This originally appeared as a "Frankly Speaking" column on O'Reilly's website.

Frankly Speaking

From: Doug Thompson
To: Frankly Speaking
Subject: Zope book from O'Reilly?

I heard at LinuxShowcase last week that y'all were publishing a Zope book. This was brought up at a BOF (Birds of a Feather) meeting on Friday at 5 pm. I saw Paul Everit from Digital Creations, but he would "neither confirm nor deny any deal." I also met a New Rider's Executive Editor saying New Rider is publishing a Zope book. New Rider says they have two authors--one from Digital Creations that they haven't signed. They are also talking to another local writer. I heard Wrox had a deal cookin', but no more details.

I use Zope at my company (Mapics) [shh!] for our ERP product. I look forward to anything from ORA, since it legitimizes a piece of software.

For the animal, I recommend either an octopus or a whole bunch of ants.

Thanks,

Doug


Dear Doug:

O'Reilly publishing a book on Zope? I've heard that rumor, too.

We try not to announce books until we know we are publishing them, which means that the editor and the editor-in-chief and the publisher have seen a good bit of a book and like what they see. So I don't want to talk about a Zope book from O'Reilly right now. I will join Paul Everitt under the cone of silence.

Now, let me discuss Zope in a broad and conceptual way. We love Zope. I've known about Zope, and its predecessor Principia, and its open-source predecessor Bobo, since 1996, when I first saw Paul talk about it at the Python Conference in Washington. It has always seemed an interesting topic for a book, especially for the publisher that published Python books when most publishers thought it was a reptile. At that time, however, we were most concerned about providing the foundation books of a Python program. We've got those now ( Programming Python; Learning Python; The Python Pocket Reference; and Python Programming on Win32 [January]), and we're filling out our Python program with the interesting technologies that fulfill Python's promise.

When Digital Creations made Zope an open-source product, it increased our interest in it. It also provides the functionality that many companies (yours soon, I hope) now realize they need. And it's easier to use than its alternatives. It seems like a natural topic for our publishing program.

But I won't announce anything, and you can't make me.

As for an O'Reilly book "legitimizing" Zope: I don't buy it. Zope is already legitimate: its technology and its users make it so. At O'Reilly, we believe that our ability to find and publish books about emerging, interesting, and useful technologies is what makes us a legitimate technical publisher. Zope looks like a candidate. But I'm not talking, no matter what you say.

--Frank