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ompetition in the open-source arena
is narrow but intense. Zope is one of
three enterprise-scale open-source content
management systems. In the United States,
Red Hat markets a comprehensive Web
content management product suite that is
derived from the Ars Digita tool kit
launched in the 1990s by Philip
Greenspun and his associates.The Enhydra
system started life as proprietary software
and then emerged as open-source software
when the parent company failed.
ope is multidimensional in its concep-
tion and challenging in its implemen-
On one dimension, Zope is an
open-source Web application platform writ-
ten in the Python programming language.
People who know and use Python praise its
elegance; most developers are unfamiliar
with the language.The open-source version
of Zope, now in release 2.7.0, is fully and
enthusiastically supported by a worldwide
development community that coordinates
its activities through
Zope is
also a corporate entity that markets configu-
ration services for the Zope platform and
specialised products built on top of the
Zope content management framework.
Some of the major developers of Zope and
the content management framework are
employed by the Zope Corporation.
n yet another dimension, Zope is a
content management framework
that provides the tools and pre-pro-
grammed elements required to create a
content management system. Plone
nised by the community at large, to re-dis-
tribute modified versions' of the software.
omplicating the open-source envi-
ronment is the existence of private
companies whose livelihood involves sell-
ing services to other companies that are
attracted to a given open-source product
but need help installing, configuring or
customising the software. For example, in
the United States, Red Hat is the premier
commercial marketer of the Linux open-
source operating system (
GNU-licensed `free software' is routinely
leveraged by thousands of developers on
dozens of hardware and open-source plat-
forms. At its heart, the open-source model
is based on access to the source code of an
application and the rights of users to freely
modify the software for their own use or
redistribution as they see fit.
he success of any given open-source
product is as much related to the
existence of an active community of devel-
opers willing to share their work as to the
fact that the source code is free. Open
source pioneer Eric Raymond notes that
the people who constitute a community
systematically harness `open development
and decentralised peer review to lower
costs and improve software quality.' More
important, he clarifies that the develop-
ment community manages development
directly through a trusted-peer network.
`The owner(s) of a software project are
those who have the exclusive right, recog-
Enhydra Project. `Enhydra is the first and
leading Open Source Java/XML application server. It was initially created by Lutris
Technologies, Inc. Over four years in development it was open sourced on Janurary
15th 1999.They christened the technology "Enhydra" after the California sea otter
(Enhydra Lutris) - a popular inhabitant of Santa Cruz. After Lutris switched to
closed source development and finally failed on the market, the community took
over the further development.'
Red Hat Enterprise Content Management System. `The Red Hat Content Management
Solution (CMS) combines powerful Web content management functionality with
the flexibility to tailor deployments to the specific production environments and
processes of each organisation. As the needs of the organisation grow, additional
functionality can be integrated through other Red Hat Applications packages,
including Red Hat Portal Server and collaborative plugins.'
Zope. `Zope is a framework for building a special kind of
Web application. Generally, a Web application is a computer program accessed with
a Web browser; the special kind of Web applications built with the framework pro-
vided by Zope can also be thought of as dynamic Websites that both provide static
information to users and allow those users to work with dynamic tools.'
Zope, the community
Zope, the company.
Zope, the developers.
Zope, the European connection.
Zope, the lab.
Zope, the magazine.
Zope, the orientation.
Zope, the Zen.
7 For more information on open-source software, see `Open Source and Free Software Solutions: Reliable, Standardised, Free' in
DigiCULT.Info, Issue 5, October 2003. (
8 Eric S. Raymond, The Cathedral & the Bazaar; Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary
(Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, 1999), p. 89.
9 Paul Browning. `Zope A Swiss Army Knife for the Web?' in Ariadne, 25, 24 September 2000.
10 Chris McDonough, `Gain Zope Enlightenment By Grokking Object Orientation', 12 October 2000.