The good, the bad and the Zope

I want to use Zope 3 interface package to write component architecture i.e. have a plug-ins easily in Python. Zope 3 interfaces are very handy and, which cannot be conducted from the name, are available outside Zope too. From my prior experiences I know that Zope 3 interfaces package is one of the best and most underrated Python packages out there. It even influenced to the new design of Python 3k.

Well then… I haven’t used Zope 3 interfaces standalone before, so the first thing what I do is writing “zope 3 interfaces” into my Google search this.

This page comes up.

It’s horrible – the very reason I write this quick blog entry. Some notes below (I have written things from the point of external visitor – I have hands deep in Zope myself, so you don’t need to clarify these things for me or teach anything)

  • The information is tangled mess: please use subtitles and images
  • You could mention that the package can be used outside Zope
  • You could mention tat the package is a generic Python package
  • The list of CamelCaseWordsWhichGoesOnAndOnUnexplained made me puke. Please use proper English and explain the meaning of the links.
  • It has a comment box: I tried to comment the page but I will get permission error. Please do not show the comment box if the commenting is not actually possbile.
  • Then I tried to register to to comment or fix the basic things on the page. You have a join link in, but there is no registration form. Manual email conversation seem to be prerequisite for the registration. Is Zope a secret society or something…? The contribution barrier just rise too high.
  • In this point, I give up. Even if you had the best interface package out there, I don’t care anymore. Looks like getting involved to fixing thing takes too much of my time. You had your 10 minutes of time to impress me and you failed. Not only that, but I got so frustrated that I want to learn smoking, fast.

In the post “No, you are not smart enough for Zope” Martjin Faassen highlights some problems of Zope community. “It’s hard to get good content written” Martjin claims. I disagree. Whoever created the page originally could have thought what people coming to the page want. They don’t want to decrypt the brain core dump of hardcore Zope developer. They want to know what is this thing, how this thing is beneficial for them, how do I get started with it and how do I use it.

You all know how Internet works. You all have visit on web pages. You all are customers for the same thing you also produce. So writing a basic web page is not something you couldn’t do.


Pardon me the tone of this post. Zope is the 23th best thing out there, but the Zope community has stagnated badly in some aspects. Some things were acceptable ten years ago when web was still young and Python developers hardcore, but if you don’t keep with the pace you lose all the mindshare.

6 thoughts on “The good, the bad and the Zope

  1. hi

    sorry you got turned off by the page. it’s actually a wiki, and requires commenters/editors to at least fill in the options (stated at the permission error page) or login.

    the easiest is to fill in the option, and you can comment/edit away.

    the camelcase is inherent to zope wiki, as other wikis, methinks.

    also, the zope wikis are not that hot with the zope communities. that particular page was created in 06. yup, it’s been that long.

    now, as martijn said, zope (community) needs to do something with regard to the online presence and marketing.

    i guessed that’s easier said than done. i know i’ve been waiting for the new zope community site for more than three years.

    i dunno.

  2. Hi Mikko, thanks for the feedback. I have added some text to that page to hopefully make the situation clearer.

    A few more comments:

    – WikiWords have known advantages for developers in rapid collaboration mode, which is where this wiki comes from. The more user-oriented docs at the zope 3 wiki have moved towards normal spelling.

    As kedai points out, the permission error tells you how to get comment access in a couple of clicks. This step is what keeps the wikis spam-free. If we didn’t show the comment form, you would not have commented and we would have lost this valuable feedback. But your reaction tells me the message could be more friendly, I’ll work on that.

    Going to in order to get wiki edit access was a (understandable) big mistake – that site has well-known problems. The zope community has long been aware of all this mess, but has been unable to fix it quickly. Things are happening though, even for More help would be very useful.

    Thanks again, great post!

  3. It is hard to get good content written. I didn’t claim it’s hard to write good content – it just takes a bit of thinking and some work. I do it frequently. But I stand by the observation that it’s hard to get people actually contribute content. I’ve tried repeatedly, with limited success. I’m not giving up.

    By the way, is an attempt to have good content available as connected with the Grok framework. If you’re interested in writing up an article on zope.interface, we’d be happy to put it up.

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