[Zope] RE: Looking for Zope vs. Others at-a-glance comparison

jpenny@universal-fasteners.com jpenny@universal-fasteners.com
Tue, 19 Sep 2000 16:08:44 -0400

On Tue, Sep 19, 2000 at 02:10:26PM -0500, Spicklemire, Jerry wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Moon [mailto:richard.moon@nec.ac.uk]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2000 11:43 AM
> To: Spicklemire, Jerry; zope@zope.org
> Subject: Re: Looking for Zope vs. Others at-a-glance comparison
> >Perhaps there should be someone producing an 'approved' list of 
> >products that meet certain standards of ease of installation, 
> >documentation etc.

I do not believe that this is as easy to do as you guys seem to
think.  One big problem is that some distributions and 
administrators split the Products directory from the zope
binaries.  This is usually done so that which packages come from
Zope proper can be distinguished easily from locally installed
products.  Now, a package that installs in lib/python/Products
is inconvenient.

Also, consider autoconf and family.  Do they make things easier
or not.  Some developers swear by them, others swear at them.
Should DC tell the developers what tool-set they can use?

Even documentation is hard.  What is the assumed audience?
Frankly, once I understood where the Extensions directory was
supposed to go, I have had very little trouble installing any
random product that I have had time to pick up.  But I have been
doing Unix type stuff for 15 years.  On the other hand, Zope
seems to be attracting a number of people who don't even know
how to use find.  Telling these people how to compile things,
including how to handle linking problems, how to handle loader
reconfiguration, and get the results emplaced them in a 
zope/python accessible directory is hard!

Does documentation have to use DocBook?  Should it show screen
shots?  Who will do it?  In my experience, the really good
developers have neither time, inclination, nor the ability
to relate to a newbies concerns to do a good job.

In fact, if you are serious about this, I would suggest 2 things be done.
One, have DC build a ratings system on each package (and each HowTo) with
some categorizations (say, ease of installation, documentation, 
"importance", speed?).  Allow voting (once per zope member per month
to limit ballot stuffing), to give others some indication
of users' experience.

Two, adopt a package, email its author.  Write newbie level documentation.
Take the heat and the grumbles when your documentation is not accurate.