[Zope-dev] Re: [Zope] DTML Syntax contd. + rant

Simon Michael simon@joyful.com
11 Nov 1999 09:46:34 -0800

Fully agree with this and the original posting.. after a year on and
off zoping, DTML is still hard.  And while I may be using it the
"wrong way", as it stands every other zope beginner will do the same.
What can be done ? 

NB I post these 2 cents to stimulate ideas and don't imply that DC
folk haven't already thought through this whole issue thoroughly.

1. documentation
Documenting high-level design patterns and low-level code snippets
will definitely help, but I foresee an explosion of recipes. You know
something is not optimal when you find yourself saving every useful
snippet because you know it will be hard to reinvent.

2. clearer partitioning
Clearer partitioning of functionality should clarify the learning
curve and reduce frustration.

3. something else 
What's the ideal situation from user's point of view ? 
I've heard smalltalk, particularly squeak smalltalk, described as
"liquid" and "transparent", meaning you can change things from the
application level right down to virtual machine and it's completely
consistent.  There are no steep jumps in the learning curve requiring
a new mindset, language, etc. I'm also reminded of Lucent's inferno
where /*everything*/is/in/one/access-controlled/namespace.

For zope to be more like this (it already goes a long way), I guess it
would be python all the way, with a single conceptually-simple
namespace that is always available, from bottom to top. 

Python is too hard for some ? Keep a limited DTML as an alternative.
But to python users we will say: forget dtml; use python, use this
single zope namespace, and you can do anything you want, things will
work as you expect.

Is this (a) what we have already ? (b) attainable ?  (c) unrealistic ?
Comments welcome.