Hey all, one of Mike's Zope buddies here...
As Frank mentioned, the acquisition and built-in mananagement interface are great parts of Zope. The former gives a natural form of inheritance, and combined with the simple user interface means that people with little training can manage or create some of their own stuff fairly easily, without having to get too technical. Like it or not, this matters. In any case, you need to administer your site somehow, and this comes for free. Works remotely too of course, so prodding via a login shell is much less common.
The acquisition applies to all objects, so things like security settings which apply to a subfolder are trivial, and include fairly fine-grained, role-based ACLs. These are quite powerful, in that you can delegate just the permissions needed for a particular sub-folder. This means that other
people can do the work there, leaving you to do the complex bits that are more fun.
Hmm, what else? Well, the modularity of the system rocks! What I mean here is that it is simple for developers to turn their module into a "Product", which is basically an encapsulated chunk which has properties, methods and editing forms, and which the end-user can just drop wherever convenient. Essentially, the developer has to add a few things, but then Joe User can just pick it up and go. The difference here is that between giving a kid a doll house vs a Lego set; one might have an acceptable set of canned features, but is hard to re-use or re-purpose. The latter provides building blocks which other (often non-techie) folks can mix and match to create new, sophisticated things easily.
There is more to all this of course, but I'll just leave a URL for a few hundred of these Lego blocks created by and for the community: http://www.zope.org/Products
[ January 29, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Lavoie ]