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From Matt Jones <>
Subject Re: [IT] C2 Complexity Syndrome
Date Fri, 27 Oct 2000 18:15:29 GMT

Niclas Hedhman wrote:

> [Irrational Thought]
> Watching the frenzy of the development of Cocoon is rather interesting.
> However, looking from a bit of a distance is perhaps a sobering exercise
> as well.
> WHat I find is that Cocoon is getting complexer and complexer by the
> hour, and soon it is reaching a stage where you won't understand, nor be
> able to use it effectively if you are not part of the development team.
> My fright is that Cocoon will be so powerful and hopelessly impossible
> to understand, that it will sink from its own weight.
> What problems do we have at hand?
> First of all, understanding it.
> The biggest problem for any new user must be to understand an iota of
> how things hangs together, and how do you structure a project, what does
> all the components mean and what is the actual functionality, what is
> the purpose of the sitemap and many other things regarding the overview.
> Secondly, the difficulty to set it all up.
> There are step by step instructions that are pretty good, but if you
> deviate from it just a little bit, it is bound to become a nightmare.
> This is to a large extent not directly the fault of Cocoon, but the fact
> that Cocoon is a too powerful servlet, part of a bigger framework.
> I believe these issues are being resolved in Tomcat.
> Thirdly, configuration.
> Most users don't want to hack around in the sitemap. They will not write
> their own selectors, transformers and so on. They want a set of
> pre-defined working templates. They want XSP to work out of the box,
> without any manual hacking in the sitemap. Don't expect the average site
> manager to be a fluent Java programmer, he/she is not. At best, he/she
> has the resources in-house, more likely is that they must be purchased
> from the outside, hence customized generators and transformers are not
> part of a commoner's day.
> Fourthly, source code.
> Source code is getting fairly complex, especially compared to the C1.
> I see a danger in this. I don't know how many has tried to figure out
> how the sitemap generation/compilation is done. I hope quite a few,
> since OSS projects are always faced with the fact that any single
> individual might disappear by a day's notice.
> Fifthly, feature bloat.
> Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it has to be implemented. The
> charm with C1 was it's simple approach to every day life.
> I guess I am part of the feature bloat, just as most enthusiasts are,
> and Stefano has tried to dodge the requests rather well, to a point
> where we are today.
> I just want to Raise a Condition, that I believe exists, and is the
> greatest threat to Cocoon's long-term survival. As soon as C2 stablizes
> a little bit more, most of the effort must be put into "friendliness",
> perhaps in form of presets, wizards, tools, or whatever. I believe a
> higher-level of Configuration layer is needed, that can better be
> communicating with configuration tools and such.
> Just my USD25 worth of thought.
> Niclas

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