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From "Torsten Curdt" <>
Subject RE: [RT] Cocoon and web applications
Date Mon, 26 Feb 2001 20:31:18 GMT
> Wouldn't it be cool to have the output of your turbine web application
> available on printed media with no changes to your logic?

That would be extremly cool.... but unfortunately I think there
is still a long way to go although the sollution looks close.

This idea infected me (too) and made me start try cocoon1.
...and even implement a webapp with cocoon1.
Things turned out to be more complicated as expected from
theory. I looked into different frameworks trying to find
a way to cope with different types of media.
But most of them were bound to HTML (maybe addtionally WML).
Well, of course one can say these are more or less the
types of media for a webapp these day - but that kills the
idea behind it.
I don't think trying to combine e.g. Turbine with Cocoon
at this time will solve the problems behind this idea.

Let me try to sumarize the problems I am seeing:

                I. The ammount of content
Comparing the amount that can be displayed on the different
types of devices leads to an abstraction of the phrase "page".
A "page" must become a logical unit that can be displayed in a
different number of device dependent views.

      WAP                              HTML
   +-------+       +---------+       +-------+
   | view1 |-------| logical |-------|       |
   +-------+       |   page  |       | view1 |
                   |         |       |       |
   +-------+       |         |       +-------+
   | view2 |-------|         |       
   +-------+       |         |       +-------+
                   |         |-------|       |
   +-------+       |         |       | view2 |
   | view3 |-------|         |       |       |
   +-------+       +---------+       +-------+

Unfortunately the ration between WAP and HTML e.g.
is not 3 WAP views : 2 HTML views but much worse.
So having one HTML page could end up easily into 10
WAP views or more. Since this is impossible for
a real world application the only option is to reduce
the content of the logical page.
But how? When working with the same content
all I could think of is giving the content
media roles and building a transformer that
filters out unnecessary content for the requested
media type. Unfortunately this will be not much
fun creating and maintaing the content;)
Also: having a not fixed number of views leads to
another problem...

               II. Site navigation
Having different numbers of views for each media
type means having a different navigation for each
media! As a simple example in the above sketch.
WAP needs two submit buttons and HTML just
one. Even links might need to be changed
dynamically... So we would need a seperate navigation
for each media type!

               III. Action based navigation
Considering the navigation to be dynamic, actions
can not be used for navigation purposes. AFAIK right
now in Turbine you can do input validation by binding
an action to a submit button. The submit action then
decides which page is to be shown next. (As we can do
it in Cocoon2, too) This won't work anymore or we need
media dependent actions - which is not an option at all!

Right now I quite desperate on this topic... it really possible? And if so... Is it then still

What I think we need to do is to learn from the Turbine
project and discuss the approach we might find for Cocoon
with them. What might come out is a great combination of
Avalon / Cocoon / Turbine that will rock even more than
all this stuff does right now!

Thanks for these RT, Stefano!
Torsten (the heckler ;)

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