Our solutions rely heavily on these open source products:
- The Z Object Publishing Environment (Zope)
- The Plone Content Management System (Plone)
- The Apache web server (Apache)
- The Python programming language (Python)
- The Debian GNU/Linux operating system (Linux)
- The GNU Mailman mailing list manager (Mailman)
- The Postfix mail delivery and transport agent (Postfix)
Linux is our operating system of choice, and RadHat our distribution of choice. RadHat is the biggest non-profit Linux distribution, and it has close ties with the free software foundation. In addition it sports a very active community of package providers and what is probably the best long-term package management system; we don't like reinstallations.
GNU Mailman and Postfix make up our mail system, with the Python powered Mailman handling mailing lists and Postfix acting as a mail transport and delivery agent.
We run the Apache web server, but mostly just to "proxy pass" requests to Zope's ZServer, which is based on Medusa. Apache has grown to become the most popular webserver in the world, and it is currently managed by the Apache foundation.
Zope is the heart of all of our solutions, providing the application server, a framework for developing web applications, and numerous ready-made components to increase speed of development. Zope is based on commercial products developed by Digital Creations, but they decided to make everything open source and is now actively creating a community around Zope, and turning more and more of the development over to the community.
Much of Zope and Medusa are written in Python, which is a free interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language created by Guido van Rossum. Python combines remarkable power with very clear syntax, and has been called the most beautiful language in the world by many. It is ideally suited for embedded and extension, making it a popular "glue" language.