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From Jason Foster <jafos...@uwaterloo.ca>
Subject Re: [RT] Managing Flow and Resources
Date Fri, 07 Dec 2001 23:22:45 GMT
<snip/>

You have just provided a great example of something really close to what I 
was trying to express a while back when I proposed Prolog as a mechanism 
for "proving" URLs based on some rules, premises, and an inference engine.
   I don't think that it's exactly the same, but it's *very* similar.

The one thing that I see in common over the last bit of the discussion on 
flow and resources is the goal of moving away from the "monolithic and 
explicit" model to a "granular and implicit" model where some kind of 
inference engine handles putting everything together.  I think that this 
makes sense for complicated resource generation, but that it might get in 
the way of simple resource generation.

This leads to the question of whether a "one size fits all" approach to 
resource and flow management is appropriate?  In other words are the goals 
of Cocoon (whatever those are!) better served by picking one approach to 
management or by providing a number of alternate approaches?  One the one 
hand you have flexibility; on the other you have the potential for 
confusion.

A similar question can be asked about web applications.  For example in 
WebObjects a web application is basically a normal event-driven application 
and the environment deals with translating HTTP requests into programmatic 
events.  I don't know if XSP or JSP have an explicit model of a web 
application but I don't remember seeing one.  A web application could also 
be seen as a state machine or (and I have to admit that this is pretty cool)
  an application running with continuations.

Is it right/appropriate/wise for Cocoon to declare "A web application must 
be modelled as X"?  This far all Cocoon has declared (I think) is that:

- Avalon is the framework
- resource generation must be modelled as a pipeline
- valid components are generators, transformers, serializers
- components are connected by SAX events

I am a little leery of enforcing a particular model of a web application, 
but that's just me.

Thanks, Berin, for a fun and useful RT.

Jason Foster


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