[Zope-dev] Zope.org, and thus Zope itself, is in trouble

Gregory Dudek dudek at cim.mcgill.ca
Wed Sep 26 23:44:14 EDT 2007

(This is a slightly edited repost from the zope general mailing list;  
my apologies to anybody who saw it there.)

I have been a Zope developer & user for several years.  Zope is great  
and it has had a major impact on my work.  All this to say I am an  
experienced Zope user and supporter.

I think Zope is in serious trouble and the Zope.org web site is badly  
in need of attention.  I started using zope in 2001 at Xerox PARC and  
the helpful and persuasive resources at zope.org were a major  
factor.  Today, zope.org is full of dead links and it very hard to  
use unless you are already experienced.  Consequently, getting  
started with Zope today is harder now than is was, even though the  
actual software is better.

A key factor is that based on the zope.org web site it is not  
apparent whether the community is healthy or not, and the general  
impression is that the project is stalled since so many links are  
dead and defunct.  How can the decay in the key zope web site have  
gotten so bad?  (In  fact I am not so sure myself of the zope  
community health any longer, despite the ongoing zope postings here  
--  I hope I will find I'm wrong in this regard at least).

This has direct and indirect effects including inhibiting the uptake  
of Zope.  In my opinion, making zope.org look healthy and be usable  
is the MOST important obstacle for the Zope community.  I believe  
this is both a symptom and a cause of disarray in the Zope user/ 
developer community.  (My apologies if you think this comment is  
unfair, but that's how it looks to me these days.)

Zope was always a bit hairy to get into, without saying anything  
about Plone development or Zope 3. I just want to point out that  
without a clear simple up-to-date main web site, and a clear story,  
things are looking really bad.  I introduced some zope-based material  
in an introductory computer science course a few years ago with  
moderate success, but am starting to doubt it would be appropriate  
any longer.

Also, let's not get distracted by Google and/or all the other places  
to find zope stuff.  The fact is, Zope.org is the de facto primary  
destination especially for newbies.  If it's in bad shape it directly  
impacts Zope uptake and usage.

I won't bother to go on about why Zope it good technically.  It is,  
it's cool, and I suspect anybody of this list knows it.  I am not  
criticizing the people on this list or the other Zope developers: I  
have enormous appreciation for what has been built, I just would hate  
to see it dwindle in vitality and use.



Appendix (Examples)

Specific evidence (these are just examples; lots more can be found  
   1) search for something, say "user folder" on zope.org
        Pages you get are dated 2001, 2000,  2003, ....

        Let's try link 3 for the extensible user folder (one of the  
formerly more popular and useful items in the first few listed).
           Click the "more info link":  dead page (Insufficient  

     2) Click "Zope Products" on the sidebar.  Most of the listed  
products are old.

     3) "Resources" Sidebar Item. Click "Zope Links".  -> Site Error

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