I used -- and came to stop using -- Zope myself. I don't think the performance should really be an issue. I understand there's some clustering thing implemented for Zope, and IMHO most of the really heavy lifting should be done with a RDBMS anyway. Zope isn't blazingly fast by any means, but I think it should scale well, even for a high-traffic site.
However, I must say that I found Zope to be very opaque. When I was using it the documentation was truly horrendous -- a combination of not having good or complete reference documentation, and an eclectic enough system that such documentation was desperately needed. Since then (about a year ago) the documentation has gotten better. The lack of elegence hasn't particularly, though. IMHO, the best documentation is not needing documentation.
Personally, I'm much more interested in Webware, which is an alternative Python framework.
Zope is good at content-management, and creating a content-rich, eclectic site -- i.e., a site that has various forms of content that couldn't fit into a well-structured database. It also has some powerful permission stuff, so that you can create users and manipulate permissions inside the Zope-universe without needing system accounts, and even delegating user creation safely. These are very useful, and represent a lot of work to duplicate. They could be really useful in an intranet environment, though DTML makes this difficult (that's being worked on, though)
If you like simple elegence, though, you'll find Zope disapointing. If you aren't willing to invest a lot of time to find your bearings, you'll probably be frustrated. Zope makes escape hard, as it doesn't use the filesystem. Personally, I just hope that people realize that web-based Python programming is by no means limited to Zope. A SquishDot system simply doesn't seem hard enough to justify Zope. Zope should be seen as a way to implement an entire server -- not just an application, but a set of documents, applications, network services, etc. When you have a problem on that scale, I think Zope will start to pay off.
[ Parent ]