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pypm install collective.contentgenerator

How to install collective.contentgenerator

  1. Download and install ActivePython
  2. Open Command Prompt
  3. Type pypm install collective.contentgenerator
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Lastest release
version 0.2 on Jan 5th, 2011

This package was written as part of the Bristol Plone Performance Sprint 2008 by Ed Crewe ( ILRT at University of Bristol) and Matt Sital-Singh (Netsight) to cater for delivery of consistent content profiles for performance testing plone.

The purpose of this egg is to create populated plone sites with dummy content and users. RSS feeds are crawled to generate realistic content for testing against. Textual content, links, images, groups, users and local roles are generated. Content profiles can be specified and there are two default ones supplied - intranet and public.


This package creates populated plone sites using dummy content and users. A likely partner package to the buildouts in collective.loadtesting which use funkload for functional and load testing of plone sites.

Ideally we want an egg that generates content as close to realworld sites as possible, for testing against. Whilst keeping them consistent per profile.

The starting point is to have an egg that installs a set of two profiles. Intranet and public website. These profiles can be adjusted for specific testing purposes, but by keeping a minimal set of base standards the benefit is that relative testing between code sets becomes more achievable.

The hope is that this can serve three user code testing bases ... core plone developers, third party developers and end users with sites for which performance is an issue.

Consistent content profiles should also serve the use of buildbot load testing comparisons over long timescales / code versions for unreal empty plone and these two more realworld profiles.

It was felt that a model of crawling out newsfeed content with tags, links, real sentences and language etc. is more realistic than some bulk plain latin text generator like lorem ipsum. Similarly users and groups are generated with proper names, rather than the user1-100 approach. Although highly consistent generated text has its place for load testing specific parts of plone such as the catalog. Well controlled harvested text can serve this purpose just as well and present a more realistic testing target.

NB: The RSS content source paradigm makes catering for delivery of content profiles with a large percentage of image or file content, as part of the same process, and it could also be adapted to point to foreign language feeds etc.

Currently large images are used for the addition of blobs to the database ... a common profile for intranets where a large number of bespoke file formats may be uploaded. Clearly this and a number of other performance issues can be dealt with by the employment of the correct add ons to remove blobs from the zodb, cache the interface etc. However the aim of this egg is to generate the content by default means. As a user of the egg you can then get relative quantitative data on the performance difference for the same content profile when applying any, or all of these techniques.


Currently the first release (0.2) of the egg is finished and released to pypi, with the latest source in the collective ...


It has the levers to pull to generate the two profiles above, ie. generate content from crawls, add users, groups and local roles etc.

A buildbot and loadtesting setup can now use it with one of the plone site creation buildout recipes, to select from one of the two profiles.


See the setuphandlers.py for the details ...

1. Intranet = 200 Mb - 25 thousand objects ~ 10 minutes to generate 100 users - 10 groups - 45 folders of 10 pages and 10 images (half small and half large) - local roles off

2. Public website = 200 Mb - 120 thousand objects ~ 20 minutes to generate 2000 users - 500 groups - 150 folders of 20 pages and 6 images (one large) - local roles on

The use of a number of profiles for the content generator caters for selection of different types of site. The profiles could also be used to set related generic setup options, ie. many users optimisation, intranet workflow etc. but currently they both use standard out of the box plone settings. If a custom content profile is desired then copy the setupVarious settings dictionaries and call to runSetup from setuphandlers and adjust the values accordingly for use by a profile in your own theme egg.

Crawling optimisation

The crawl and creation of content is only done once and then exported to zexp files in the import directory of a site build. If these files are present this step is skipped and the site generation time is reduced. If fresh data is desired for some reason - just delete the zexps in the import directory.


Further documentation of the internal structure and workings of the package is provided in the doctests within the tests directory.


This egg requires plone 3.0 or later

(NB: In order to cater for full backwards compatibility it would be useful to rewrite it as an old-style zope Product, this would allow for performance comparison testing of content profiles across all plone versions.)

When a profile is first used the system needs access to the internet to crawl content from RSS feeds.

Changelog for collective.contentgenerator

(name of developer listed in brackets)

  • collective.contentgenerator 0.2 (2009-01-08)
  • Completion of first release functionality, tests and documentation
  • [ed crewe]
  • collective.contentgenerator - Unreleased (2008-12-15)
  • Initial package work as part of Bristol 2008 performance sprint
  • [ed crewe, matt sital-singh]

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Last updated Jan 5th, 2011

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