Concerning the state of Zope, we've have a movement inside the Zope community to merge our diverse subcommunities together; we've got Zope 2, Zope 2 + CMF, Zope 2 + CMF + Plone, Zope 2 + CMF + CPS, Zope 2 + Silva, Zope 3, and more. I helped formulate some of the strategy and code (Five, which is Zope 3 in Zope 2) over the course of 2004, and this really gained steam and acceptance in many of our subcommunities over the course of this year. Now there's an exciting revival of development of Zope 2 (we put in pieces of Zope 3), Zope 3 is ready for prime time, and overall the situation in the Zope world is looking up in my perspective. Communities are integrating and we're working together much more. Zope 3 getting ready was of course the catalyst for all this activity.
The next obvious step on this path is to integrate Zope better into the rest of the Python community. Zope has influenced the Python community for a long time of course in many different ways (new style objects are there in Python now in part due to requirements Zope corp had, and earlier Jim was instrumental in introducing metaclass hooks), but it's time for Zope to eat the humble pie and start reusing more what others did. Philipp von Weitershausen describes how this is happening. He also mentions that nobody knows about this; developer marketing is another Zope problem that's way past time we tackle as a community.
So, because of my experience within the Zope community I have some idea of where you're coming from and where you're going. Aligning, by word and code, subcommunities to work together in their common interest can be extremely beneficial to everyone involved, so I'm happy you're around and thinking about how to do this so much. Thank you!