[Typo3] Typo3 vs Plone. What are strenghts and weaknesses?

robert robert at redcor.ch
Sat Mar 26 19:33:51 CET 2005

Michael Scharkow wrote:

 > robert wrote:
 >> - In our daily work we are often confronted with Typo 3  are asked 
to explain the differences.
 >> I would therefore love to hear from people that have experience 
working with both of them. What is the strength of either of the two.
 > Unfortunately, I know exactly no person who has comparable knowledge 
of both Plone and TYPO3. This is probably because both systems are so 
complex that nobody ever bothers to get into both of them, unless this 
person has like a year or two off and scientific interest ;).
 > I have looked into plone recently, but it looks nothing like TYPO3. I 
don't understand how Plone and ZOPE are related, and Plone uses (in 
TYPO3-speak) front-end editing only, or rather it does not even have a 
backend, does it?
 > Sorry, I am really interested in this, but cannot add useful information.
 > Greetings,
 > Michael
 > _______________________________________________
 > Typo3-english mailing list
 > Typo3-english at lists.netfielders.de
 > http://lists.netfielders.de/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/typo3-english
you are perfectly right, no developer (I found until today) had the time 
to get into both systems.
However potential customers want to know. They ask and we should be able 
point out in what
environment each of the systems work best. This has nothing to do with 
which system is better.
Such a question can, by default, never be answered seriously.

Thats why I started to collect data. I do not yet exactly know what I am 
looking for.  I have no
chart or questionnaire (yet).
I will compile my finding into a report. Since I am (as stated before) a 
Zope/Plone gui with rather
intim knowledge of that part of the CMS world i am of course biased. Not 
because I want to prove
something but because I know iZope/Plone and understand the mechanics 
behind it.

To answer your question:
I know nothing about Typo3 so far (I bought a book on it this afternoon) 
so I do not know anything
about back- and front end.

Zope/Plone is a layered system. It consists of two main parts that 
consist themslf of several layers:

    Zope is an applicationserver. It presents itself like an extension 
of your desktop. Visually it is
    similar to an Windows explorer window on your desktop. You just put 
things (like files, folders,
    Plone sites, programs)    on top of it. Each thing is an object an 
can in itself consist of
    many subobject. You always deal with objects. This is probably a 
very fundamental difference to Typo3.
    Zope is written in python (some time critical parts in c). It is 
installed as a monolithic bloc.
    It provides you with a number of servers HTTP, FTP, WebDAV, RpcXML. 
You can use Zope therefore
    without any other server like Apache or IE. However, it is normally 
run behind Apache or other such.

    Zope itself consists of several layers of which I will name only two:
        ZODB is a OO Database it creates and maintains objects. As said 
before, an object can be
        something very little link a string, or something very big like 
a multi gigabyte website
        with al its content.
    A "physical" Database
        ZODB does not store data, it is only handles objects. It 
delegates the job to make objects
        peristente to on of a number of different databases. The most 
commonly used is a flat file
        called Data.fs. The nice thing with this approach is, that you 
only have to backup/restore
        one single file.
    Any number of so called Products. This are Python modules that 
enhance Zope's basic functionality.
    Plone is such a Product (actually a bunch of Products). It runs on 
top of Zope and provides
    a CMS class. To create a new Plone site, you just add a "Plone"-Object.
    Plone itself is layered. It consist mainly out of the following two 
    CMF (Content management Framework):
        This provides all Contenttypes and methods (like Workflow) 
needed in a CMS. It is totaly
        independent of Plone.
    Plone itself:
        This is (theoretically) a gui that provides a user interface to 
the CMF. In fact, this separation
        is not that strict.

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