Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Article on ACS x Zope

Posted by Jimmie Houchin on
I was simply responding to Michael Feldsteins comments. He quoted a comment I was making about Zope's complexity being in developer space not user space.

I have stated many times that I think great sites can be developed with either tool. I think both tools provide significant support for a full featured website. They have different flavors. They taste different. Is that better? I didn't mention philosophy. Oops, it slipped. :)

At some point your website will generally need to do something not built into ACS. It may be very specific to your site. At that point your not in ACS but you are still in AOLserver and SQL and the Oracle/PostgreSQL. Your skill set requirements just increased.

With Zope that is not the case unless you choose for it to be. Zope provides a web server and transparent persistent storage (which meets ACID).

The scope of Zope, is the scope of AOLserver and ACS and SQL/RDBMS. This is where the difference in complexity lies.

I have read numerous times of Don banging his head against pg source. Using PG or Oracle or maintainance of either is a simple as ZODB.

So if you include AOLserver/ACS/SQL/RDBMS vs Zope. AOLserver/ACS/SQL/RDBMS isn't as simple or non-complex as only ACS. And that's not saying ACS is without issues. ACS has issues, and aD is addressing them in 4.0.

Basically I'm saying that the scope of learning in Zope is somewhat more than just ACS. It is also a documentation issue of howto and how things interact with each other. But like aD, DC is addressing these issues.

Also when Zope's learning curve is brought up, DTML is a part of that. DTML is integral to Zope. So the assessment of Zope's learning curve and complexity is based on integral capabilities that aD is adding to ACS and that are not in the current assessment of ACS.

None of this in Zope is poorly designed. It isn't the design which makes it complex. It is the scope of functionality and grasping it all without sufficient documentation. Also for me, I don't do this full time. I am learning in my spare time, so the process is slower/longer.

When we each talk, I talk about all Zope is and likewise you speak on what ACS is. So is somewhat an Apple and Oranges issue and can be difficult to do accurately.

Just for grins on this, hmmm, Win95 machine I have at work I looked at a default install of Zope and a download of ACS.

Zope had 474 *.py files and 221 *.dtml
ACS had 2361 *.tcl files and 105 *.adp

This can mean whatever you want. I'm not implying anything. It is just interesting data. And not all of the *.py files are Zope per se, some are a part of the included Python interpreter.