Cignex recently announced a new project called Goldegg to help bring Plone to a new level. The project involves over 26 developers from about 17 companies and will be working on all layers of the Plone stack (Plone, Content Management Framework - CMF, and Zope).
This is great news. Plone is already a very solid CMS for building a wide range of we applications from collaborative workspace to e-Commerce site. However, Plone has been struggling with how to will deal with changes in the underlying Zope application server which, with version 3, folds parts of CMF into the core product and makes several other fundamental architectural changes.
The answer, for now, is The Five Project which is a Zope 2 product that allows for the integration of Zope 3 technologies into Zope 2. However, this is a short term solution that will allow Plone developers to gradually incorporate Zope 3's new features. In September, there was a sprint in Vienna, Austria to make CMF use Zope3. Another sprint this week in Fredericksburg, VA will work developing a CMF 2.0 Alpha version. The final sprint will take place November 7-11 will refine how Plone adds Products (modules) on top of the core.
This is also significant because the new project Alfresco is going strong and already offers a compelling feature set on Java technologies which is more familiar than Python for many enterprises. Plone, with its long history and vast install base still has the advantage, but it is good that the community is being proactive about pushing the project forward in such a comprehensive way.
Since Cignex's Munwar Shariff sits on the board of the Plone Foundation, I assume that Goldegg is fully coordinated with the overall Plone project. The next release of Plone (2.2 code named "Ms. Bumblebee") is due out November 11. It will have some of the Plone view components that came out of the Goldegg work..