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ZPT Basics (part 1)
Use Zope Page Templates to collaborate on Zope application development.

| Out With The Old... |

Not too long ago, I introduced you to something called DTML, the Document Template Markup Language. I defined it as HTML on steroids, and spent lots of time and bandwidth showing you how it could be used to build complex Zope applications.

DTML isn't the only thing Zope has going for it, though. Over the next few pages, I'm going to introduce you to a brand-spanking-new creature from the Zope stable. It's called Zope Page Templates, or ZPT, and it's rapidly overtaking DTML as the de-facto standard for developing applications in Zope.

The Zope Web site is pretty wordy when it comes to describing ZPT. It defines ZPT as "a consistent, XML compliant, markup language [which] embed[s] all logic in namespaced attributes ...and provide[s] a means to supply prototypical content to give the presentation designer a sense of context." Or, to put it in simpler terms, ZPT allows Web developers greater flexibility in separating an application's presentation layer from the business logic that drives it, thereby making it possible to easily update one without disrupting the other.

I'm going to show you how in the following pages. Before I begin, though, make sure that you have a working copy of Zope and ZPT (this tutorial uses Zope 2.5.0, which comes with ZPT built in), and can log in to the Zope management interface. In case you can't, drop by http://www.zope.org/, get yourself set up and come back when you're ready to roll.

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