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

Posted by Albert Langer on
Wow ... an interesting thread ... We are building a collaborative website for
an engineering firm, and have completed many features already in Zope. However
we are now considering trashing everything we've done, for "Other Options" and
this week we are reviewing them in depth. I think Zope is an amazing piece of
work, but here at least are the reasons so far why I like AOLServer and aD.

A framework with a security model we can understand without drinking diesel oil
and nitroglycerine cocktails.

[AL] Could you elaborate? My understanding was that Zope had a relatively easy security model for end users to understand but required some "learning curve" for developers to get to grips with how to use it. Since you have already completed many features in Zope you must have passed any reasonable learning curve. Was it just frustration at having had to do so, or still a major problem despite having already learned?

A security model that doesn't break so easily (even if we do sacrifice the
depth of functionality provided by Zope)

What exactly breaks? Is it problems getting the desired permissions correct (ie same as above), or that the mechanisms don't always work as they are supposed to?

My files are (and can be without effort!) in folders on a disk

[AL] Why is that so important? If your data is in ORDBMS, python software in folders on disk, static pages in folders on disk (with some effort), semi-static pages in folders on disk (see ZMirror) and dynamic DTML pages in ZODB but accessible via ftp and webdav, what is the problem?

Everything else is in a ORDBMS which is a.Documented well and b.Already pretty
well understood within our team.

Sounds like the way to go for many apps instead of using ZODB to hold actual data (whether or not ZODB uses a DBMS for its "storage"). But why is that easier to do with ACS than with Zope SQL methods?

I can still use Python (My favourite language)

I need to use ACS too (for reasons below) and want to use Python with it. How exactly do you plan to do that? (Not a rhetorical question - I'm a newbie to both Python and Tcl and to AOLserver).

Many ready built modules already in use (i.e. higher version numbers that beta alpha zeta z.z release)

That's why I need to use ACS too (mainly for DBMS based Ecommerce and CRM modules). But am thinking of trying to do anything not already pre-built using Zope and integrate the two via the DBMS accessed by both. Since you have already completed stuff in Zope the prospect of working with 2 different platforms might be less daunting for you than it is for me. What made you dismiss that possibility?

I can use java servlets with Tomcat

I don't understand. Isn't that really something outside ACS that you could just as well do as something outside Zope?

Again I think Zope is fantastic but we have just spent so much time trying to
figure it all out. Believe me we have have our own custom file system, an
online file manager and are also playing with distributing stock prices through
it ... Its a big decision coming up.
Our other options under review are Enhydra, Locomotive, hand coded in python or
java. I can post the results if anyone is interested.

Regards, Paul Gresham


Thanks for your comments above and any further explanations.
Please do post the results of your other reviews - I'd be very interested.
(Perhaps should go into separate subject headings in this bboard, with a reference to them here so that people only being notified about this one thread can look for them).