Lots of good things come in July, such as the wonders of outdoors ice-cream booths, and Plone 4.2, which was released on July 5th, was just the cherry on top. This latest release comes with several key enhancements that you need to be aware of if you manage content-managed sites or intranets powered by Plone:
1. Theming your Plone site is now a one-click upload. If this is the one Wordpress feature that you couldn't live without, this opens up your choice of open source CMSs. Plone.app.theming is now distributed with Plone 4.2, which means you can upload a Diazo-based theme in a zip file through the web and retheme your Plone site without going through the file system and without having to know any Python scripting. Hats off to the Plone core contributors for this new feature!
2. Searching is now easier than ever. Plone 4.2 comes with a new search result screen that has advanced search features built into it. The page has been ajax-ified, which means that when you type a search term on a page and hit the search button, the search results get updated immediately without reloading the page. This makes it faster to get to the results you want because you can tweak your search criterias in real-time.
3. Setting up pages with content that is retrieved based on criteria your specify is much easier in Plone 4.2. The collection/smart folder feature has been refactored and comes with a much simplified UI, as described in Nolan's recent blog post on "New, Simpler Collections in Plone 4.2".
4. All the Plone 4.2 HTML is now HTML 5-compliant. This is key to search engine optimization as search engines favor pages that are well coded.
5. Cleaner code is made possible thanks to a refactor. Developers also get a gift in this Plone 4.2 release: all the file and folder listings have been unified in a single set of templates. This refactor makes for cleaner code and facilitates code sharing within a development team. This refactor is the sign of a good and mature product.
If you'd like to see a live demo of Plone 4.2, please visit PloneDemo.com. For the release notes about this release, go to http://plone.org/products/plone/releases/4.2.