Content licensing in Plone

July 13, 2006 at 12:09 pm

At the recent Big Apple Sprint, we had one conference call (using iSight) with Brent Lambert from The College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University, to discuss the idea of a content licensing tool for Plone, as described in PLIP #136.

Jonah and I suggested that Brent look at Alec Mitchell’s contentratings product for an example of how to use Zope 3 annotations to add metadata to an object. By the following day, Brent already had a working example of adding a license to a piece of content via the Properties tab.


In the attached screenshots, you can see that there is a content licensing selector in the Properties tab, and when you click on the ‘Choose’ link, the Creative Commons popup box appears where you can select a license.

200607131406-1After you select a license, your choice is fed back to the Plone edit form. So it’s a 3 click process, and has the advantage of using the up-to-date forms on, so they don’t have to be maintained within the Plone product.

I think the rapid turnaround of this product is testament to the ease with which one can utilize Zope 3 technology to build truly useful tools in a componentized way.

You can browse the code in their subversion repository, and Brent assures me that this will soon be moved over to the collective subversion repository.

What’s next

The tool is currently only selecting the license, but not showing it anywhere on the view page. The tool should also embed a link to the RDF on the view page. It would be great if the tool could also include the CC license in RSS 1.0 and 2.0 feeds. The Creative Commons Web Integration Guide gives some examples for how to display the license information.

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Authenticity and encryption of email using GnuPG

July 10, 2006 at 3:46 pm

Encrypt mail
On a recent project for a customer, they needed to send me some keys to connect to their company VPN server. Email is not secure by default, and anyone could intercept the keys along the way which could compromise the security of their company intranet.

With the usage of GPG signing and encryption, we can not only verify the sender of the emails, but also encrypt the data so that if it were intercepted, it could not be read. These are the steps I went through to set up GPG with Apple’s Mail.

  1. Installed GNU Privacy Guard
  2. Installed GPG Keychain Access
  3. Launch GPG Keychain Access
  4. Choose to generate a new key – used all the default values
  5. Exported my public key and sent to client as .txt file
  6. Imported public key from client into GPG Keychain Access
  7. Installed GPGMail – plug-in for Apple Mail

For more information about configuring GNUPG for a variety of MacOSX email clients, read this howto: Configuring GNUPG

If you’re using Windows, take a look at GPG4Win (found via Jon Stahl’s blog)

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