The problem of Zope 2 is - don't kill me for saying that - Plone. Plone and its foundations in CMF have created a large momentum around a terribly horrible code base. Believe me or not, almost everything gets more complicated with CMF/Plone than with plain Zope. Building a framework on top of a broken framework on top of an ageing framework that is hardly documented isn't a very good idea after all.
You are somewhat right. It's an absolute bitch to write Products for Plone. But it does shows what is actually needed for Zope to work as intended.
In plain Z2 You could write a lot of products, and they would all work fine on your site. But others could not easily download and use/try out the products.
What Plone really is a good example of, is the necessity of a practical reference implementation that all content types and tools can be tested up against.
It the light house that everything is steering towards. I believe that's the reason for it's succes.
It's hard to put a finger on exactly why it has become one. But obviously it has reached critical mass of being "good enough" for a lot of things. It is also flexible enough to be changed beyond recognition.
So both novice users and developers can use it with a lot of succes.
A short list of things that I think makes it an end user succes (even advanced developers are end users of others products):
The skin --------
Notably main_template.pt & plone.css. It is absolute paramount to have a flexible template/styleguide to write up against. It has to be pretty enough to be used in production site out of the box, and easy to change.
The CMS' skin apparently wasn't good enough.
A site can be layed ot in umpteen ways, but the Plone guys has said "this is how we think it should look and function", and put a working example out there. Apparently that has been a very succesfull strategy.
There is also several layers at which it can be changed. From stylesheets to programming. So it can look completely different. But ther reference is allways there as a guide.
It is easy to install and try out new products, and they all work together, and all use the same skin. So if you install a new product it automatically has the look and feel of your site. Even though the site is heavily skinned.
Development process -------------------
Quick and non-bureaucratic. The Plone developers are pretty open for suggestions, and hang out on irc and maillists.
There is a shared repository (the collective) for 3'rd party products. Which gives a good sense of comunity
There is a lot of stuff that could be different in Plone, but on a basic level they got the right solution for making it possible to do distributed development of products that can still work together.
regards Max M
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