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

Posted by Richard Moon on
I'm a 'level three user' I would guess acording to the description above, though I've a long background in application development and rdbms. I'm unlikely to be developing products from scratch, but I am developing applications of my own. I had to laugh at the community college C++ graduates reference, since they hadn't invented C++ when I graduated.

I'm intrigued that people are talking about the complexity of Zope at the level at which I use it (building apps) I don't find it complex. Stumbling across a reference to it in "Learning Python" I downloaded it in my lunch hour and had it talking to my Informix database and performing useful queries by the time I went home. I'm not a Python hacker and I didn't need to be. I gave it to a colleague who worked through the document management docs and we set up some folders for others to manage. In a few days we had mailback forms, data entry, Squishdot (like Slashdot) running as an IT help desk, then we found the Zwiki and set up some wiki webs, then we put up Worldmail for time management and email.

All this without a line of Python and very little complex dtml. Since then I've got more involved in dtml and Python as I've needed to validate and hack around with user input etc using regular expressions but I was impressed that Zope solves many problems I didn't know existed (like the <dtml-sqlvar> which deals with sql quoting). I've implemented a secure login against user tables on the Informix database, I'm storing session cookie data in there as well. It works, I like it.

Cons ? Documentation (as we all know), some difficult syntax in dtml, lots of products still to be developed (Portal toolkit, e-commerce, education systems etc), lack of native Informix drivers - but there's a lot of potential IMHO.

It may be behind ACS in terms of ready available product (I don't know ACS though I'm going to try it out) but from my perspective I think Zope has a huge amount to offer.