Okay, so my new workplace use Zope, so it’s probably a good idea for me to use that as a framework. I mean, enough people use it for it not to be too bad, right?

Dear god does it suck. I mean, Whales though really thin gauze, it sucks that badly. I got it working on my local network after swearing at it quite loudly. It’s own personal religion of “Not Invented Here” is going to really annoy me, I can tell.

Lets start with the web server. It doesn’t run though Apache without a tremendous amount of futzing around. I like Apache, and run everything else off Apache, so the fact that all my Zope applications will run off a non-standard port (There are fixes for this, yes, but they also require a tremendous amount of futzing around). This is annoying.

Then there is the user system. I have a user account on this machine, you could even talk to it though LDAP. Requiring your own little world to run in – let alone where you don’t tell me the initial username & password, or where the access file is, or anything – is really annoying. Also, it should be noted that in every SINGLE guide I found on how to reset the password manually it missed the fairly basic piece of information that once you have reset the password, you must restart the Zope server otherwise you will spend half an hour working out why it doesn’t take the data. This, admittedly, is partly a Debian Package problem, but since delving has lead me to believe that it used to ask you for a default username and password on configure, and now doesn’t, I’m leaping to the conclusion that whining isn’t going to fix this any.

It should be a default requirement that every Debian package contains a file in /usr/share/docs explaining a) Which configure options were used, b) What you’re going to have to do next to make the package work, and c) Common pitfalls of the above.

Three, the interface. In the last six months or so, the bar for a web-based interface has gone from a minor hurdle to a max-height pole-vault, mostly due to GMail. However, I can state with no fear of derision that <textarea /> is the single most fucking awful method of inputting code since I used a C64 with a broken delete key, and the fact that the physical location of the source files is shielded from me (and will, I suspect, be chowned something silly anyway) means the best way I can see to develop with this pile of shit is to copy/paste from my default text editor, which is just retarded (And yes, that is exactly how I compose blog entries, but I don’t normally need to keep blog entries in CVS). I suspect there is a better way to do this. In fact, I’m sure there must be, or else Zope would be deader than a very dead thing, which brings me to my next point.

The Docs

My first problem with the docs is the inline commenting system. When I’m trying to digest a reasonably complex idea it is of no use whatsoever for the flow of the text to be interrupted constantly by inane slashdotesque comment. On the other hand, without the inline commenting I’d not have known that the introduction to Zope tutorial – which is far better than the one included in the distro – existed, also, I’d have read the chapter on DTML before the chapter on the more advanced, easier to use, designer friendly and new paradigm of Zope Page Templates, which starts off by pointing out how crap everything you read in the previous chapter was. ARGH

Nevertheless, I shall persevere with this Evil, because I’ve got no choice but to know it, in the hope that I will learn my way around it.

Okay, so “find / -iname ZopeZoo” has failed to find any of the files that are part of the tutorial. Where the hell is Zope putting the bloody files? *ARGH*