It's a give-and-take I think.
I had the same confusion as you have right now, but after a while you learn
this syntax pretty well.
This is the same as with all syntax, and as soon as you have learned the
basics the rest is easy and from then on a matter of learning how to use
extensive functions and methods.

I found DTML confusing as well in the begining, but I know feel that DTML is
not bad at all.
The DTML syntax is sometimes even more convenient than - otherwise known to
be simple - PHP syntax.
If you read the Zope Book by Michael and Amos you'll be told to use Python
Methods for almost all functionality and leave DTML as a very basic tool for
your content visualization.

Don't give up Irene! This is just part of the steep (almost exponential)
Zope learning curve.

Greetings, peter
> I say this is confusing.  Don't tell me to read the Namespace
> How-to, or the Zope User Guides, I did, and it's still confusing!
> Unless you find an example, that does exactly what you want, trying to
> figure it out with the documentation available can be difficult.  I
> found my answer to this in the
> "How-To: (How-to) access the field names and fields of any arbitrary
> ZSQL query", but it took a lot of searching the
> Zope site for references to 'dtml-in'. I get so frustrated with DTML, I
> want to scream.  Please don't tell me to buy the Zope book, DTML should
> be more intuitive.  DTML maybe the heart
> of Zope, but it's also it's achilles heel.

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