Edd Dumbill has a weblog about technologies that aren’t the easiest to get into, but are rewarding when you do. Linux would be the first thing that comes to my mind – they say it’s user friendly, just picky about who its friends are. His latest entry is Sticking with it – Zope
One of the unfortunate side effects of putting all the content into an object database is that it can be lost more easily (just delete one file!) and that errors aren’t as easy to track down as they are with the file system. Zope also needs some non-trivial care to get right in a high load production environment. Additionally, for the newcomer, Zope’s most powerful and pervasive concept, acquisition, can take quite a lot of getting used to.
However, I can truthfully say that my investment in Zope has been well rewarded. This blog, for instance, was pretty trivial to set up on top of the current framework I had already created. Each entry is simply a document sitting in the database. The blog look and feel is created by the BlogFace product, which orders the items on their metadata. If in future I wanted to restructure and redesign, it’s just a case of new queries. None of my data is forever locked in, I can recover it in XHTML whenever I want.
Zope’s not a short-term hack. It is something you need to spend time with, and grow to love. It has proved it won’t disappear overnight, and that there’s a large community concerned with its future.