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pypm install products.plonehelpcenter

How to install Products.PloneHelpCenter

  1. Download and install ActivePython
  2. Open Command Prompt
  3. Type pypm install products.plonehelpcenter
 Python 2.7Python 3.2Python 3.3
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Depended by
Lastest release
version 4.0b3 on May 13th, 2011

If you are upgrading an existing PHC installation, you must read INSTALL.txt.


Plone Help Center is an application designed to aid the documentation of Plone, and is used on plone.org to categorize and keep documentation up to date. It should be usable for documenting other open source products (such as Plone Product add-ons) or even for other documentation projects.


Plone Help Center has inline documentation, just add a help center.

What's New in 3.0

The underlying architecture of previous versions of PHC was basically Plone 2.0. It was built on Archetypes without ATContentTypes. Features like next/previous navigation and automatic tables of contents were all built in. In many way, PHC was a test center for new Plone features.

However, Plone advanced and PHC did not.

PHC 3 is much less ambitious. Rather than trying to add new features to Plone, this version seeks to inherit Plone 3 features by reimplementing most of the PHC content types as ATCT-derived classes that automatically implement Plone 3 behavior. PHC-specific features are added via sub-classing or interfaces/adapters.


PloneHelpCenter requires:

  • Plone 3.0 or later


See the Installing an Add-on Product tutorial for more detailed product installation instructions.


If you are upgrading a Plone site with an existing help center from a version prior to 3.0, you must run the upgrade profile.

Step by step follow this order

Do not upgrade from PHC 1.6.x on Plone 3.x to PHC 4.x in Plone 4.x in one step.

Update first to Plone 3.3.5+ with:

Products.PloneHelpCenter = 1.6.2
Products.AddRemoveWidget = 1.4.2

Check if example content is present! Then update buildout to:

Products.PloneHelpCenter = 3.0b3


bin/buildout -v

* restart instance and

* deinstall Products.PloneHelpCenter 3.0b3

* install Products.PloneHelpCenter 3.0b3

* in the ZMI go to:  Generic Setup Tool at  /acsr/portal_setup  Tab "Upgrades"

* after selecting: "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" and clicking "Choose Profile" you get first::


    The profile "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" is currently upgraded to version 3.0b3.

    The filesystem version for the "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" profile is currently 3.0b3.

    No upgrade available.

* Now click at -> Show old upgrades: "show" an see::

    Available upgrades:
    Upgrade Step Group
    ->              Upgrading the types
    (0.0 → 3.0)

* select the item and run the upgrade

* you get::


    The profile "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" is currently upgraded to version 3.0.

    The filesystem version for the "Products.PloneHelpCenter:default" profile is currently 3.0b3.

    No upgrade available.

Content should be back again!


AddRemoveWidget -- PLEASE NOTE: if AddRemoveWidget is installed as a Zope product, you must also install it in Plone. If it is present without being installed, errors will occur.

Installing with buildout

If you are using buildout to manage your instance installing Plone Help Center is very simple. You can install it by adding it to the eggs line for your instance:

eggs = Products.PloneHelpCenter

If another egg package depends on Products.PloneHelpCenter you do not need to specify anything in the buildout configuration: buildout will detect this automatically.

After updating the configuration you need to run the ''bin/buildout'', which will take care of updating your system.

Installing without buildout

Move (or symlink) the PloneHelpCenter folder of this project (Products.PloneHelpCenter/Products/PloneHelpCenter) into the Products directory of the Zope instance it has to be installed for, and restart the server.

You may also download a traditional tarball that you unpack into Products from http://plone.org/products/PloneHelpCenter .


History of changes to PHC (name of developer listed in brackets):

PloneHelpCenter 4.0b3 (2011-05-12)

- Clean up package and release

- Update discussion_reply.cpy to keep in sync with Plone.

- Add subnavigation to most templates.

- Revamp helpcenter_topicview_main to show start-here items,
  topic counts.

- Add getPHCSubNav method for PloneHelpCenter to create subnavigation.

PloneHelpCenter 4.0b2 (2010-12-28)

- Fix phc_stats template in Plone 4.

- Fix import error in Plone 3.

- Use the containment acquisition chain to get the parent
  attributes in ReferenceManualSection type.

- Make listings respect the subtopics order set in the HelpCenter
  or type folders, instead of sorting alphabetically.
  Fixes http://plone.org/products/plonehelpcenter/issues/127.

PloneHelpCenter 4.0b1 (2010-12-09)

- Use ordering adapters in Plone 4 to sort items in sections.

- Make the default view for PHC folders obey the items ordering
  set using the Contents tab. Formerly, they were sorted
  alphabetically by title.
  Fixes http://plone.org/products/plonehelpcenter/issues/121.

- Allow all site-enabled markup types for PHC content, instead of
  a fixed list.
  Fixes http://plone.org/products/plonehelpcenter/issues/117.

- Modify workflow definitions to disallow Anonymous users to see
  content inside hidden Help Centers.
  Fixes http://plone.org/products/plonehelpcenter/issues/118.

- Remove the "Properties" tab for content-types, that was
  duplicating the Metadata schemata already present in the edit
  view in Plone 3.
  Fixes http://plone.org/products/plonehelpcenter/issues/119.

- Make mail sending code compatible with Plone 3. PHC 4 is now
  compatible with both Plone 3 and 4.

PloneHelpCenter 4.0a1 (2010-12-07)

- Use lxml to turn image relative links into absolute for the
  one-page version of manuals. This introduces a new install
  dependency on lxml.
  Fixes http://plone.org/products/plonehelpcenter/issues/136.

- Include numbering in the section title.
  Fixes http://plone.org/products/plonehelpcenter/issues/137.

- Rename type titles: "Page" to "Tutorial Page" and "Link" to
  "Help Center Link".
  Fixes http://plone.org/products/plonehelpcenter/issues/140.

- Made it possible to query contentIds via XML-RPC for
  collective.developermanual uploads [miohtama]

- Use the aq_parent function instead of the attribute to avoid
  AttributeErrors when not using an acquisition wrapper (newer
  Zope versions).

- Fix next/previous custom adapter to visit the same items as appear in
  the navigation dropdown. Also make sure this adapter is used for legacy
  ReferenceManuals. This fixes
  [dukebody, davisagli]

- Don't fail when trying to acquire getCurrentVersions if not in
  a container that includes currentVersions in its schema. [davisagli]

- Fix the imports to use always Zope 3 style interfaces, making
  the code work both in Plone 3 and 4 simultaneuslly.
  [dukebody, thanks davisagli]

- Merge relevant changes from the Plone 4 migration branch from
  Fabio Rizzo. [dukebody]

- Reverted obsolete code from the referencemanual_view.pt fix. [acsr]

- Updated INSTALL.txt with step by step upgrade guide related to issue #142 "upgrade steps order unclear" and issue #132 "errata mentioning Ploneboard". [acsr]

- Fixed an issue with failure to display referencemanual_view when
  files are present in the reference manual. [acsr, thanks dukebody]

- Update the whole product to work with Plone 4.0a2. [dukebody]

- Removed "global allow" for Reference Manual. This closes

- updated INSTALL.txt with step by step upgrade guide related to
  issue #142 "upgrade steps order unclear" and issue #132 "errata
  mentioning Ploneboard". [acsr]

- Respect exclude_from_nav setting in the reference manual
  table of contents generation [miohtama]

PloneHelpCenter 3.0b3

- Mark search results elements with their workflow state to make
  possible to grey-out outdated elements.
  This closes http://dev.plone.org/plone/ticket/8880.

- Fix next/previous custom adapter to work correctly with manual
  sections. [dukebody]

PloneHelpCenter 3.0b2

- Make hc_view available in PSC.

PloneHelpCenter 3.0b1

- View cleanups.

PloneHelpCenter 3.0dev

- Reduce test noise if LinguaPlone, i18ndude or i18ntestcase are
  missing. [stevem, thanks dukebody]

- setuphandlers.py wasn't protecting importVarious from running in
  non-install contexts. Showed up as unable to find portal_registry
  when creating a new plone site. [stevem]

- Added Upgrade profile to manage type transition. [stevem]

- Updated all types to be derived from ATCT types, thus inheriting
  all the standard Plone behavior that PHC used to have to do on
  its own. [stevem]

- Add a "Knowledge Base" that's basically a large folder to
  organize how-tos and tutorials. [stevem]

PloneHelpCenter 1.6.1

- Set up indices in Extensions/Install.py rather than via GS
  so that they won't be cleared on reinstall. [stevem]

- Can't cache function results that have brains.

PloneHelpCenter 1.6

- Added time-based ram caching to several expensive view methods.
  Default invalidation is 30 minutes, but may be changed in

- Plone 3.x is now required. PHC 1.5.x will be a maintenance branch.

- Add browser view support for a listing of start here docs by section.
  This is for Plone.Org, forthcoming documentation top page revision.

- The compact topic view no longer blocks the left column. That just isn't
  necessary for Plone 3.x.

PloneHelpCenter 1.5

- Corrected a problem in the helpcenter_view that would cause a batching
  error for non-PHC subcontent. [stevem]

RC 2

- Fix issue #95 -- Order of items is not respected -- by adding back
  some of the interfaces masked when marker interfaces were added
  during view implementation.

- Hacked up a solution to how-to attachment action buttons that works
  with 2.5 and 3.x. The is just a patch to hold until 2.5 compatibility
  is abandoned. Fixes issue 106.

- Unable to add attachments to how-tos. Fixed narrow issue; larger
  problem of actions remains.

- Expanded referenceable types to include all PHC leaf content types.
  Fixes 114.

RC 1

- Eggified. [stevem]

Beta 7

- Add link to api.plone.org in list of additional resources. This
  fixes http://dev.plone.org/plone/ticket/7898.

Beta 6

- Restored getAudiencesVocab method to PHCFolder. It had been accidentally
  deleted in a recen refactoring. Fixes #93.

- The latest Archetypes changed the defaults for text fields, creating the
  possibility that content types other than plain text might be allowed
  for some text-only fields. Fixed by specifying allowable and default
  content types. Fixes #99.

Beta 5 and earlier

- Remove "statistics" tab from subfolders. I don't know if it
  was ever meant to be there, but it's useless and doesn't work.

- Move presentation support from PHCFolder.py to browser view.

- Items without sections were not showing in phcfolder_view.

- Revise utils.discussionNotify() to use secureSend.

- Plone 3 doesn't allow discussion of content without dynamic layouts,
  so migrate all the FTIs to dynamic view.

- Fixed issue #41, Content accessible when container is hidden.

- Consolidate ad-hoc topic css into stylesheet. (issue #78)

- Made it possible to use non-ASCII section titles (issues #80, #81, #83).

- Started building browser support; shifted much of the presentation
  logic for the PHC views to browser views.

- Fixed broken install under 2.5.x.

- A bug in CMF 1.2's DiscussionTool prevents setting a default
  allow_discussion via class attribute. (Archetypes used to work
  around this by catching the exception. That was lost in Archetypes
  1.5. Until fixed, commented out the code that sets allow_discussion.

- Add rudimentary test for comment mailing.

- Test and install cleanup targetting Plone 3.

PloneHelpCenter 1.0

- Hide several visual artifacts that aid navigation on printed

- Using the stylesheet registry to include the custom styles,
  instead of including them directly from the templates.

- Fix issue #64: Topic area listings should be restricted to the HelpCenter

- Make import of CMFCorePermissions compatible with later versions of CMF

- PHC tracker cleanup [stevem]:
  Fix issue #59: Images don't show in highest level nonpaginated view
   for a PloneHelpCenter manual.
  Fix for issues #44 and 52. Make view actions Plone 2.5 friendly.
  Fix issue #55 by adding contributed spanish .po files
  Fix issue #54: German Umlaute by updating .po files
  Fix issue #54: German Umlaute by updating .po file
  Fix issue #31: Token 'ATOM' required, 'Not' found in searches.
  Fix issue #62: Duplicated listings on content-type folders
  Fix issue #35, Contents fail to display if no section value assigned

- Rephrase all-content-in-one-page view's note for reference
  manuals and tutorials to make it simple/shorter and avoid the
  ambiguity-prone "page" term (simple users might think it refers
  to print media, and might be surprised :O when it doesn't
  actually fit in one page).
  [Kathryn Hryb, servilio]

- Added full contents view option to TOC drop-down for section
  views of reference manual and tutorial.

- Fixed some templates that weren't honouring the setting of

- Fixed document actions placement for some templates that have
  them after the title.

- Make getRelatedItems return an empty list when no relatedItems
  property is present.

- Added search template for searches by topic, audience, version.

- Added option to make PHC searches be global rather than local-only.
  This will support including product-area documentation in searches
  on plone.org.

- Added HelpCenter templates to support browsing by section (topic).
  Added some support for using the section field for a
  "topic : subtopic" taxonomy. Added portlets to support these
  [stevem, templates by vedawms, joelburton, and limi]

- Added default sections at HelpCenter folder level. These may be
  overridden in folders.

- Added 'Start Here' flag for key documentation
  [aclark and stevem]

PloneHelpCenter 0.9

- i18n improvements and general fixes in some templates

- Added plone-pt-br.po and plonehelpcenter-pt-br.po

- Another template / i18n update.

- Made it possible to have standalone objects outside the Help Center
  (very useful for reference manuals, for example)

- Major overhaul of all i18n files.

- actually start using the ADD_HELP_AREA_PERMISSION as the
  add permission for HelpCenter, instead of the generic
  'Add Portal Content' permission

- fixed lots of failing and erroring unit tests.  got all
  tests to pass w/ plones 2.0 and 2.1

- Made Glossary's getItemsBySection() return sorted list.

- Made reference manual and todo navigation drop-downs select current page

- Removed Help Center workflow from TutorialPages for now. They should
  probably just have a simple in-progress/finished marker workflow that
  doesn't really affect permissions, but just whether they are listed
  or not in the index/page navigation. Had to remove it because of permission
  problems right now (if any pages are not published in a Tutorial, you get
  permission denied on the entire Tutorial).

PloneHelpCenter 0.2

- Added Help Center portlet, this will aggregate published entries
  from all the available Help Centers, and display links to the published
  help centers.

- Added Glossary types, updated Help Center view

- Added Link types

- Added ErrorReference types

- Added helpcenter_workflow & associate installation stuff.

- Cleaned up FAQFolder, HowtoFolder, TutorialFolder displays

- Folders now only list visible-to-users content

- Changed how versions are printed on pages: uses getVersions method
  rather than macro. Also, only prints a versions: line if there is
  anything in versions vocabulary--so, to create a help center that
  doesn't really use versions, just leave the vocab for this blank.
  It will still appear on Archetypes' forms, but won't show up
  one view modes

- Cleaned up and refactored text/doc files.

- Made many small API changes throughout. Sorry, but now this
  means that any existing Plone Help Centers will have to be migrated.
  I doubt if there are enough out there to justify making a
  migration script. The API should be fairly stable from now on,
  but keep in mind this is still only a 0.2 release ;)

- added an optional ReferenceField (controlled in config.py) to cross-
  reference from a PHC-type to another Archetype in the portal. This
  shouldnt affect existing code. If you have ATReferenceBrowserWidget
  installed its used instead of the dumb default ReferenceWidget.

PloneHelpCenter 0.1

- Development version


Project Architecture, Development, Content Types, Archetypes, Workflow: Joel Burton

Development, User Interface, Project Architecture, Quality Assurance: Alexander Limi

Development, persistence and all-round brilliance: Martin "optilude" Aspeli

Development, Assistance: Christian "Tiran" Heimes

Original FAQ code: Tim Terlegard, Edward Muller - further enhancements by Jean-Paul Ladage and Ahmad Hadi from Zest Software

Fixing various stuff, documentation: The Sprinters: Christian Heimes, Dorneles Treméa, Daniel Nouri, Nate Aune

Added optional "see also" references to other Archetypes based types: Jens "jensens" Klein

i18n improvements: And general fixes in some templates and brazilian translations by Jean Ferri

Bugfixes and occasional Quality Assurance: Geir Baekholt

Topic, start-here, and 1.0 search options: The 2007 documentation sprint participants, particularly aclark, joelburton, magnon and stevem. Plone.Org view skin by vedawms.

Numerous 1.0 presentation fixes: Servilio Afre Puentes.

Version 3.0 refactoring: Steve McMahon

Migration for Plone 4.0: Fabio Rizzo from Liberiun.com and Israel Saeta Pérez.

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Last updated May 13th, 2011

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