Preview: Erik Rose’s Plone 3 for Education

I just received a copy of Plone 3 for Education from Packt. I’m planning a review once I’ve put it through its paces, but in the meantime I wanted to send along my first impressions.

The general focus of the book is on course creation, but it appears to cover a lot of the “eventualies” of using Plone in an educational environment (“eventually, you’ll need a staff directory”… “eventually you’ll want to embed media”). Very promising.

The book is on the thin side. From skimming through, it doesn’t seem to be a problem though. The sections are arranged in a fairly logical order, content creation up front and skinning, then deployment at the end.

The book is comprised of (relatively) short, cookbook-style, “if you want to do this, here’s how” sections. Right to the point. This is very promising. It should make the book a good reference as well as a tutorial.

I an very interested in getting into the technical aspects of the book, but I’m especially anxious to see how well it works from an even less-than-anticipated level of technical ability. The book’s target audience includes “makers of school websites… tech-savvy teachers… and seasoned software developers” (from the back of the book), and “web masters… and enterprising faculties” (from the preface), but it shows real promise as being suitable as a next-step for people who already have some basic plone skills and want an easy-to-follow guide for doing something practical. Especially for those of us in an educational environment.

I’ve got my fingers crossed :)

I’ll post a full review soon. Erik has a good reputation in the community, and a knack for explaining things well, so I’ve got high hopes.

There’s a sample chapter available on calendaring, if you’d like to read more of the book than I have at this point ;)

One side note: the cover of the book has a yellow rose on it. Classy. I guess it’s there because of Erik’s last name. I wish Packt would take a cue from O’Reilly and explain the covers of their books in a colophon, but it’s a fair assumption.

This is cool, but one hopes we’re looking at a special case and not a standard practice.

The mind wonders to strange places when contemplating what they’d put on a book authored by someone with a last name like, say, Johnson. :P

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One Response to Preview: Erik Rose’s Plone 3 for Education

  1. Erik Rose says:

    I look forward to your review! I tried to make the book useful not only to education-domain people but to other large organizations as well. Many of the examples employ scenarios from education, and there are some tips about things like the effects of podcasting on lecture attendence, but the principles are easily applied to any large organization. After all, almost everybody needs calendaring (chapter 2), personnel data tracking (3 and 4), forms (7), theming (8), and a production environment that won’t make you look like a fool (9-10). Cheers!

    Erik Rose

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