[ZDP] Deprez' writings 3

Shaw, Howard ShawH@STHS.org
Thu, 6 May 1999 13:25:32 -0500

Here is YAC (Yet Another Chunk).

Release the Power of Zope

Like most things in life, you have to look deeper if you want to find
true beauty. Beautiful interfaces can be fun, but after a while you
discover their restrictions, that those beautifully wrought gold walls
are caging your abilities... Well, don't get the wrong impression. The
GUI of Zope isn't really that bad to work with, but its likely not what
you're used to working with. But it is the idea the sometimes clunky
interface of Zope is the most powerful design of all that makes Zope
truly worth looking into!

Zope allows you to work online. You can change and edit your web
application even as its being served to the world. Of course, if you
make a mistake you can Undo it (Oh, did we not mention that the object
database at the heart of Zope is auto-versioning? Oops.) You may wonder
yourself, why should I risk this? Changing one line in a dynamic web
site can create a cascade of changes, often breaking many other pages
dependent on that one line. Of course, this isn't the way to do it, at
least not the one I should propose. But Zope also provides 'Versions'.
Versions allow certain individuals to change web elements, and the
changes they make will only be visible to them. For the other users, the
site will look the same like always. Then will all the ramifications of
a set of changes have been explored, the Version can be applied, which
makes all the changes live at once.

Have you ever wondered, "Why do I have to write all these HTML-tags,
just to put a simple document on the web?" Indeed, the web is great for
publishing documents. But for people who are not used to HTML, it's a
nightmare. So, you may think, that's why we have a 'webmaster'. But
seriously, wouldn't it be better to have the 'webmaster' focus on the
real stuff, like live graphs developed from SQL queries, and web-based
inventory, and other technical details? Given the work required to keep
a website updated, how long will it take a busy webmaster to take your
document from his email, convert it to HTML, reformat it to match your
company's standards, place it on the web page, and create appropriate
links to it? And given that your document is often one of many, how up
to date will it be by the time it gets on the web? Not only does Zope
provide mechanisms to let a given, non webmasterish individual place
documents on the web themselves, in carefully defined areas, it also
provides facilities to automatically render Structured Text documents to
HTML. Structured text is plain ASCII text that uses simple symbology to
indicate the structure of a document.

But the real power of Zope is it's 'Zennish' character. To fully
understand Zope, you have to understand the Zen of Zope. The Zen of Zope
is based on three pillars: the Zen of Object Publishing, the Zen of
Acquisition and the Zen of DTML Methods. And they all flow from the
Object Oriented implementation of Zope. Are you ready to feel the power
of Zen?

Howard Clinton Shaw III
St. Thomas High School