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From "Brian Topping" <topp...@digidemic.com>
Subject RE: [RT] Cocoon as OS
Date Sat, 02 Feb 2002 00:40:35 GMT
[sorry if this has been discussed before...]

I've put some thought into something similar in the CMS space, but
didn't really realize that it might have been on the same path as the
"Cocoon as OS" thread until just a few minutes ago.  A Cocoon
underlayment of sorts, but as a CMS.  Let me explain.

Cocoon solves a very specific class of problems.  I see it as a general
processing unit for information that is recalled from external storage.
Once normalized to a SAX stream by a generator, the GPU has it's way
with the data.  This Generator normalization is no different than the
normalization of data coming in from a tape drive to a processor
backplane.  Once processed, the data is sent out a Serializer, analogous
to taking it from the backplane and sending it to an output device such
as a printer.  

But if this is true, is Cocoon an 8-way SMP machine without an operating
system?

I don't want to get too tied up in the analogy, but reapply the three
things that Greg brings up about the OS: Process Management, Storage
Management and Protection/Security.  

* Process Management: Well handled by Cocoon itself.  It is able to
handle HTTP requests with lightning speed, thanks to the sitemap engine.
This could be supplemented with a graphical ability in the CMS for
individual users to modify and manipulate pipelines and other relevant
details of the process as well.  Storage and version control of Cocoon
configuration can also be managed as a part of the CMS.

* Storage Management: If you are happy with basic disk drive storage,
Cocoon is fine.  But there is little in the way of middleware analogous
to something like Veritas Volume Manager that can handle transparent
versioning and volume control.  Clearly this belongs in the CMS and not
in Cocoon, but traditional CMS implementations always seem to hack the
functionality for staging, usually requiring separate installations for
each staging system.  This is an administrative burden to keep
operational, and something that a transparent underlayment could handle
with ease.  Integrated with Cocoon as a special Generator, the system
would be really very slick.  Exposing the CMS to Web Services or through
EJB would be like putting the storage on a SAN, accessible throughout
the enterprise.

* Protection/Security: This ties into the users and workflow aspects of
a traditional CMS.  In the analogy of a processor, a processor
initializes into supervisor mode, loads the kernel, and starts user
processes.  A CMS working with Cocoon could supplement this paradigm,
with Cocoon as the supervisor / Controller pattern and the CMS as the
Model.  

I see a few things missing though, predominantly what would be
considered in the application/user space, and mostly in the area of
content editing and manipulation.  But by exposing APIs that are modal
to ACL context, very powerful interfaces could be built in a secure
manner.

What I am wondering is whether such a CMS has any business being that
tight with Cocoon.  If not, a set of interfaces ought to be developed
for them to couple through, but either way is this an attractive vision?

There is a CMS group that has recently formed
(http://groups.yahoo.com/contentmanagementgroup), but I am not sure that
the goals of this group are going to be so tightly wed to Cocoon when it
the dust clears.  That's not commentary on their goals, but the converse
is that I think Cocoon *deserves* this kind of integration and am
interested in how to facilitate that.  The power of Cocoon deserves a
compliment that exposes it full strength, in a manner that allows both
"superuser access", "user access", workflow management, integrated
staging, ACL and access management, etc.  It's not much different at
this level than what I consider Greg might have been seeing, but just
expressed differently.

Comments?  I see this as a completely parallel development to Cocoon,
but one that might really make it accessible to the masses.  And it
would be a blast to work on!

Brian


-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Weinger [mailto:gweinger@itmedicine.net]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 10:00 PM
To: cocoon-dev@xml.apache.org
Subject: [RT] Cocoon as OS 


One of the most intriguing and provocative comparisons I've heard about
Cocoon is to Unix, in that it provides a host of small generic
components that can be piped together to create new output.  Cocoon is
like an operating system for web resources. 

<snip/>

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