The original article appeared at:
Hope for Zope
By Mark Gibbs
Network World Fusion Focus, 12/28/98
Well, it looks like this new-fangled open source thing is
catching on. Netscape got the bandwagon rolling (in the face of
losing the browser wars it was so much more stylish than just
sulking) and recently IBM released an open source secure e-mail
What's even more interesting is all of the new open source
freeware. I stumbled over such a product called ZOPE the other
day that is at least intriguing if not downright cool. ZOPE
stands for "Z Object Publishing Environment" and is an
object-based, open-source Web application platform.
ZOPE competes with products such as Cold Fusion, Silverstream
and Netscape Application Server but it has a significantly
different architecture. ZOPE is based on a simple scripting
object model and an integrated object database all written in
Python, an open source freeware language. You don't need to know
Python to use ZOPE.
ZOPE includes Web and FTP servers and can be extended to cover
other protocols such as POP3, SMTP and IMAP. The integrated
object database uses the native file systems to manage its data
by default but can also work with other storage managers, such as
bsddb or relational databases. Data managed in external databases
(Oracle, Sybase, MySQL and ODBC are supported) can also be
integrated with ZOPE and according to the developers "[it]
takes about twenty lines of code to add support for another
database. Well, maybe thirty."
ZOPE is reputed to be *very fast*. Again, quoting the
developers" "It is the result of years of doing Web
application servers. We have chased dead ends, started over, made
mistakes, and settled on a solid approach. Critical pieces are
written in C. Templates are pre-parsed. Namespace lookups are
minimized. Plus a host of other small details that add up to very
ZOPE is developed under Linux on Intel hardware and is
supported on Linux/Intel, Solaris (SPARC and Intel), Digital Unix,
BSDI and Windows NT. The developers note that "We have also
done consulting with it on SGI/Irix and HP-UX. It should run on
Windows 95, Mac OS and even Windows CE. Maybe someone will port
it to the Pilot."
Finally, as I noted above, ZOPE is free. That's right open
source *and* free. From the ZOPE Frequently Asked Questions list
question: "Is it really free and open source? Have
you lost your mind?" Answer: "In a word, yes."
If I can find the time between now and Christmas, I shall be
testing ZOPE, and I'll let you know what I find. If you beat me
to it, drop me a line and let me know what you think.
Mark Gibbs is an consultant, author,
journalist, and columnist. He writes the weekly Backspin
column in Network World and authors frequent features for a
number of publications. Gibbs is also a principal of Change Council and
affiliated with a number of high tech ventures including Netratings, Inc., the most
advanced Web audience measurement firm. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.