[ZWeb] Newbie thoughts on zope.org re-org

alan runyan alan runyan" <runyaga@runyaga.com
Wed, 5 Dec 2001 11:58:45 -0600

> * I feel there is a very slight bias in Zope documentation to talk about
> how to code and design you own products rather than how to create a
> typical usable site by plugging together whats there.

ZOPE in its current incarnation is really a development
toolkit/framework/whatever you want to call it.  You really have to kinda
understand Object Oriented programming and python to 'get' ZOPE.  You can
get fairly far with mix and match of Products.  The prob is most Products
dont co-operate (being addressed by new architecture in Zope 3) without lots
of coding.

> By this I mean there is a tendancy to leap straight into developing Zope
> objects and code rather than showing a newbie how to quickly plug
> together a usable site. I know this might sound very trivial to the Zope
> hardcore but to someone who has never seen Zope before just seeing how a
> simple site can be put together using already existing products would be
> really useful and help hook people in.

this is what I would consider Product integration.  this is something I have
always wanted.  well, my focus would most likely be on external integration.
how to get ZOPE speaking to a MessageQueue, integrating it with SiteMinder.
External 'integration' stories.  but you have just as valid point - how to
take Product A + Product B + Customization = Cool website.  I dont see this
really happening unless some ZOPE Newbies really take initiative and produce

> Maybe this is due to a lack of "out of the box site" type products but
> starting with Zope I had to fight the feeling that I had to learn how to
> program/design with DTML and ZClasses just to put together a simple
> site. You don't want to do that when you are starting, just seeing the
> zope management interface for the first time can be overwhelming.

There is a lack of OOTB sites.  This could probably be solved with a
OOTB-Zope distribution.  that came stock w/ RDBM adapters, pre-installed
Products, and maybe a pre-populated ZODB.

> Granted the true power of Zope is as a development environment but you
> want to see a good example of what can be achived by plugging bits
> together to get a feel for Zope. I feel by showing this more people can
> be drawn into using Zope.

> * Zope.org is a mess. Sorry but it is :). It took me a couple of weeks
> to find out the existence of CMF. For the beginner a really clear,
> simple roadmap of how to learn/start with Zope would be really useful. A
> single page which listed all the relevant documents/products in order
> would be really great. Sort of a "go here to install zope", "go here to
> get cmf, a really useful product" type document would be great.

zope.org has aged but not really evolved.  there are no evolved mechanisms
to help people.  this is mainly because tehre is 1 entity controlling the
website.  This list, I believe is trying to work through that issue.

> * I'm still having problems finding Products/howtos. They are presented
> as far too long a list and aren't easily searchable. Its a bit
> frustrating to search for a product, download it, try it out for a
> while, run into a problem, search the lists and find that the product
> has been replaced by something else (ok extreme example).

not really an extreme example.  but I believe having some sort of packaging
system could help out.  we should come up with a Zope OOTB Certified label
that can be put on Products that can be installed w/o programming
intervention.  I have always been a fan of 'certifying' products.
Especially when it comes to RDBMS -- which Postgres Adapter should I use?
This could also lead to people being more organized on, 'things to do to
make this product OOTB certified'  .... just throwing out ideas

> * There are too many wikis. I feel this is a symptom of the layout
> problems in zope.org that people find it easier to start a new wiki. By
> having so many wikis you start to lose some of the advantages of a wiki
> and increase site clutter.

wiki's have no structure.  lets just say a wiki is good to 'braindump' and
collaborate on ideas.  well.. there still is no mechanism inside of wiki to
leverage existing text into the next revision of your document.  Have you
seen Backtalk?  something that I dont think exists on zope.org but exists on
sourceforge (this should probably be a warning sign that products are not
available on zope.org but are available on srcforge)
> By the way I am prepared to put work into Zope.org but it will probably
> be only a couple of hours a week depending on my commitments. I'm got
> reasonable experience in python, xml-rpc and xml as well a bit of web
> design experience. Since I've never done a major project in zope don't
> worry about getting the newbie perspective from me :)

sign up on seb's wiki.  and subscribe to the list.  I'm sure there will be a
call to arms soon.

thanks mick