Skip to content.

Personal tools
You are here: Home » Members » chrism's Home » Le Roi Est Mort

Le Roi Est Mort

TIme to make the call.

Many years ago I wrote a blog entry wringing my hands about whether I'd ever get to write a Zope 3 application . The results are in, and it turns out that in the sense of being able to use Zope-3-the-application-server to regularly produce customer projects, I have not been able to, and I never will be able to. On the other hand, in the sense of being able to use Zope-3-the-libraries, I have, and I enjoy it immensely, mostly due to Martijn Faassen's and others' work on Five .

Despite Zope 3's maturity, Zope 2, fueled mostly by Plone, is still a far more popular platform for building web applications than is Zope 3 . Indeed, Plone's dominance as a platform has overtaken all Zopes .

"Zope 3" as an application server brand is dead. It's the same kind of dead as Mozilla Seamonkey as compared to Firefox. Or GNU as compared to Linux. While its useful and impressive libraries live on, the ability for its brand to inspire curiosity from significant numbers of new users is dead. That mantle has been handed to Plone.

The most convincing evidence of this comes from my consulting experience. It has become an abberance that I'm ever asked to do a "Zope project." Instead, I am almost always asked to do a "Plone project." For these, we often end up using plain-old-Zope2, but the lead always comes in through the Plone brand, never through the Zope brand. It has been this way since about 2005. Perhaps there's some bustling secret underground of trade in Zope 3 of which I'm unaware. I doubt it.

One of Martijn's other projects, Grok, which depends heavily on Zope 3 technologies, holds promise as a framework which will bring "pure" Zope 3 technologies to the masses. The king is dead, long live the king.

Created by chrism
Last modified 2008-02-05 04:15 PM


Strange that Google Trends shows Plone stats trending downwards. I am pretty sure that for overall Plone interest this is not the case. Traffic to has been rising, over 500K page views last month, a healthy trend from the average of 300K page views in 2006:

The analogy between Seamonkey Mozilla/Firefox and Zope 3/Grok is an interesting comparison. For us long time Mac users, we remember well when the Apple brand was mud in the late 90's, but it's done a complete 180 in the last decade. Perhaps Zope Corp. just needs to lure Steve Jobs onto it's board of directors :P

The Zope confusion

I fully agree with the statement that consulting customers do not ask for Zope (either 2 or 3) anymore, they ask for Plone. That has been my experience for several years, too. But hey, at least with Plone people know what they get. With Zope, that's not so clear.

The Zope 2/3-confusion and resulting brand dilution for the Zope brand has done and continues to do major damage. As the saying goes, a horrible end is better than horror without end, so I wish there was some kind of papal edict to end this confusion one way or another, even if it means that some developers from the "losing camp" get pissed off and leave. Simple statements of intent or nebulous visions don't count. However, it appears the brand leaders don't feel that same pain (yet), so Zope as a brand will have to suffer a bit more before any real action is taken.