Saturday, January 31, 2009


I feel like I've been playing a whole lot of catch-up lately.

Mark Ramm's September '08 blog posts about how Django could learn from Zope 2's mistakes made one point (actually from the second post) that struck home strongly: more innovation happens elsewhere than within one given community.  You have to pay attention to it and be a part of it.

I have been a part of some cool, and uniquely valuable, stuff working on and with Zope 3.  I've also tried to keep abreast of new technologies, studying Dojo, and Programming Collective Intelligence, and SproutCore, and Objective C, and so on.  Notice that another web framework is not in that list.  Maybe that's because I was working for a company, Zope Corporation, in which working with other frameworks was not really an option (not that I minded, mind you; I like Zope 3).

But employer policies and positions are not really a good excuse.  I should have been actively studying the other web frameworks anyway.

Now that I'm in a work environment with more opportunity for cross-pollination (working for Canonical) I feel like I'm trying to swim out of a backwater to catch up with the rest of the web developer world.  It's daunting and stimulating.  Ideally I can find a way to integrate the best of my past with what the rest of the world is doing.  I've been a part of some innovation too, and I believe some chunk of it is worth bringing forward.  But I need to catch up.

I've been saving up my notes on REST while I read Leonard Richardson's excellent O'Reilly book about it, hopefully for a series of posts.  It also is an interesting, if somewhat dated, view into the world of Ruby on Rails.  In the alt-Zope world, I've been looking into what Tres Seaver, Chris McDonough and friends have been doing with repoze, especially repoze.bfg.  (I've already been somewhat familiar with Grok, but that's so close to Zope 3 that studying it really doesn't go too far in the way of cross-pollination.)  Obviously I need to spend some quality time with Django (I've done just a bit so far) and I'm impressed enough with Mark Ramm's presentations that I figure I ought to spend some time with TurboGears.

Like I said, daunting. And stimulating.

But meanwhile...I've also been looking at what interactive fiction has been up to since the last time I looked!  And that's what I intend to blog about next: the declarative domain specific language in Inform 7, and maybe how it relates to this crazy web developer biz.

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