[Zope-Annce] New zope.org development

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Thu, 31 Oct 2002 17:10:16 -0500

There have been complaints about zope.org.  The complaints
include things like "the design is ugly", "the navigation is
difficult", "it's too slow", and "search results are not

For a long time there have been plans to convert the site to
the current version of Zope using CMF, and various false
starts have been made, but so far the site is still running
software that's best described "FrakenZope 2.3"...

I opened my big mouth, and now I'm responsible for fixing
this. :-)

Actually, a new plan was already in place, and all I have to
do is coach its execution.  Zope Corporation has retained a
highly skilled Zope developer, Sidnei da Silva, to do the
work.  The advantage over Zope Corporation developers doing
this (as has been tried in the past) is that Sidnei isn't
likely to be pre-empted by higher-priority customer work:
for him, this *is* customer work, the customer being Zope
Corporation.  At the same time, because Sidnei is being
paid, the expectation is that the plan will be carried out
at a steady pace, as opposed to simply "letting the
community sort it out."

Sidnei's plan includes the following pieces:

- use Zope 2.6 with CMF 1.3 for the new site

- use a new skin design, the winner of the zope.org contest

- use the new ZCTextIndex search engine

- migrate all existing users and as much content as practical
  to the new site

(There's more, but we'd be getting into detail territory.)

The project goals include minimizing the amount of new code
and content to be created, in order to minimize the risks of
failure.  We also strive to make future maintenance of the
site simpler, both at the sysadmin level (process and
resource control) and at the webmaster level (content
control).  All these goals are designed to make sure that
the site can be kept current once the upgrade is in place.

Time-wise, Sidnei expects a preview version of the new site
to go up as new.zope.org within a month, and the final
version to go live (replacing the old www.zope.org) within
2-3 months after that.  Sidnei expects to be asking
community help with some tasks; he'll post about this

In addition, we're also hoping to hire Sidnei as part-time
webmaster for zope.org, starting next week.  Having a steady
webmaster will help the site stay accurate and up-to-date.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)