[ZDP] ANNOUNCE: Zope Tutorial 1.0a3

Amos Latteier Amos@digicool.com
Mon, 17 Apr 2000 19:12:00 -0400

> But this tutorial is just 
> one step in 
> the learning process. It is the practical part of a lesson, 
> but there is 
> more to it than just that (according to my professor who is teaching 
> technical classes in Business environments for 5-7 or more 
> years). While 
> showing all these examples, some more theory and design goals 
> should be 
> built in, but in a way that the trainee does not even know 
> that he learned 
> about it. That is probably the hardest point about teaching.

It's hard to balance explanation with demonstration. My general approach
with the tutorial is to give lots of demonstration and link to external

> And because of that I disagree with Paul on not explaining 
> index_html. At 
> the beginning the student will accept more 'odd' things than 
> later. In fact 
> the idea of objects itself should be much more stressed right 
> in the first 
> lesson, without scaring the student. You do not have to explain every 
> consequence of an object (in fact the first lesson would be 
> the wrong place 
> for that), but introduce the students to the idea.

I think it's fine to refer to Zope objects as 'objects', but I don't
want to explain object-oriented design in the tutorial.

> Here is my main problem (after looking at the code) that I 
> have, that may 
> also address one of Paul's points. The implementation of the 
> tutorial as a product is questionable.

I am not interested in designing the perfect tutorial software ;-) I am
interested in finishing a desperately needed piece of documentation and
getting it into the hands of folks who desperately need it.

> I like the glossary though. But I think it should be much 
> more complete and 
> have terms like 'object', 'URL', 'Acquisition' and so on. I 
> think that 
> would help. Then for big issues, like 'Acquisition', say 
> click here for an 
> advanced lesson on 'Acquisition' (that is just an example).

I agree that it needs to be fleshed out. (Patches accepted!) I am mostly
adding terms as I encounter them in the lessons. So far acquisition
doesn't figure in any lessons.

> One big assumption you (Amos) make is that people are 
> familiar with certain 
> terms and principles. '"That is a bad assumption.", as my 
> prof would say. 
> You have to imagine that you talk to someone who just knows 
> how to use a 
> computer well, maybe knows how to install some hardware, but 
> never touched 
> any programming language or something alike (such as HTML).

You may be right. I should probably enumerate the required subjects at
the beginning such as basic knowledge of HTML, URLs, how to use a
browser, etc.

> I think many people come to Zope, because they heard that 
> they can create 
> 'dynamic' (they may not even completely understand what this 
> term means) 
> Web pages. We all know that they are not the people who will 
> end up being 
> Zope gurus, but they may become pretty sufficient using Zope. 
> you have to 
> give these people a very easy entrance or you will loose 
> them.

I agree. Can you give specific advice to make the tutorial easier to
these folks?

> But what is my point after all this: I think with an 
> interactive tutorial 
> like this you have the power to address all three levels of students 
> easily. At the beginning for example, you can ask what 
> difficulty level the 
> tutorial should be in and then serve more or less information 
> based on their input.

This is a reasonable suggestion, however, I am inclined to write only
one tutorial, not three. I would rather let folks skip ahead if they
find it too easy, than try to second guess exactly what level of hand
holding is needed. Perhaps after the tutorial is released and we start
to get more feedback from actual users we can work on a customization

Thanks for the comments!


Amos Latteier         mailto:amos@digicool.com
Digital Creations     http://www.digicool.com