate Applications permissions
for granted access to the tool without manager permissions

* added update security settings button

* Even if there are supposed to be portlets, make sure workflow manager uses
entire screen area for sunburst theme

* Make sure tooltips work even after ajax updates

* added more tool tips

* adding diagram dumping

* some significant refactoring--overdue...

* using more of the standard plone look for the overlays


* fixed uninstall profile to also remove control panel entries.


* missed error with permissions table on previous release


* fixed `add new workflow` not working all the time with
the popup on the workflow selection screen.

* better display of column headers for groups and roles permissions tables

* added tooltip for permissions table

* fixed transition guard permissions weren't getting updated properly


* fixed menu not doing fixed position correctly in safari and chrome


* moved delete button to header of transition and state and removed "Save all" button
from states and transitions

* Changed toolbar "Save all" button to read "Save"

* Made the arrow in the header of state and transitions be where you choose to make
it slide down--direct the user.

* moved "Add new state" and "Add new transition" buttons to toolbar

* have a workflow selection screen now.

* asks you to save unsaved changes before doing certain actions.

* added checkboxes for site owner and authenticated user in email setup.

* groups guard is moved to advanced mode

* more substitution values for email actions--such as time.

* moved menus into form tabs list and restyled it a bit -- much
easier for the user to see and understand.

0.6b1 ~ May 4, 2010

* Sanity check now takes initial state into account and checks if transition
is used by state, not just if it has a new_state_id. Also, it now checks
for an initial state being set.

* added go to state/transition links for the definitions of the states and
transitions so it is much easier to go to and from transitions that are
connected to states and visa versa.

* when adding a state from a transitions or a transition from a state, it'll
automatically set the related values respectively since it'll assume you
want to activate it for that item.

* unsaved info text doesn't show up after adding a mail action anymore.


* added jquery 1.4.2 source to include if older version of plone.

* fixed issues for Plone 3.2 and lower

* removed logo--messes up on some skins.

* fixed some json parsing issues

* cloning workflows now handles CopyErrors that can occur from
reserved ids trying to be used.

0.5b2 ~ April 15, 2010

* fixed zopeskel being imported when it shouldn't be
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* table row was omitted from workflow application generator
table so it showed up in one row.
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* generated product now generates a bit more correctly according
to the archetype zopeskel template
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* remove locales declaration from generated product configure.zcml
since it doesn't actually include a locales directory
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* better documentation about enabled the workflow application
generator functionality.
[Nathan Van Gheem]

0.5b1 ~ April 14, 2010

* can now export products with content types generated TTW
using PloneFormGen or Dexterity
[Nathan Van Gheem]

0.4 ~ March 30, 2010

* tightened up everything
[Nathan Van Gheem]
* fixed Plone 4 support
[Nathan Van Gheem]
* better toolbar and layout
[Nathan Van Gheem]

0.3 ~ March 25, 2010

* fixed bug for firefox where you'd get a
"script stack space quota is exhausted" error
if you had a lot of transitions and states.
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* now slides to newly created transition or state
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* added icon for control panel
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* reorganization and a little better styles
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* more transition properties
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* added advanced mode checkbox
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* js wasn't working correctly for everything in non-firefox browsers
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* added ability to assign workflows to a type
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* improved uninstall profile
[Nathan Van Gheem]

0.2 ~ March 22, 2010 r1942

* fixed error message showing up in two places
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* better testing
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* Now have mail actions
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* various html output improvements
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* added sanity check button
[Nathan Van Gheem]

* handles deleting states, transitions and workflows
in a smarter way
[Nathan Van Gheem]

0.1 ~ March 17, 2010

* Initial Release

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