Trouble with Bobo -- use Zope?

Paul Boddie paulb at
Thu Nov 18 15:41:30 CET 1999

Tim Bell wrote:
>  3. Should I be moving to Zope and/or ZPublisher?  Is there a quick
>     guide to making the switch?  (I don't need all the fancy Zope stuff
>     at this stage.)

It really depends. Zope, when used with ZServer, is good at removing most of the
hassles associated with setting things up to work with the CGI mechanisms of the
average Web server, and provides a powerful framework for site management.
However, many people may not have the possibility of running their own server
and I haven't tried that hard to integrate Zope with a different Web server
using CGI.

For many people, I suspect that Zope is a bit "too much" when all they really
require is a nicer way to write server-side programs; this is what attracted me
to Bobo in the first place. Handling CGI inputs using the rather comprehensive
standard 'cgi' module gets very tedious and doesn't make for particularly nice
code. Indeed, it takes one's concentration away from the higher level parts of
an application because of the requirement to get right down to arguably
unnecessary detail.

I will admit that once the hassles of getting Bobo programs to work are over
(Zope products are also hard to get into to start with) it is a powerful tool
for developing applications at a higher level of sophistication than the usual
stand-alone CGI. ZPublisher and ZTemplates (or whatever DocumentTemplate is
called these days) should still provide you with Bobo's functionality.

As for ZPublisher, I moved onto Zope from ZPublisher with the idea of trying
something more ambitious out. Although Zope is very nice, I still feel that
there is a place for a simple object wrapper in the spirit of the original Bobo
software, or the ILU HTTP facilities, with minimal effort required in order to
get started. Personally, I don't really need persistent object support for
everything; especially if I am writing "wrappers" for command line tools, for

Learning Zope is a fairly big effort, and can cause a fair amount of irritation
at times. The good news for beginners now is the effort being put in to improve
the documentation - not so long ago, the best way to learn certain features was
to read other people's source code and guess at its meaning.


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