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

Posted by Albert Langer on
"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."

Hmm, I'm currently reviewing OpenAccess and untarred 3,326 files in 226 folders.

As a result of this thread I'm also reviewing Zope (thanks!) and just installed the binary on Win98. 1252 files, 69 folders. Loved the way I could just start playing with Zope immediately. But am deterred by the complexity of both as am not a competent programmer at all. (Not deterred by UML diagrams - wish they were included with the download).

I'm strongly inclined to prefer the steep learning curve of a sound OO architecture to a quick fix that ends up hard to maintain (eg the current necessity to create a minimal separation between presentation, data access and other code in *ACS just to be able to do upgrades and ports without forking).

But perhaps that's just because I don't expect to be actually working much on the "internals" anyway and just want to easily add minor enhancements/customizations without having to keep redoing them as things move along.

Two things worry me about Zope which I'd be very interested in comments on.

1. RDBMs are a well proven technology for reliably doing fairly simple things on a large scale. I suspect Zope will adapt better and do more complex things better, but will it run into a performance barrier that it just can't get past? (I like the potential of the ORDBMs approach in Postgresql, even though it is not yet being adequately used for what it is, MUCH more than just a true ACID RDBMS, but one that also has OO aspects, while still being sufficiently close to the normal RDBMS paradigm to be capable of achieving reasonable performance).

2. How come Zope doesn't have a working ecommerce or even minimal payments system built in (if I have understood correctly)? If its really so easy to build things with it, surely that would be there already? With my level of skills I don't like the idea of having to figure out the ACS ecommerce implementation, or even the Shoppe. But it's there, so it must be doable and from my quick look so far it will at least be possible to adapt it to different requirements, however difficult that may turn out to be. What worries me is that if the same was true for Zope, there ought to be something there now, but I can't find it. (Haven't searched thoroughly yet ;-)

(Sorry, should shut up until I've finished studying both thoroughly, but this thread is already running anyway and I'd really appreciate specific comments on the above two issues from both perspectives).