[Grok-dev] The Grok Learning Curve

Sebastian Ware sebastian at urbantalk.se
Thu Aug 16 05:17:59 EDT 2007

Just some thoughts about Grok learning curve.

I am really looking forward to using Uli's class and object browser.  
But apart from that I would like to share my thoughts on what it is  
like to learn how to use Grok.

For me, learning Grok is like taking a trek in a rain forrest.  
Fortunately there are a lot of natives around and they are friendly  
and happy to share their knowledge. However, there is very little in  
terms of maps or even simple grafitti around. At least as far as I  
can tell. I have heard some references to sandboxes etc. but they  
might as well be hidden in caves, because it isn't all that  
accesible. All I see is trees...

I had a similair experiece when learning Zope 2. Then I found DocTab  
extension and zopelabs.com and it changed everything to the better.  
Still, Zope was obfuscated by the abundance of documentation on the  
Zope website, most of which was outdated or incomplete.

-If we get the class/object browser working well, a lot is won  
(browsing the Zope 3 source code in the file system can be rather  

-I also believe that we would gain a lot if we could get people like  
myself setup so they can debug their projects more efficiently  
(someone mention post mortem debugging, currently I am still stuck in  
trial and error!)

-I also believe (contrary to a comment in a post on this mailing  
list) that it is quite useful to use recipes that "just work"  
eventhough one at the time doesn't understand how (that's how most  
people learn to talk and read -- learn by example)

-Also, there is more and more docs and stuff on Zope 3 (I have  
Philipps book right beside me) but I am not 100% confident with how  
to "translate" it into the Grok universe (I do the trial and error...)

So, I would suggest focusing/furthering the efforts along these four  

1 -- Refine the class/object browser
2 -- Document how one sets up a usable debugging environment
3 -- Add more recipes (currently called Howto's)

...and less important but still very useful if one owns Philipps book...

4 -- Document how one translates pure Zope 3 knowledge to Grok

Uli is working on 1, nobody is working on 2, we have a couple of 3  
and nothing of 4. In the current state it is a pain to learn Grok. I  
don't mind pain, but not too much pain.

Everybody can write a recipe, I mean a recipe showing how to register  
and use a utility is really useful to a newbie. A recipe showing how  
to create and extend users... lots of stuff. This stuff can be found  
in Philipps book, but as a newbie, it isn't a piece of cake to  
understand the Zope 3 stuff and then Grok it.

If everybody took upon themselves to write at least three recipes, we  
would be getting somewhere and getting there fast :) and please...  
how to I get into some serious debugging...? :)

Mvh Sebastian

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