[ZDP] Zope docs impressions

Rik Hoekstra hoekstra@fsw.leidenuniv.nl
Mon, 10 May 1999 22:36:13 +0001

Having been on holiday for a week, you will understand my surprise to 
see a proper Zope book in the making. The beginnings look very 
promising. As I was trying to read through the docs - which wasn't 
too easy as the mail archives were corrupt (Ken fixed them now)  and 
anyway it seems impossible to retrieve a zip-file from an archive. 
Some remarks from a fresh reader then

First of all - the central metaphor of the ZDP was, is and will 
always be (ahum :-\) Zen. So lets make it Zen then.

Some thoughts, snippets (all in outline, I'll try and spend some 
more time on them)

About the history of the web - I liked the cgi part. What I missed 
was a short word the various efforts there have been to mix HTML and 
code: Server Side Includes, PHP (which I do know nothing about) and 
ASP. Explain why they came into existence (server side code, without 
really programming) and what their problems are:
- maintenance by full mixing of code and HTML
- security???
- extensibility??? (just guessing)
Zope solves many of these problems, because it separates the many 
tasks involved in creating and maintaining a website: 
- providing and updating data, structured (SQL) and unstructured 
(text and HTML)
- programming databases (by using SQL, and possibly other 
- programming scripts to perform tasks the webserver can't do by 
- visual design of the website

Ideally these various parts are carried out by persons with different 
abilities - so that you don't end up with a website which is just 
designed by a programmer, or (perhaps even worse) a website which is 
structured by a designer. [link to Z management guide]

about the 'different layers' part:

For reasons of organization it would seem more logical to turn around 
the order of the three parts:
first  ZODB: the store of objects, which can be seen as separate 
entities, that can be linked or webbed  together in any way
then ZORB: forming the facade of/window to the objects and 
transforming them to views (as URLs, 'filesystem' etc)
last ZPublisher: the way to the ORB: by (almost) every conceivable 
protocol using Internet technology etc.

I rather liked Michel Pelletier proposal for the 'Zen of Zope'. It 
seems to me with some changes it would fit nicely as a chapter 3. 
Let's say 
Zen level 0.1 - 0.3 as chapter 3 (objects to dtml methods)
Zen level 0.4 - 0.5 as chapter 4 (objects and acquisition)
Zen level 0.7 as chapter 5 (SQL)
Zen level 0.6, 0.8-0.9 as chapter 6 (external methods, products and 
ZClasses) Zen level 1.0 as chapter 7 (Enlightenment)

All these should have examples - right


Rik Hoeksta