[Zope-dev] Re: ploneout - Or how using zc.buildout for a common Zope2 project might look like

Rob Miller ra at burningman.com
Thu Jan 25 22:02:02 EST 2007

Martin Aspeli wrote:
> Rob Miller wrote:
>> honestly, it seems to me that buildout tries to do too much.  it's 
>> trying to handle both repeatable deployment recipes AND providing a 
>> sandbox within which to run things.  there may not be a point to 
>> having an extra layer on top of buildout, but buildout sure does seem 
>> to me a bit heavy if all i want is a sandbox.  so now i have to learn 
>> the workingenv way if i just need a sandbox, but i have to learn the 
>> buildout way if i also want repeatable deployments?
> Potentially. But I find it kind of reassuring to have a well-defined 
> list of which eggs are part of my "special" environment i.e. the one 
> tied to my instance.

to find this i simply look in /path/to/workingenv/lib/python2.4.

>>> As said already, I think once you've got buildout, there's no need 
>>> for workingen, except if you think that "Zope stinks" ;)
>> this is shortsighted, IMO.  i know zope quite well, but i bounced off 
>> of buildout b/c it required too much knowledge to even get started.  i 
>> think it's much more likely that people from the greater python 
>> community will pick up and start using workingenv than they will 
>> zc.buildout.
> Again, I think the two are orthogonal.

orthogonal, but with overlap.

> And honestly, I found zc.buildout pretty easy to understand. I resisted 
> it for a while, it seems liked it *should* be complex, and I won't 
> pretend to understand how it manages eggs in any detail, but I don't 
> think it matters.
> Look at http://dev.plone.org/plone/browser/ploneout/trunk/buildout.cfg - 
> I find that pretty self-explanatory. I tried to document how it works at 
> a high level and how you may use it here 
> http://dev.plone.org/plone/browser/ploneout/trunk/README.txt.
> And writing a new recipe is as simple as this:
> http://dev.plone.org/plone/browser/ploneout/trunk/src/z2c.recipe.zope2checkout/src/z2c/recipe/zope2checkout/__init__.py 
> All that is plain python code, the only thing you need to understand 
> about buildout is that it has a dict-like object called 'options' which 
> reflects the options in the current part's section in buildout.cfg, and 
> a higher level dict-like object called 'buildout' which has the options 
> for all the parts (so buildout['foo'] are the options for part [foo] in 
> buidout.cfg). Each part is associated with a recipie. Recipies are ordered.
>> personally, i like chris mcdonough's approach with his buildit 
>> package.  it does two things:
>> - it retrieves files from anywhere on the 'net (cvs, svn, tarball, 
>> whatever) and puts them where you want them on your target machine(s)
> You can do that quite easily with buildout as well. I would like to make 
> a more generic recipe for retrieving tarballs for e.g. zope 
> installation, and I think it'd be as hard as figuring out which python 
> function to use to download something.

i have no doubt that zc.buildout will do everything that buildit will do, and 
probably much more.  but i like simple.  and for me, having something light 
like workingenv to manage my sandbox, and a library like buildit for putting 
files into those sandboxes feels simple.

>> - it launches external scripts that then perform whatever final 
>> configuration you may want to perform.
> Again, if you want a recipe to do that, it's trivial to write (10 lines 
> of code?). Instead of an external script, though, I would probably find 
> it easier to write that as a buildout recipe in python.

the script could of course be python as well.

>> buildit is also recipe driven, and it's smart enough to pick up where 
>> it left off on a previous run, a'la make.  i'd guess that you could 
>> use buildit and workingenv to accomplish pretty much everything you 
>> can do w/ zc.buildout, and you wouldn't have to bend your brain so 
>> much to do so.
> I'm just struggling to see why it's so hard to figure out how buildout 
> works. Perhaps it just fits my brain. But honestly, once Hanno showed me 
> his initial steps with ploneout and I'd taken ten minutes with pdb 
> inside the __init__() and install() functions (the only two...) in his 
> recipe the pieces fitted together in my head almost instantly.

your efforts to figure something out and then document will have a major 
impact on people understanding this, as per usual.  but still, something about 
it just feels heavy.  the idea of having two separate tools, each of which 
does one thing well, working together to solve a problem suits my 
sensibilities more than having one more monolithic tool.

luckily, we don't really have to convince each other of anything, here.  it's 
entirely possible to have zc.buildout recipes for installing Zope and Plone as 
well as buildit / workingenv recipes for the same purpose.


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