Here's a small interview I have made with Philipp von
about his Zope 3 book.
1. Can you present yourself ?
My name is Philipp von Weitershausen. I was born in Bonn, Germany and grew
up in the Rhine area. Before graduating from high school in Berlin I spent a
year going to an American Highschool near Boston, Massachusetts. I now live
in Dresden, Germany where I study Physics at the University of
I have been interested in computers since I was a teenager, started using
Linux around kernel 2.0.18. The early PHP got me interested in web
applications and I managed to work as a PHP programmer in the afternoons
after school. Later, I discovered Zope and through it came to Python. Since
then I have never touched anything else that isn't Python. Most of my Python
applications are Zope applications, though. Since 2001 I've been a
self-employed software developer and consultant.
My interests besides Physics and computers include outdoor sports in the
mountains (skiing, hiking, mountain biking), basketball, playing the
saxophone and travelling.
2. What are the things you are doing with Zope 3 ?
I'm one of the few people among the Zope 3 core developers that do not use
Zope 3 in a current project yet. Unless, of course, you consider this book a
"project" (which I do, since it took a considerable amount of time to
There are a few things that I wish to do with Zope 3 though. I am very
keen to follow and participate in a new content management framework on top
of Zope 3 (sort of like the CMF was for Zope 2), for example. This topic
alone could once be worth a whole book by itself...
3. I'm launching a new project, should I use Zope 3 yet ?
Short answer: Of course!
Long answer: Zope X3.0 is out there. It's stable, it's used in production,
it can be used by you today! Don't be scared by the 'X'. It originally
suggested something like 'eXperimental' which in no way means that X3.0 is
experimental software. Thanks to heavy automatic testing, X3.0 is from a
quality assurance point of view probably better tested than Zope 2 ever will
be. Nowadays, you can see the 'X' as a reminder that Zope X3.0 is not just a
new version of Zope 2, but actually a completely redesigned product that was
rewritten from scratch.
There will be cases where you don't want to use Zope 3 just yet. For
example, Zope 3 is still lacking some elements that content management
applications invariably need (such as better cataloguing support, reference
management, workflow). The existing Zope2/CMF-based CM systems have an
enormous code base here that is not available to the Zope 3 platform
Fortunately, when you decide to use one of these Zope2-based systems now,
you can already start using Zope 3 technology within your Zope 2 application
thanks to the Five product [http://codespeak.net/z3/five]. By using Five you
not only get the best of both worlds, but you also ensure that your
application is much more easily portable to Zope 3 when the time comes. Same
goes for new features that are implemented in Plone, CPS, and Silva
So, if you can't or don't want to use Zope 3 today, you can walk the path
of an easy migration by using Five. Either way, it makes sense to use the
concepts and technology of Zope 3 today.
4. Who should read this book ?
All those who want to get their hands on Zope 3 but don't know too much
about it yet. Zope 3 introduces a number of brand new concepts to the Zope
world that most people are not familiar with yet. I have tried to make an
extra effort explaining these thoroughly and giving real-world examples. In
fact, the development of the example application plays a key role throughout
the whole book.
Apart from the new concepts, Zope 3 is also heavily influenced by the CMF
and, of course, Zope 2. Zope 3 reflects the lessons we have learned over the
years with those two platforms. Whenever appropriate, I try to contrast a
certain Zope 3 feature with the way it is done in CMF or plain Zope 2. I
wanted to give my readers the opportunity to understand why exactly Zope 3
wants to do it that way and not the way we used to do it.
As a reader of my book you should know Python and be familiar with the core
web technologies like HTTP, (X)HTML, XML, etc. Prior knowledge in Zope is
not necessary, but as I pointed out above, sometimes helpful. Since Zope 3
is much closer to Python (sometimes we say it's more "pythonic"), this book
should also be interesting for Python developers that are getting into Zope
for the first time.
5. Any new publication planned yet ?
No, not so soon :) . At least not in the form of a book; I might write some
more articles on Zope 3 as I've done already (e.g. German
Then again, the Zope 3 development trunk is bringing a lot of great
improvements and thus a lot of changes that will sooner or later ask for an
update of the book. I don't want to talk about further editions before the
first one is even out yet, but I hope there will always be a need for Zope
documentation and therefore a reason to keep documentation projects like
this book alive.
Thanks Philipp for the interview and for this great book.
Get more infos about the book here : http://worldcookery.com
(Post originally written by Tarek Ziadé on the old Nuxeo blogs.)