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Zope UK: Open source developers form group to push Zope

by Nicolas Bossut last modified 2007-01-17 15:17

UK Web developers are throwing their weight behind Zope, an open source application server already popular in the US and Europe, but which has yet to crack Britain.

On 19 April, UK commercial Zope vendors will join forces to launch the Zope UK Association, which aims to promote open source technology in general and Zope as a development tool. The forum will launch in the House of Commons, with founding members including UK commercial organisations that already use Zope. Both representatives of Zope Europe Association, Paul Everitt and Xavier Heymans, will be attending the event.

"This will be the first forum of its kind in the UK, recognising businesses that support open source," said Aidan McGuire, director of founding member Blue Fountain Systems. "We need to raise the profile of open source and Zope by dealing with non-competitive issues."

Zope moved to open source in 1999 and is now supported by a global community. The multi-platform server is written in Python, which is well suited to Web development. Zope also offers an object database and has a number of open source tools and plug-ins already available.

"Zope doesn’t have a marketing machine behind it like Java, so its take-up has been organic and through word of mouth in recent years," explained Seb Bacon, technical director of Zope consultancy Jamkit. "We now hope to help it become a household name."

The Zope UK Association will be pushing for government take-up, arguing that government departments should have full control of their code and not depend on suppliers.

"Public data shouldn’t be deposited in proprietary systems, but should be placed in open source systems where people can access the code and have no concerns about licensing," said McGuire.

At launch, the Zope UK Association will represent 75% of UK Zope vendors. Membership will be free.

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