Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Article on ACS x Zope
""For instance, your users are working on Zcommerce tools. The ACS simply provides you a comprehensive e-commerce module off-the-shelf. Not programming at all is easier than programming, even if the programming environment leads to wet dreams... "
This is true, point conceded. This is an area for improvement, and is one of the things we can learn from the ACS.
One thing that seems clear is that the ACS doesn't seem to delineate as much as Zope does between the developer and the end user. We have catered more historically to developers who want to use the platform to develop customized applications. We're starting now to try to cater more towards the end user that just wants to put something up quickly through things like the Portal Toolkit, which is a huge simplification of the Zope management interface and doesn't require you to think in terms of app dev, while providing community features like news, member-contributed content, workflow, email notifications of updated content, self-cataloging objects, and the like.
The Zope community (which consists primarily of developers, not end users) has beaten us up over and over again over documentation of Zope internals and our templating language. This is the number one thing we need to fix to allow people to contribute meaningful products. Once we do this, hopefully folks will be able to create things more efficiently, and will start to feed their creations back into the Zope community, after which we'll begin to see more stuff that "just works out of the box" ala ACS' ecommerce support. We also have contracts with customers that give us some leeway to open-source and generalize creations they've funded out of consulting, which is clearly our bread and butter at the moment.