Jeff Shell wrote:
Is there any good pattern for dealing with this?

At ZC we use a system called, simply, "the buildout".

(We've nominally open sourced it by placing it in the sandbox svn+ssh:// I say "nominally" because there wasn't much external interest at the time, and haven't updated the sandbox to the current version in a while.)

The buildout handles things like downloading source and binaries, compiling, making Zope instances, building config files, writing ctl scripts, installing cron jobs, and lots more. It happens to use ConfigParser-style files. We collect all of the system-level config info in those files, and have separate files for "dev", "stage", and "prod" environments.

Long story short: It's an interesting problem space, but, as you've noticed, ZCML (alone) doesn't apply to this kind of "whole system" configuration.
Benji York
Senior Software Engineer
Zope Corporation
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