Python Popularity: Questions and Comments

Ron Stephens rdsteph at
Sun Dec 30 01:56:26 CET 2001

Paul, I'm just wondering if you could possibly add any of the "ideas", (such as they are ;_))) from
the two posts that I copy below from a thread above here??? My comments come from a clueless brain
dead newbie (*me*) about a Fiery Bush Python Server, could Zope maintain such a Master Python (Zope)
server as a public utility in addition to Zope's other capabilities? Dr. Ritchie's comments are
probably more sane, but even he wondered if he was on "shakey ground" ;-)))

Anyway, keep up the great work. I am interested someday in learning and using Zope, but I admit I am
a little intimidated by stories on the list of its difficulty. Still,, someday ;-))

I imagine the blood , sweat, and tears already incorporated into Zope make it  a work of great
beauty. Good luck on Zope3, maybe I'll get around to running my Great Zope-based web site about the
time you launch Zope 3, I hope, if not before ;-)))

Ron Stephens

Paul Everitt wrote:

> I think there's a lot of merit to what you (Bill) say below.  Zope is a
> big project in scope, and though there is a lot of documentation, it is
> scattered and not organized as it should be.
> The current Zope (2.x) also suffers from more of a "one size fits all"
> approach, where content authors, web designers, and site developers are
> all wedged into the same basic box.  Thus, documentation and GUI suffer
> from having different audiences.  All in all, Zope has a higher learning
> curve than it should.
> Tackling this basic issue is the goal of Zope3:
> In particular, read "VisionStatement" on that page for a pretty blunt
> statement showing we're in tune with your points.  Zope3 actually has
> documentation, interface files, and unit tests being written *before*
> code.  All in all, Zope3 is proving to be much more Pythonic, more
> modular, more explicit than implicit, etc.
> This doesn't preclude the need to do this for Zope2.  I'm interested in
> hearing more about the Pet Shop example you mentioned.  Is it a
> canonical example that is written up somewhere else for a different system?
> All in all, Zope is doing quite well.  I'd say, with all the books out
> and coming out, we're ahead of where PHP was at a similar age.  Also,
> it's important to note that around half of the people using Zope had
> never used Python before.  It's a significant achievement.  Like Python,
> Zope has a large and active community with bright and pleasant people
> all around the world.
> I'd also like to point out that Zope isn't a straight-up competitor to
> J2EE.  In many ways, Zope competes more with Vignette, Interwoven, and
> other content management systems as much as it competes with application
> servers.  This explains why appealing to content authors and site
> designers has been on our radar.
> It also explains why I think WebWare, Quixote, and other Python web
> systems are complementary to Zope.  It's a big market with lots of
> audiences.  And we all need Python to succeed.
> In fact, with Zope3 I'd like to see more ways for us to collaborate with
> other Python web systems, as there is a lot of good work going on.  With
> Zope3 being more Pythonic and more modular, there's a better basis for
> two-way sharing.  But only if other projects are also interested.
> 2002 is going to be a critical year for Zope.  On the one hand, we have
> the validation from multiple books and some nice customer success
> stories (hooray, we can finally talk about CBS!).  Also, Zope3 combined
> with Python 2.2 will make Zope more friendly to Python developers.  On
> the other hand, we either win back people like you this year, or we face
> the thought that we've peaked.
> Bill, can you send me an offline note and explain the Pet Shop example?
> --Paul
> Bill Tate wrote:
> > Ron Stephens <rdsteph at> wrote in message news:<3C2B9E04.9957801F at>...
> >
> >>I recently read an interview with a Digital Creations top manager where he said
> >>that he hopes someone starts a successful business based solely on providing
> >>ISP services using Zope, with full technical support. Is anyone looking into
> >>this? Does anyone think this could be a successful business model? I am
> >>interested in opinions on this.
> >>
> >
> > This past spring, I spent a full month pouring over Zope in detail.  I
> > pulled every example product I could find that I thought would be
> > relative to the purpose of setting up a commercial-based application.
> > I downloaded the tutorial and the draft zope book.  I pulled down
> > every bit of documentation I could find for developers.  In so many
> > cases, I found whatever documentation was available that key aspects
> > of the implementation took the "assumed facts-already-in-evidence"
> > approach; omitting key details that would were critical to improving
> > my understanding of using Zope.  I consider myself a masochist in the
> > sense that I'm willing to go through various contortions to figure
> > something out, but like many others, I reached a point of saying that
> > I still don't get it.  I won't even touch the issue of ZOPE's CMF or
> > Zope Templates - the documentation on that couldn't be more confusing
> > if it tried.
> >
> > My point is, the product may be perfect for my needs, but please do
> > away with tutorial examples referring to using zoo animals to
> > illustrate object navigation or elvis sightings to solidfy
> > understanding of the product.  There were simply too many disjointed
> > pieces in the documentation to allow me to pull all the pieces
> > together and believe me when I say I'm a person who will go to great
> > lengths to try to "get something."  If I'm having trouble, than I
> > suspect more than a few others are as well.
> >
> > Any commercial enterprise is likely to be supported by either some
> > data model or object-class model that almost invariably has a RDBMS on
> > the back-end for persistent storage (I've also worked with ODBMS so
> > ZODB isn't an issue for me).  If you want to gain converts to zope,
> > build a tutorial that follows some resemblance of a what a normal web
> > site has to provide by way of example - perhaps something akin to the
> > Pet Store example in Zope would be useful???  How about building an
> > example auction site from scratch?  I would be more than happy to
> > devote time and energy contributing to Zope but I can't until I figure
> > out how Zope works.  To some degree, I think my confusion with Zope
> > increased AFTER I went through the documentation.  Truthfully, I don't
> > even know whether Zope would be even a reasonable candidate for doing
> > something akin to the Pet Store example or even an auction site for
> > that matter.
> >
> > PHP has virtually exploded on the scene by providing a everything
> > including the kitchen sink - it appears to have taken little
> > convincing to gain converts to PHP and accordingly to the latest web
> > surveys, its implementation is huge.  I much rather see tools like
> > Zope achieve that kind of status. But I don't imagine that too many
> > folks are going to be willing to work that hard to achieve Zope Zen
> > when other alternatives exists and that's a damn shame because I
> > suspect Zope is an excellent product.
> >
> > I truly do commend and appreciate DC's contribution's to Python, but I
> > hope somebody can point to something (either examples or
> > documentation) that gives me a reason to try again.
> >
> > Truthfully, I just don't think its me.
> >
> > Bill Tate
> >

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