BlueBream The Web Component Framework

1. Introduction

1.1. Overview

BlueBream – formerly known as Zope 3 – is a web framework written in the Python programming language.

A few features distinguish BlueBream from other Python web frameworks.

  • BlueBream is built on top of the Zope Tool Kit (ZTK), which has many years of experience proving it meets the demanding requirements for stable, scalable software.
  • BlueBream uses the powerful and familiar Buildout system written in Python.
  • BlueBream employs the Zope Object Database (ZODB), a transactional object database providing extremely powerful and easy to use persistence.
  • BlueBream registers components with Zope Component Markup Language (ZCML), an XML based configuration language, providing limitless flexibility.
  • BlueBream features the Zope Component Architecture (ZCA) which implements Separation of concerns to create highly cohesive reusable components (zope.component).
  • BlueBream implements Python Web Server Gateway Interface WSGI using Paste, PasteScript, and PasteDeploy.
  • BlueBream includes a number of well tested components to implement common activities. A few are of these are:

BlueBream is free/open source software, owned by the Zope Foundation. Bluebream is licensed under the Zope Public License (BSD like, GPL compatible license).

1.2. Join our community

We invite you to become part of our community!

You can become part of our community by joining/subscribing to these community platforms:

The BlueBream developer community is an active community involved in the development of BlueBream itself and is looking for contributors. Development related information is documented in the wiki.

We aim to provide high quality, free online documentation for BlueBream. If you would like to contribute, the RestructuredText source for this website is available from the repository (please replace USERNAME with your username.):

svn co svn+ssh://

If you don’t have svn commit access, please consult: becoming a contributor document. If you have any questions, please contact us in mailing list or irc chat. We are happy to assist you with submitting the contributor agreement form required to become a committer.

1.3. Brief history

Our story begins in 1996. Jim Fulton was technical director at digital creations. At the International Python Conference (IPC) that year, Jim gave a presentation on CGI: Python and Internet Programming. Jim, considering CGI less than elegant, envisioned a better way to program for the internet in Python. According to legend, Jim learned CGI on the plane to the conference, and designed Bobo on the plane ride back home.

Digital Creations then released three open-source Python software packages: Bobo, Document Template, and Bobopos. These packages – a web publisher, a text template, and an object database – were the core of Principia, a commercial application server. In November of 1998, investor Hadar Pedhazur convinced Digital Creations to open source Principia. These packages evolved into the core components of Zope 2 and Digital Creations became Zope Corporation.

Since those days Zope has been under active development. It has evolved in several ways as the community gained experience, continually seeking the optimum balance between power and ease of use. Zope 2 emphasized rapid development, the Zope Component Architecture, which is the core of Zope 3, emphasized modularity and configurability which proved very successful in “enterprise” applications requiring flexibility and scalability.

Zope 3 is now known as BlueBream. The name stems from the coincidence that the Z Object Publishing Environment when spelled zope is the name of a species of fish. Blue bream is another name for the same species.

BlueBream combines the ZCA, Buildout into a well defined, and documented, that makes building powerhouse applications fun.

The components which comprise BlueBream are under continual development by an international team of experienced coders.

The longer learning curve for deploying Zope 3 is overkill for some situations which would otherwise stand to benefit from the distilled wisdom of the ZCA. The Zope community has responded to this in with several rapidly deployable ZCA-derived frameworks, which implement Convention over configuration while maintaining the power of ZCA under the hood. Notable among these are Grok: and Repoze. Take a look at the recent uploads to the PyPI site, it is rare to not see several ZCA projects listed.

1.4. More about the project

The original intent of Zope 3 was to become a replacement for Zope 2, however this did not happen as planned. Instead Zope 2 continued to make up the majority of new Zope deployments, mostly due to the popularity of Plone.

Zope 3 was conceived as a fresh start to leave certain aspects and limitations of its presumed predecessor Zope 2 behind. Zope 3 introduced a new component architecture to address some of the inheritance-based-programming limitations of Zope 2.

The ZCA notionally includes the packages named zope.component, zope.interface and zope.configuration. Zope 3 added to this a large number of extra libraries and provided an application server that enabled programmers to develop standalone web applications.

In the meantime another wave of web frameworks appeared. Grok evolved with many Zope 3 libraries at its core. repoze.bfg (aka BFG) evolved around the ZCA. Additionally Zope 2 began to make use of the ZCA and various other Zope 3 packages.

In 2009 a group of Zope developers agreed to concentrate primarily on the development of the Zope 3 libraries and formed the Zope Toolkit (ZTK) that focused on a slim library subset of the Zope 3 project, which can then be efficiently utilized by web application frameworks on top. This development led to the following logical steps:

  • Form a project around the remaining web application part of Zope 3
  • Name it BlueBream as a new and unique name to avoid confusion
  • Create an upgrade path from the former Zope 3 application server

BlueBream can thus be seen as the successor of Zope 3 web application server that like Grok relies on the ZTK.

1.5. Organization of the documentation

This documentation has divided into multiple parts and chapters. A summary of each parts and chapters is given below.

1.5.1. Getting Started

The Getting Started chapter narrate the process of creating a new web application project using BlueBream. It also gives a few exercises to demonstrate the basic concepts of BlueBream.

1.5.2. Concepts

The Concepts and Technologies chapter provides an overview of important concepts and technologies used in BlueBream. It recommended to re-visit this chapter after finishing tutorials.

1.5.3. Tutorial — Part 1

This chapter presents a tutorial exercise demonstrating how to build a simple ticket collector application using BlueBream. Part 1 introduces basic BlueBream concepts.

1.5.4. Tutorial — Part 2

This chapter is a continuation of the ticket collector application tutorial excercises, providing more detail regarding forms and schemas.

1.5.5. Tutorial — Part 3

This chapter is a continuation of the ticket collector application tutorial. This chapter cover skinning with BlueBream.

1.5.6. Tutorial — Part 4

This chapter is a continuation of the ticket collector application tutorial. This chapter cover Security related things like users, roles & permissions.

1.5.7. Manual

This part contains a comprehensive manual to BlueBream. Manual is divided into various chapters which cover different topics in BlueBream.

1.5.8. FAQ

This is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with answers! collected from mailing lists, blogs and other on-line resources.

1.5.9. HOWTOs

These HOWTO documents contains brief explanations of special topics with step-by-step solutions.

1.5.10. Core Development

This part contains explanations written for the core development team. Developers should always consult the latest documentation site for changes to the documentation in this section.

1.5.11. Reference

This part provides a complete reference to BlueBream packages and important features. This part also has reference documentation for ZCML, standard events & common errors.

1.5.12. Documentation for Community Packages

This part cover documentation for various community packages.

1.6. Thanks

BlueBream truly stands on the shoulders of giants. Zope 3 was built on the concepts of Zope 2 which was built on Bobo and friends. The list of Zope Corporation alumni is a Who’s Who of Python development, including one Guido Van Rossum. For more than 10 years contributions have come from a world-wide community. We thank you all. Please help us add more names to the list of contributor as we move forward from January 2010.

List of contributors