REPOST: Re: Python Popularity: Questions and Comments

Bill Tate tatebll at
Fri Dec 28 15:31:06 CET 2001

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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