Beta-Testing Zope 4 together with PerFact Innovation
TL;DR: There are some rough edges when migrating an existing Data.fs and needed Python code from Zope 2.13 to Zope 4 but there is nothing what cannot be solved.
The German company PerFact Innovation (www.perfact-innovation.de) has a customer product built on Zope 2.13. The code needed for the customisation to different customers is stored in the ZODB. They invited me to a workshop where we looked into the migration story to Zope 4. We used the just released Zope 4.0b2.
After half a day the core functions of the customer product where working including the switch from ZServer to WSGI. There were some rough edges we had to come around. I list them here as a reference for other people who start migrating their code to Zope 4.
We also poke around with a fresh Zope 4 installation on Python 3 to see what this will bring. It was nice to see that a
DTMLMethod calling another one while mixing
unicode no longer leads to strange encoding problems but keeps
Expect most of the bugs and some of the uglinesses listed below to be fixed in Zope 4.0b3.
There are some bugs we could easily hack around in the workshop. Most of them are even fixed by now:
- Some objects cannot be loaded from the ZODB because their classes used to be old-style classes but in Zope 4.0b2 they became new-style classes. Fixed in [zopefoundation/Zope#205]
- Python scripts cannot be called because the compiled code is expected on a different attribute. This requires re-compiling them. Fixed in [zopefoundation/Products.PythonScripts#12]
- Some modules seem no longer allowed to be used in through the web PageTemplates, e. g. Products.PythonScripts.standard. Fixed in [zopefoundation/Zope#209]
- Accessing METAL macros using the
getitem style (e. g. metal:use-macro=“python:here.master.macros[‘foo’]“) is not allowed. Its Python class seems to be missing a security declaration. Reported in [zopefoundation/Zope#210]
- When using Python 3 it is not possible to create a new
Script (Python) in the ZMI because the default script code is not Python 3 compatible. Already fixed in [zopefoundation/Products.PythonScripts#10] awaiting release.
Some things are still a bit raw in Zope 4 but for a beta version it is possible to live with them:
We were facing some of the breaking changes in Zope 4, which will require further development if the customer product should behave and be developed like before:
- Support for WebDAV, XML-RPC and FTP has been moved to the ZServer package. This means a WSGI based installation does not provide support for these protocols. Maybe WSGI middlewares could be written to support them again individually.
products directive is no longer supported in the
zope.conf (only via ZServer). This means that the contents of the
Products directory inside the Zope instance directory have to become Python packages which can be installed via
We were facing some required changes on different levels to get the code running:
- Installation: Some Python packages are no longer dependencies of Zope or they have been extracted to separate packages and Zope does not depend on them. They have to be installed separately when they are needed. These packages are:
- Products code: Zope 4 no longer contains the
Globals module. In Zope 2.13 it only contained imports to keep the backwards compatibility with older Zope releases.
Globals is gone now. To find out how to change your imports look at the Globals module on the 2.13 branch.
- PageTemplates: PageTemplates are now rendered using Chameleon. This prevents you from using
-- in HTML comments as it is not allowed there. (See also the HTML comments document of the WebDesignGroup.)
- Error handling:
standard_error_message does not exist any more in Zope 4. It only supports exception views which have to be written in file system code. See Catching and rendering exceptions as a tutorial how to create exception views and even a hack to restore using
It is not impossible to migrate an existing Data.fs to Zope 4 (while staying on Python 2). It is even easier if the through the web approach was used to create the Data.fs as only very little code has to be modified that way.
Please test your applications on Zope 4 during the beta phase (until fall 2018) so we will get a final release which will be ready for production usage. If you have questions we are here to help.
TL;DR: You have to write an exception view in file system code which is rendered when an exception occurs.
If an exception occurred in Zope 2 the
standard_error_message (an object in the ZODB) was rendered. This way the error page could be customised through the web.
When using a WSGI server on Zope 2 the
standard_error_message is no longer used. The exceptions have to be handled in a WSGI middleware. (This is a sub-optimal solution as the middleware is not run in the same execution context where the exception occurred.)
Thats why error handling changed again in Zope 4: Like Zope 3 (aka BlueBream) Zope 4 tries to lookup an exception view if an exception occurs. If the lookup succeeds (aka there is an exception view registered for the current exception) this view is rendered as response. This approach allows different views for different exceptions. The
standard_error_message is even gone when installing Zope 4 from scratch.
Continue reading “Catching and rendering exceptions”
Once upon the time there was Earl Zope II. His lands where threatened by a huge disaster called “Python 2 sunset”. His only chance was to emigrate to the Python 3 wonderland. After a long preparation phase for himself and his courtiers he was able to move to the new land. But the Python 3 wonderland has strict immigration authorities: They only allow “compatible” fellows to get a residency permit. The permission itself has three levels:
- alpha – To get this level the candidate has to prove that he can breath the Python 3 air and drink the water in this land without getting falling over. Earl Zope II needed a while to acclimate in the Python 3 wonderland as its climate is a bit different from what he was used to.
- beta – This level requires the the acclimation phase was successful and people could start to rely that the candidate will stay in the new land. Earl Zope II reached this level by proving that all his courtiers – he relies on – are ready for this level.
- final – To reach this level the candidate needs to prove that he is living in successful relations in Python 3 wonderland. Other inhabitants must be able to trust him and the services he offers. After Earl Zope II now has reached the beta phase he is now able to offer his services and hope that he gets the final level about fall 2018.
Back in his own country Earl Zope II had the official name “Zope2 2.13”. Before the beta phase of his immigration he thought that he would have to change the name to something like “Zope2 4.0b1”. This is looks ugly and some people protested against this name. With the kind and quick help of Baiju Muthukadan Earl Zope II was able to change his official name to “Zope 4.0b1”. Thank you very much Baiju Muthukadan! Earl Zope is very proud of this new shorter name and is heartily thankful for this opportunity.
The release of the first Beta version means, that no currently existing features will be removed until the final version. But There will be some new features and many bugfixes.
New Features of Zope version 4.0
- Support for Python 3.4 up to 3.6: Currently Python 3 can only be used for new projects. There is only an experimental way to convert an existing ZODB from Python 2 to 3 as it is not possible to run the same
Data.fs under both versions, see zodb.py3migrate.
- Zope now by default runs as a WSGI application. The previously used
ZServer is still supported but only runs under Python 2.
- Chameleon based templates are now the default.
- The name of the distribution changed from
Zope. The previous
Zope2 package will remain as a meta package which depends on
Zope. This allows packages which require Zope 4.x to depend on
Zope instead of
- Removed deprecated code and BBB imports like the
Globals package or the internal help system.
- Some smaller features, bug fixes and security fixes, see the Change log.
A big “Thank you!” to all who made this release possible:
- dedicated people investing time, thoughts and money
- nice companies allowing their people to participate on Zope sprints
- the Plone Foundation sponsoring Zope sprints
We had a great Zope 4 Phoenix Sprint helping to raise Zope from the ashes! Thank you to everybody who participated in Halle or from remote.
Beta one of Zope is out:
We need the feedback to adapt Zope to the needs in the wild. The current plan is to create new beta releases once a while after implementing features resp. bug fixes or on demand. The current plan is to release a final 4.0 version in fall of 2018. This should allow software projects built upon Zope to migrate there code before the Python 2 sunset in 2020.
Once upon the time there was an earl named Zope II. His prophets told him that around the year 2020 suddenly his peaceful country will be devastated: They proclaim that with the “sunset” of Python 2 as stable pillar of his country, insecurity and pain will invade his borders and hurt everyone living within. There seemed only one possible move forward to escape the disaster: Flee to the Python 3 wonderland, the source of peace and prosperity.
This was not as easy as one might think. Earl Zope II was already an old man. He was in the stable age where changes are no longer easy to achieve and he had many courtiers in his staff which he needed all the day.
The immigration authority of the Python 3 wonderland was very picky about the persons which requested permission to settle down. Many “updates” for Zope II and his staff where required to so they eventually became “compatible” with the new country. Earl Zope II was even forced to change his name to Zope IV to show hat he was ready for Python 3 wonderland.
After much work with the immigration authorities it seemed to be possible for earl Zope IV to enter; only some – but important – formalities were needed before he could be allowed to settle down and call himself a citizen of the Python 3 wonderland.
This is where the tale gets real: We need your help to release a beta version of Zope 4. The hard work seems to be done; but some polish and testing is still required to reach this goal.
We invite you to the Zope 4 Phoenix Sprint to help raising Zope 4 from the ashes! From Wednesday, 13th until Friday, 15th of September 2017 we sprint at the gocept office in Halle (Saale), Germany towards the beta release.
Possible sprint topics could be:
- Work on issues and pull requests regarding the beta release.
- Make RestrictedPython beta ready.
- Work on a Bootstrap of the Zope management interface (ZMI)
- Port CMF components to Python 3 to test Zope 4 for possible issues
- Work on Plone to make it ready for Zope 4
- Try out migration strategies for ZODB content to Python 3.
- Improve the documentation.
You are heartily invited to join us for the honour of earl Zope IV.
The sprint days were really busy for Earl Zope II and the people helping him with the Python 3 wonderland immigration authorities.
- can be installed using Python 3
- can be started and renders some views
- has more than 1.700 of more than 2.300 tests running
- has some optional dependencies left to be ported.
- To accomplished this by:
- Complete porting of RestrictedPython, so a first alpha release with the new implementation was released. (This includes about 260 commits, nearly 100 files changed, 9.000 lines of newly written code and 1.000 lines of code deleted.)
- Port AccessControl to Python 3. This port covers the Python code of the package.
- Make an alpha release of DocumentTemplate which supports Python 3. It is purely based on Python code. (Thanks Hanno for the porting work from C to Python!)
- Note: There were problems porting AccessControl and DocumentTemplate to PyPy so we left this out for now. (Volunteers welcome!)
Besides working on Zope there was other ongoing work:
- CMFCore, DCWorkflow, GenericSetup now run on Zope 4 using Python 2.
- Even most tests of CMFDefault are now running on Zope 4 – whereas it runs successfully in the browser.
- Some Plone packages were ported to Python 3:
His majesty Earl Zope II says a warm “Thank you!” to all who helped him to start his new live in Python 3 wonderland. There is still enough work to be done so he can live there and having all the comfort and stability of Python 3. See you on the next sprint!
Welcome to the Zope 2 Resurrection Sprint in Halle (Saale), Germany. We hope you enjoyed the time since the Last call for take off to the Python 3 wonderland.
We already achieved some things:
We discussed the following topics:
- Use pytest as test framework and test runner for the Zope projects?
- We decided against this suggestion as it is to much hassle for a too little gain.
- Using zope.testrunner is not too different from stdlib’s unittest.
- zope.testrunner it has the really helpful layers feature which is heavily used in Zope and especially Plone. There is no equivalent in pytest for this concept. This would require to rewrite the whole test infrastructure or use a tool like gocept.pytestlayer which coverts layers into purest fixtures – but has its own problems doing this.
- Improve the situation of continuous integration for the Zope packages:
- Sometimes tests of a package break because a dependency has changed its behaviour. This does not get noticed until someone makes a change to the package which triggers Travis-CI. It is sometimes really hard to find out which change in which package caused the test failures when the tests are only run at code changes. (Current example: zope.testbrowser which broke because of a change in WebTest.)
- Hanno activated the cron jobs Travis-CI beta feature for most of the Zope related packages. (This currently requires clicking in the Travis-CI UI and still has to be done for most of the ZTK packages.) Currently it is not clear what happens if such a cron job fails.
- The Jenkins of the Plone Foundation is also able to test the Zope packages: it could be configured to run them on a regular basis.
- Tres suggests to use
bin/test instead of
python setup.py test to run the tests as the latter one is no longer liked by the Python Packaging Authority folks.
Last information for Zope 2 Resurrection Sprint
We are approaching the Zope 2 Resurrection Sprint and hope that all those who are willing to help earl Zope II on his endeavor to port his realm have already prepared there horses and packed the necessary equipment to arrive in Halle (Saale), Germany.
To help with the preparations we have set up some means of communication:
In the Etherpad we have collected a fundamental set of obstacles that the immigration authority of Python 3 wonderland send to earl Zope II via a mounted messenger. If there are additional problems we need to solve with the immigration or other authorities, feel free to point those out in the pad.
During the sprint we will have an owl waiting for messages in the #sprint channel on irc.freenode.net, so additional information and questions can be placed there.
In general the gates of the gocept manor in Halle (Saale) are open from 8:00 till 18:00 during the sprint for the squires to help earl Zope II. There will be some refreshments in the morning (8:00 – 9:00) and during lunch time (12:00 – 13:00) in order to keep everyone happy and content.
Apart from that, there will be some fixed points in time to meet:
- Monday 2017-05-01
- 19:00 CEST, pre-sprint get-together for early arrivals at Anny Kilkenny. Attention: There will be a bigger political demonstration in Halle which might impact the arrival here, take that into consideration.
- Tuesday 2017-05-02
- 9:00 CEST, official welcome and sprint planning afterwards.
- 16:30-17:30 CEST, Discussion: TBD
- 18:00 CEST, guided tour through the city of Halle, meeting point
- 19:30 CEST, dinner and get-together at Wenzels Bierstuben, location, separate bills
- Wednesday 2017-05-03
- 9:00 CEST, daily meeting and review
- 16:30-18:00 CEST, Discussion: TDB
- 19:00 CEST, BBQ evening in the lovely garden at gocept manor
- Thursday 2017-05-04
- 9:00 CEST, daily meeting and review
- 16:30-17:30 CEST, Discussion: TBD
- 19:00 CEST, dinner and get-together at Pizzeria “Rote Soße”, location, separate bills
- Friday 2017-05-05
- 9:00 CEST, daily meeting and review
- 13:00 CEST, sprint closing session with review and possibility to present lightning talks of your projects.
We are looking forward to the sprint and hope to overcome the remaining migration problems of earl Zope II.