Hi all,

I work for a post-secondary institution in Canada that has deployed a lightly-featured proprietary CMS developed in Zope 2. We are currently outlining the next-generation of our website which will involve much broader integration of campus data. There are phenomenally unusual enterprise environmental factors (read: internal politics) around our website so it is very hard to explain what has happened, why it has happened, and what we are trying to accomplish. All you really need to know is that we are at a place where their will be some considerable development "from scratch".

The question hanging at the committee level right now is Zope 2, Zope 3, or something else?

I've read the Zope 2 vs Zope 3 threads, and the Zope 3 readiness discusion, and both were educational. It would seem that since we don't have a really strong need to keep our Zope 2 codebase, Zope 3 is the place to be. However, non-Zope development groups on campus have asked me: So, what will we do when another version of Zope comes along that will completely break backwards compatibility again? They find the transition from 2 to 3 intimidating, cavalier, and hostile to the userbase. I don't entirely blame them, as on the surface it is a compelling perspective.

Certainly this discussion has to have taken place somewhere before. How has Zope 2 vs 3 been sold to the management level? How has it been sold to people who are skeptical of the future roadmap based on the past change in paradigm? How has it been sold to people that prefer commercially supported software? We have as much invested in ColdFusion as we do Zope 2 and there is a perceptual issue here I'm not certain how to correct via education. Clearly Zope 3 does so much more out of the box to support the standards based semantically driven web site we are saying we want in our needs assessment documents, but it is a hard thing to sell.

Since I really can't explain the environmental factors in any depth, let me rephrase: How do you sell Zope 3 as a solution? And what do you do to overcome the perception that our investment in Zope 2 will have little to no payoff in a Zope 3 developed project?

There are two side issues:
First, ColdFusion and ASP are the other candidates, so while I don't want to encourage and dwell on specific comparisons, I would be lying if I said they wouldn't come in handy.

Second, the existence of Zope 3 has completely shot any support for Zope 2 continuation out of the water in our environment. Is this fair, or is there life left to the Zope 2 tree we've developed some experience in? Should I be considering pitching a Zope 2 solution instead?

Thanks for your time,

Edward J. Pollard, B.Sc
Webmaster, University of Lethbridge

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