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