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Using Zope

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This sample chapter will get you up and running with Zope. Authors Amos Latteier and Michael Pelletier guide you through installing and running Zope, and cover the most important Zope concepts. By the end of this chapter, you should be able to use Zope to create and manage simple, yet powerful, Web applications.
This sample chapter is excerpted from The Zope Book, by Amos Latteier and Michael Pelletier.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Downloading Zope

The first steps to using Zope are to download and install it. Zope is available for free from the Zope.org Web site (http://www.zope.org). The most recent stable version is always available from the Download section at Zope.org (http://www.zope.org/Products).

Zope is currently available as a binary for Windows, Linux, and Solaris. This means that you can just download and install it without having to compile any programs. For other platforms, you must download the source and compile Zope. Zope can be compiled and run on almost any UNIX-like operating system. As a general rule of thumb, if Python is available for your operating system and you have a C compiler, then you can probably use Zope.

Installing Zope

You will install Zope differently, depending on your platform. If you are running a recent version of Linux, you might already have Zope installed. You can get Zope in both binary and source forms. Several different binary formats are also available.

Installing Zope for Windows

Zope for Windows comes as a self-installing .exe file. To install Zope, double-click the .exe file. This launches an Installer that walks you through the installation process. Pick a name for your Zope installation and a directory in which to install it. Click Next, and create a new Zope user account. This account is called the initial user account. This creates an account that you can use to log into Zope for the first time. You can change this username and password later if you want.

If you are using Windows NT or Windows 2000, you can choose to run Zope as a service. Running Zope as a service is a good idea for a public server. If you are just running Zope for personal use, don't bother running it as a service. Keep in mind that if you are running Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows ME (Millenium Edition), you cannot run Zope as a service.

If you decide to uninstall Zope later, you can use the Unwise.exe program in your Zope directory.

Downloading Linux and Solaris Binaries

The following code shows how to download the binary for your platform and extract the tarball:

$ tar xvfz Zope-2.3.0-linux2-x86.tgz

In the previous example, you are downloading version 2.3.0. This might not be the most recent version of Zope when you read this, so be sure to get the latest stable version of Zope for your platform.

The following code unpacks Zope into a new directory. Enter the Zope directory and run the Zope Installer script:

$ cd Zope-2.3.0-linux2-x86
$ ./install

The Installer prints information as it installs Zope. Among other things, it creates an Initial User account. You can change the initial username and password later with the zpasswd.py script (see Chapter 6, "Users and Security").

The Installer configures Zope to run as your UNIX userid. If you prefer to run Zope as another userid, you can use the -u command-line switch and specify the user you want to configure Zope to run as. Many books on the market contain more information on userids and UNIX administration; in general, you should check out userids and UNIX administration if you want to do anything fancy. For now, things will work fine if you just install Zope as your user by not specifying any extra command line options.

For more information on installing Zope, see the installation instructions in doc/INSTALL.txt, and find out more about the Installer script by running it with the following -h help switch:

$ ./install -h

Getting Zope in RPM and deb Format

Zope Corporation doesn't make Zope available in RPM format, but other people do. Jeff Rush regularly packages Zope as RPMs. For more information, check out his Web page ( http://starship.python.net/crew/jrush/Zope/). Zope is also available in the Debian Linux deb package format. You can find Zope deb packages at the Debian Web site (http://packages.debian.org/zope). Generally, the latest Zope releases are found in the unstable distribution.

Compiling Zope from Source Code

If binaries aren't available for your platform, then chances are you can compile Zope from the source. To do this, install Python from your platform sources and make sure you have a C compiler. You can get Python from the Python Web site (http://www.python.org). Although we try to use the most recent Python for Zope, often the latest Python version is more recent than the version we "officially" support for Zope. For information on what version of Python you need to compile Zope, see the release notes on the Web page for each version.

The following code shows how to download the Zope source distribution and extract the tarball:

$ tar xvfz Zope-2.2.0-src.tgz

The previous example unpacks Zope into a new directory. In the following example, enter the Zope directory and run the Zope Installer script:

$ cd Zope-2.2.0-src
$ python wo_pcgi.py

The Installer compiles Zope and sets up your installation. The Installer prints information as it runs, including the initial username and password. It's important to write down that information so that you can log into Zope. For more information, see the installation instructions in the file doc/INSTALL.txt. Again, you can change the initial user account later with the zpasswd.py script (see Chapter 6).

Starting Zope

Depending on your platform, Zope is run with different commands. Whatever your platform, you can either run Zope manually, or automatically. When running Zope manually, you simply tell Zope when to start and when to stop. When running Zope automatically, Zope starts and stops when your computer starts and stops.

Starting Zope on Windows

The Installer creates a Zope directory with a batch file called start.bat. Double-click the start.bat icon. This opens a window that includes logging information. In this window, you find the port on which Zope is listening. You can now log into Zope with a Web browser.

If you are running Zope as a service, you can start and stop Zope via the Services Control Panel. Zope writes events to the event log so that you can keep track of when your service starts and stops. If you run Zope as a service, you must know what port Zope is running on because you will not have direct access to its detailed logging information.

Zope comes with its own Web server. When you start Zope, its Web server starts. If you want, you can connect Zope to your existing Web server, such as IIS, but that is beyond the scope of this book. The Zope Administrator's Guide covers this kind of material ( http://www.zope.org/DocProjects/AdminGuide).

Starting Zope on UNIX

Run the following Start script:

$ ./start &

Zope starts running and prints logging information to the console. You should see information telling you on which port Zope is listening. You can now log into Zope with a Web browser.

Zope comes with its own Web server. When you start Zope, its Web server starts. If you want, you can connect Zope to your existing Web server, such as Apache, but that is beyond the scope of this book. The Zope Administrator's Guide covers this kind of material ( http://www.zope.org/DocProjects/AdminGuide).

The Start script can also be edited to start Zope with many different options. How to customize your Zope startup is also described in the Administrator's Guide.

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