Thank you very much for all the advice, and particularly for the list of problems with ZClasses.

I had been thinking of jumping in and fixing some of those things. I am not quite sure where to start. What do I work on to benefit ZClasses, while taking care of my immediate business needs? I also must be mindful that I do not represent enough users to get my changes to the Zope core to be accepted and integrated into the product. Last night, I was wondering what should I do? Not only technically, what should I fix first, but also socially how should I proceed?

Fortuitously, this morning, my associate Christopher Appell, who has been doing a brilliant job, calls me up and says:

I want an application where we, and clients can track invoices.
What I heard him say is:

I need a very simple app. Just 1 ZClass, an invoice object. Not even subitems on the invoice. I want to create these ZClasses, I want a table of these ZClasses, I want to be able to say which role gets to create these objects, which role gets to see which fields, and which role gets to edit which fields. I would also like a search form with a ZCatalog, and I would like an edit/create form. All I want is to define the fields of the Zclass, and have the rest magically appear. I want the application to be built really quickly. Can you deliver by Monday?

I thought, hey, I bet a million people need such a simple web app. Let us make it really easy to implement craigslist or better. Let me go ahead and create a ZClass product, and go ahead and distribute it. Lots of people would use it. Or at least enough to build up a critical mass. And then as some of those people go ahead and stretch the boundaries of the app, they will fix all of the ZClass problems we all know about. They will fix them for their own reasons, which is of course what drives open source.

What do you think? Is this an effective way to operate on the social medium which is open source?

Of course those who want to deprecate ZClasses will think this is a terrible terrible idea.

I am fine with ZClasses being a separate product.

I have a much richer deeper long-term vision of where this is going, but the longest road begins with a single step.

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