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How to patch ckeditor in Plone

Par Jean-Michel François — publié 12/06/2012

Sometimes there are changes you can't upstream because they are project specific and also because they can't be override in a simple way. I take a current use case I have: change the default values of table plugin from collective.ckeditor.

By default the table add form of ckeditor is 500 pixels wide. A customer want to change that default behavior for good reason: He always use 100% instead and this is boring to have bad default values.

So first as developer you can checkout the current collective.ckeditor:

git clone git://

Try to find which files you have to change. In our case

  • collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/_source/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js
  • collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js

Do the modification and then call the command from the project folder:

git diff --no-prefix > table-default.diff

Do not forget the --no-prefix option or your patch will not usable. Now you have your patch. You need to deploy it on your project. Because we use buildout to deploy our project here is a simple example ckeditor-patch.cfg:

parts =

recipe = plone.recipe.zope2instance
user = admin:admin
zcml =

recipe = collective.recipe.patch
egg = collective.ckeditor
patches = table-default.diff

This buildout will install Plone with collective.ckeditor and apply the our patch on it. Here is the console output:

$ bin/buildout -c test-patch.cfg
Installing instance.
Getting distribution for 'collective.ckeditor'.
warning: no previously-included files matching '*pyc' found anywhere in distribution
Got collective.ckeditor 3.6.2.
Generated script '/Users/toutpt/myproject/bin/copy_ckeditor_code'.
Installing patch-ckeditor.
patch: reading patch /Users/toutpt/myproject/table-default.diff
patch: total files: 2  total hunks: 2
patch: in /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg...
patch: processing 1/2:      /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg/collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/_source/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js
patch: successfully patched /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg/collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/_source/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js
patch: processing 2/2:      /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg/collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js
patch: successfully patched /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg/collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js

And if you launch again the buildout:

$ bin/buildout -c ckeditor-patch.cfg
Installing instance.
Installing patch-ckeditor.
patch: reading patch /Users/toutpt/myproject/table-default.diff
patch: total files: 2  total hunks: 2
patch: in /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg...
patch: processing 1/2:   /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg/collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/_source/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js
patch: already patched   /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg/collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/_source/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js
patch: processing 2/2:   /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg/collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js
patch: already patched   /Users/toutpt/.buildout/installed_eggs/collective.ckeditor-3.6.2-py2.6.egg/collective/ckeditor/browser/ckeditor/plugins/table/dialogs/table.js

So now you have a working Zope instance with Plone and a patched CKEditor. Every one should be happy!

Warning 1: Like as you can see if you are using shared eggs repository, your patch will be applied for all projects using this egg.

Warning 2: Plugins are fetched on demand (ajax) and there is 24 hours of browser cache. So it means you have to empty your browser cache when you are making changes to javascripts or wait 24 hours. Headers of the table.js response which show this browser cache:

Date:Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:07:18 GMT
Expires:Wed, 13 Jun 2012 09:07:18 GMT
Last-Modified:Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:47:06 GMT
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