[Grok-dev] Re: A Django-like admin in Grok

Martijn Faassen faassen at startifact.com
Tue Apr 22 07:49:12 EDT 2008

Hey Robert,

Robert Gravina wrote:
> I don't need a full-blown CMS, 
> but a nice-looking admin section which lists content, allows users to 
> search on it, edit, add etc. is enough. I've eventually settled on 
> Django - the framework is ugly, but I just don't have the time to 
> implement something like the Django admin myself... plus there is all 
> the RSS, blog, comment etc. addons that I'd have to reimplement
> What I'd like to know is.. has anyone created administration sections 
> for website users in Grok? How much work is typically involved?

Thanks for your question. The short answer is that I think right now, 
this is more work than it should be. Of course reducing the amount of 
work should always be part of the challenge and thus always be the 
answer, but in seriousness I think it's too hard right now, especially 
for newcomers.

Django here gets some of the benefits Zope 2 had in the early days: an 
out of the box user CMS-y interface that gives developers the feel that 
they can quickly bend it to their will to do what they want. Grok 
developers being in essense Zope 3 developers we want to be very careful 
with the out of box thing, as we know it can lead to crufty lock-in, but 
we should see solving that as a challenge.

I certainly know it's all doable. I think as a community we've started 
to develop the right experience to solve this problem well. I myself 
have developed simple UIs that allow people to browse, search, edit, 
add, copy and paste myself with Grok. I've also developed user 
management (I'd think another requirement to let this be easy out of the 
box) in the past with Grok. The resulting code can be quite effective 
and reasonably compact. I also believe that we can make this code very 
generic eventually.

So, I'd say, the underlying pieces are in place, but the glue isn't yet. 
Writing that glue isn't very hard right now for a Grok expert, but we 
know that newcomers to Grok won't be experts for a while. We don't have 
enough glue in place yet to tell you: sure, that's easy - right now 
there are too many details to work out yourself in tying up pieces 
together, I think.

For a while now I've had some thoughts surrounding a project called 
megrok.bread (bread: browse, read, edit, add, delete, we could also go 
with megrok.crud) that offers some more high-level components to do 
this. We could fairly easily supply a set of views that have these 
functionalities. I could imagine something like supplying your container 
with the IBread interface and getting a lot of views for free.

One great bit of news concerning this is that Luciano's project for 
Flint got accepted as one of the summer of code projects this year. 
Flint is an attempt to build CMS functionality on top of Grok, and 
hopefully as a spin-off we'll see bread-like components being developed.



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