Hi all,

The rumours are true. :) An effort has been going on for a while to improve the zope.org experience and thereby help make Zope more accessible to new users.

I've helped co-ordinate it, but the project has been sanctioned by the Zope Foundation and driven by people like Martijn, Philipp, Wichert and others. Given Martijn's excellent blog post today (http://faassen.n--tree.net/blog/view/weblog/2008/04/05/0) and recent progress we've made, I thought it timely to open up and ask for your help.

Here's what we have achieved so far:

 - A great design by Oliver Ruhm, paid for by Lovely Systems
 - A Plone 3 site hosted by Lovely Systems
 - A skin for this site by Denis Mishunoff
 - A skeleton content structure
 - A plan for going forward

Now we need people to help contribute content, review the content that's already there and tie up a few loose ends.

You can see current state of play here: http://zode01.lovelysystems.com.

The original design mockups from Oliver are here: http://woimmer.com/presenter/zope.org/1.html

We have agreed a plan going forward with the Zope Foundation. Basically, we want to move the current zope.org off into a separate domain, e.g. old.zope.org. We explicitly do not want to port existing content from zope.org wholesale, because (a) most of it's out of date and (b) this would be a huge effort. We'll need to provide some aliases for downloads that people (and buildouts) expect to find on zope.org, but this can be managed using Plone's RedirectionTool.

We also want to start small. Some things, like planet.zope.org, wiki.zope.org and foundation.zope.org stay where they are for now. Existing documentation should be ported over manually, and subject to quality and relevancy review in the process.

We want to tackle the external face of Zope first. Membership of the site will be by invitation (i.e. ask me and I'll give you an account), for content authors only. We don't want to allow arbitrary "home folders" - at least not just yet. Again, some things probably need to be moved over, but there is too much cruft on the old zope.org to move it wholesale.

There has been a lot of discussion around the "message" we want to send. The current zope.org is quite confusing to people who are not familiar with the intricate history of Zope. In short, the message we want to project is:

 - Zope is an established, mature, "enterprise ready" project

- If you don't know where to start, start with Grok (note that Grok has its own website, which we link to when relevant)

- There is a common framework that unites Zope 2, Zope 3 (the app server) and Grok. We often call this "Zope 3" internally, but for the purposes of explanation, we will try to refer to the core "web application" libraries as the "Zope Libaries".

- We want to frame the ZODB as something that can be used without Zope as well as an integral part of Zope

To that end, the website is divided up into sections:

 - "Home" gives a quick overview and tries to get people excited

 - "Get" gives download instructions for the impatient

- "Taste" whets the reader's appetite with some exciting code examples that explain how Zope is different

- "Projects" gives an explanation of how the different Zope projects fit together (Zope 2, Zope 3, Grok, CMF, ZODB). Each is then given a subfolder that contains a standard structure: A front page that explains the project in more detail, "Get" (downloads), "Taste" (as above, but for a particular project) and "Learn". The "Learn" section should contain relevant, up-to-date documentation.

 - "Community" gives some details about how to join the Zope community

- "Foundation" links to the Foundation site for now. If the Foundation website maintainers want to move into this site in the future, they are of course more than welcome to.

Now, you'll notice that a lot of content is missing! This is where we need volunteers.

  o Critical reviewer -- I would like someone to review the text on
the site from time to time and offer feedback on clarity, style,
consistency and message. This person may either act as editor and change
things on the fly, or just ask the relevant author to change something.
Ideally, this is someone with an opinion on "Zope" as a whole and its
place in the world. Jan Ulrich Hasecke has volunteered for this. I think we may need two or three people for this role, though.

  o "Get" section content champion -- needs to complete this section,
writing about grokproject, zopeproject and probably a manual/source
install. Needs to write clear instructions that work on all target
platforms. We can split this section into sub-pages if need be.

  o "Taste" section champion -- needs to complete this section with some
"tasty" code examples that get people excited about Zope. They don't
have to be 100% complete applications; rather, they should show what
sets Zope apart. A developer should be able to read this and think "I
could get with this". I think we can maybe adopt something from the
Appetizers section on worldcookery.com, or invent new examples. They
could use Grok or plain Zope 3. This probably requires something with a
strong technical background. I'd love for this to be Philipp, since he
always does well with this kind of thing in presentations and training,
though I'm not sure how much time he'll have.

  o "Community" section champion -- needs to provide some details about
the Zope mailing lists/forums and chatroom. Perhaps include etiquette as
well. This can probably be cribbed from plone.org/support.

Then, we need a champion for each of the sub-projects. These are:

  - Zope 3 and the "Zope Libraries" -- this is the most important one in
the short term!

  - Zope 2

  - CMF

  - ZODB

Grok has its own home page, though I think we should keep referring to
it where it makes sense.

Please reply to this thread if you are interested in helping out! I know various people have expressed an interest in the past. I hope they'll reconfirm their commitment now. Hopefully, we can get the content completed in a few weeks and then begin the move to making this the thing that people see when they hit zope.org.


Author of `Professional Plone Development`, a book for developers who
want to work with Plone. See http://martinaspeli.net/plone-book

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