[Grok-dev] Re: Some grok experiences

Martijn Faassen faassen at startifact.com
Fri Mar 23 18:58:07 EDT 2007


Martin Aspeli wrote:
> I'm really excited by what's going on here - I can't imagine a better 
> team of people to make Grok rock (heh). I went through the tutorial 
> today and had a bit of a play, and just wanted to summarise a few 
> experiences. I'm sure you're aware of some of these, but it's easier for 
> me to list them as I think of them, rather than do a lot of 
> cross-checking with previous discussions... so apologies if there's noise.

The feedback is much appreciated! Wherever below I ask for help and 
patches, I'm not just asking you, I'm asking everybody who is reading 
this. Some of this we've thought about ourselves, but there is only so 
little time.

>  - In general, Grok should look cool out of the box; the app-install 
> front page is not exactly exciting right now. :)

Agreed. We'd be happy to get patches.

In general there is lots of potential of an admin interface for Grok. 
(which lets you browse content trees, look at schemas, API 
documentation, interfaces). The admin interface would be dedicated to 
helping developers (inspection, documentation, debugging). There'd be 
nothing traditional "develop online" in this grok admin interface.

Let's start with getting the first page look good though.

>  - You can't delete grok applications from the app page, making it a bit 
> hard to undo your mistakes. Ditto for rename.

We actually do have deletion working now in SVN. I guess we didn't 
update the cheeseshop with that version yet?

Could you add an issue to launchpad for rename? Note that renaming 
applications is probably quite dangerous in some contexts (in Zope 2 in 
the catalog context it's disastrous), so we need to think about that one 

>  - a 404 results in a page that basically has the ZMI in it, and that's 
> really confusing. I find the Zope 3 ZMI incredibly difficult to wrap my 
> head around anyway, and didn't really expect to see it here.

grokproject in its later versions creates a default index page for new 
applications so this goes away. Do you still get this when you update 

Anything more waits for admin UI work.

One goal of Grok is to turn off the ZMI completely in default grok 
installs, by the way. Help on making that happen would be very welcome. :)

>  - Error messages could be more helpful. I used the tal:attributes="href 
> static/style.css" syntax, except I didn't have 'style.css' in the static 
> folder. All I got was "An internal error occurred"... the terminal 
> output was more useful, but I may not have thought to look there.

Yeah, Zope doesn't expose error messages except to the console. The 
tutorial actually does mention the console. We need at the very least 
some error message that tells people 'okay, we have an error, if you are 
a developer, look at the console' or something like that.

Could you add an issue to the grok launchpad on this?

>  - Also, by default, zope3 with grokproject has very noisy logging with 
> parts/instance/bin/zopectl/bin fg

Yeah, we need to tweak the buildout and/or recipe to make this better. 
It's default Zope 3 behavior. Another launchpad topic you can create, 

>  - I think the 95% use case is that you want a common template for all 
> our pages, providing a common look and feel. I think the bootstrapped 
> grokproject should do that for you, so that all you have to do is modify 
> the template. It should also come with a simple stylesheet to encourage 
> CSS-based design.

We're currently in the process of giving the whole theming issue a 
rethink. Some of us have never really been happy with the way it works 
with common templates currently.

I'm not sure how much grokproject should do for you, for the following 

Grok aims to make the minimal Zope 3 application very small. If we rely 
too much on grokproject to generate code for you to start with, we run 
the risk that we lose sight of this goal. We want to raise the 
abstraction level with Grok, not automatically generate code you're then 
to edit.

Anyway, the whole theming issue needs a rethink before we'll commit to 
anything, I think. Lennart said he was going to hack on something this 
weekend, so I'm looking forward to the results. :)

> That's it for now. Looking forward to the rest of the tutorial!

I see a few new sections just made it online to grok.zope.org, so 
there's more now. :)

> I'd also  love some documentation/examples of megrok.five. I think the 
> only way I'll realistically get to *use* Grok for something would be if 
> I could use it for Plone development. :-)

Yeah, that's unfortunately the case for many. If the Plone developers 
need this to happen we need some dedicated volunteers to do the work, 
though. Perhaps Philipp can add the minimal docs so that someone else 
can take over from there. :) I myself am going to continue focusing on 
"pure" Grok for the forseeable future.



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