[Grok-dev] Re: What is Grok anyways... time for a name change? :)

Martijn Faassen faassen at startifact.com
Wed May 9 18:51:47 EDT 2007

Hey Martin,

Thanks for this good set of answers to Sebastian, better than mine. :)

A few comments to your points:

Martin Aspeli wrote:
> That's probably a marketing thing. Also, bear in mind that Grok is 
> really very new. :)

Right, I want to do more about our web presence, tutorial, reference, 
and code before we try really spreading the message wide outside our 
community. I hope we get to doing this after the summer, though.

>> I am still not entirely sure -- what is Grok?  
> Maybe that's because it's evolving? Maybe it's something the Grok 
> developers need to make more clear on the website. For now, think of 
> Grok as a project which is rapidly producing a (small) framework and set 
> of patterns for increasing your productivity and letting you take 
> advantage of the incredible power of Zope 3. At least, that's how I 
> think of it.

Yes, good point and good description. I'll add it to my todo list to 
integrate this into the website.

>> As Zope 3 evolves, does Grok evolve too?
> Of course. You can use any Zope 3 component from within a Grok-based 
> application. At least, that should be the aim.

It's something that you can already do. The other way around (using a 
grok-based component in a non-grok zope 3 app) we're working on.

Of course we keep looking out for patterns to allow people to more 
*effectively* use a wide variety of Zope 3 components. We got a lot more 
thinking ahead of us. I want Grok to make it trivial to define new 
widgets, I want Grok to allow us to get rid of the unittest and 
functional test setup boilerplate, and there dozens of Zope 3 extensions 
we need to check to see whether they could benefit from some grok 
configuration treatment.

> Sure. But that's open source. I'd contest that Grok is quite different 
> from TurboGears or Django or Pylons, though. It's about taking something 
> with a very long history (Zope 3, which itself is learning the lessons 
> from Zope 2), and making it more accessible and easier to get started with.
> Grok is not "using" Zope 3. Grok *is* Zope 3, in that you have the full 
> Zope 3 stack behind you. However, Grok helps you decide how to use the 
> Zope 3 components, by promoting certain patterns and providing certain 
> tools to make your life easier, giving you a smaller initial learning 
> curve and a better starting point.
> It's not about inventing radically new concepts, nor, I suspect, about 
> writing lots of code. The Grok developers are also Zope 3 core 
> developers. I suspect that's the way it stays.

Well said!

Grok is Zope 3, differently presented. Mostly we work on taking existing 
ideas and innovations and making them easier to use.

I think there are some areas in which Grok might potentially push for 
innovation in the technology department. One area is pluggable 
templating languages. Another more high-concept area is patterns for 
templating-independent theming. I'm sure other areas might come along.

I think one reason templating innovation comes up for Grok is because 
easy templating has a high developer usability aspect, which is what 
Grok is all about. Of course it also helps that Grok has  less legacy 
code to worry about than pure Zope 3.



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