The Launchpad is all written in Python using the core parts of Zope 3. We don’t use a full Zope 3 setup, we’re just interested in the core web app framework, not the full all-you-can-eat edition. We’ve released most of the Zope 3 changes we’ve done internally, and Steve Alexander is making the case upstream for Zope 3 itself to adopt a more lean-and-mean approach, providing just the framework libraries and allowing people to install fully build web apps as genuinely useful standalone pieces, rather than the current Zope2-style glue-it-all-together-through-the-web approach. I’d like to see more folks coding in Python and Zope 3, and I think providing them with this sort of framework would encourage it. At the moment, Zope 3 is a little too much to swallow at first bite.
So, if anyone out there is interested in helping to produce some alternative Zope 3 packages for Ubuntu and Debian, let me know on #ubuntu-devel or #launchpad (talk to sabdfl or stevea). The idea would be to have one package that provides the core libraries only, and a second package that provides a ready made sample Zope 3 instance. So it would feel more like installing any other application – you would install the app you want (SchoolTool, or SchoolBell, or whatever) and it would bring in the Zope 3 libraries it needs. And immediately after install you would have a useful app right there. Sure, you could glue that component into another Zope 3 instance using the magic of ZCML, but you’d have something doing what you expect right out of the box.