[ZDP] Learning DTML - an addition to ZBook

Eron Lloyd woodsage@op.net
Mon, 03 Apr 2000 12:01:25 -0400

Hey hey hey! Ok, I've decided to work on a thorough study of DTML, and
add it to ZBook. I don't know how well it will flow at first, but that's
the beauty of write, edit, rewrite, revise :-) Anybody that wants to
look at what I wrote feel free to contact me. Currently, I've come up
with somewhat of a structure:

Learning DTML

1.) Common Questions

[Q.] What is DTML?
[A.] Zope's scripting/reporting language used to
create/manipulate(process?)/display Web objects.

[Q.] How do I use it? What do I use it for?
[A.] DTML is a powerful but simple language you use to create dynamic
Web applications in Zope. It can written in documents or embedded from a
separate script (more explanation). It can be used to:

- create/insert variable data
- format date/time information
- "if" statements (selective actions/conditional insertation)
- "in" statements
- batch processing
- display objects
- name/expression evaluation
- expression handling
- comment code
- ...?

[Q.] It's a programming language? I don't know how to progam! All I know
is HTML. I don't have time to learn Python. Can I still learn DTML?
What's the best way to approach it?
[A.] ...?

There should be good examples of each dtml tag in action, explanations,
advanced usage, case studies, and exercises for users to step through.

2.) Using DTML for real world tasks

[Q.] How do I...

- create/use variables?
- add the date/time to my site?
- create a feedback form?
- search through Web objects
- ..?

I hate to admit it, but we need to take a "DTML for Dummies" approach if
we want to be able to do this effectively. Although I've volunteered to
spearhead this effort, I feel even I know very little about the language
(although this will also help me to start out very, very basic). There
are many questions/answers that need to be formulated, and I would like
to encourage a general discussion of the aspects of learning and using
DTML. I will collect all responses, and start to mold some structure out
of them. All newbies are heartily encouraged to ask ANY questions about
things they don't know or problems they've had, and all Zope guru's
please give us some gems of wisdom. I want this to be an exhuastive
"study" of DTML, not an argument on what's wrong with the language, or
what's wrong with the current documentation, etc. Positive feedback
only, thank you.

Tom: I have a beginning draft; what should I do to add it to the ZDP

Thanks in advance to all that choose to participate in helping this DTML

Eron Lloyd