Zope is a way of life (your new life begins now)
The fundamentals are:
Zope is a framework into which you publish objects
Zope objects include folders, so you can create hierarchical structures
Objects “acquire” (similar to inherit) behavior from their ancestors
The Zope object instance hierarchy maps to the URL model
Zope is a way of life (a reading from the Book)
Your web browser sends a request to the Zope server. The request specifies a URL in the form protocol://host:port/path?querystring", e.g. http://www.zope.org:8080/Resources?batch_start=100.
Zope separates the URL into its component "host", "port" "path" and "query string" portions (http://www.zope.org, 8080, /Resources and ?batch_start=100, respectively).
Zope locates the object in its object database corresponding to the "path" (/Resources).
Zope "executes" the object using the "query string" as a source of parameters that can modify the behavior of the object. This means that the object may behave differently depending on the values passed in the query string.
If the act of executing the object returns a value, the value is sent back to your browser. Typically a given Zope object returns HTML, file data, or image data.
The data is interpreted by the browser and shown to you.
Zope's seminal duty is to "publish" the objects you create. The way it does this is conceptually straightforward.
Acquisition: objects “acquire” (like inherit) behavior from their ancestors. Many behaviors can be defined at the root of the Zope site and acquired across the site- nice way to provide headers, footers, etc.
Security: Zope has a sophisticated, yet hard to understand security model. Effectively, users are assigned roles and roles have permissions on objects. Administrative tasks can be delegated to users. Security ties in with acquisition to allow for very sophisticated access mechanisms