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From Bertrand Delacretaz <bdelacre...@codeconsult.ch>
Subject Re: [input needed] --- documentation questionnaire --- (user how-tos)
Date Mon, 22 Apr 2002 12:48:36 GMT
On Friday 19 April 2002 22:05, Diana Shannon wrote:
>. . .
> Learning to use C2 (introductory/intermediate/advanced users)
>    - conceptual, big-picture pieces
>    - FAQs
>    - tutorials (multiple levels)
>    - guides to additional components
>    o manual
>    o learner's roadmaps
>    o glossary of terms
>    o (links to) external resources/aids

I suggest "user how-tos" in this category as well, meaning a set of minimal 
task-oriented tutorials. 

My feeling is that the first goal for many users is to publish some data in 
HTML, PDF or XML formats, so I think a collection of small and focused 
examples would help a lot, something like:

how to publish HTML from database queries
how to publish PDF from XML
how to publish XML from existing HTML pages
...

Each example should be self-sufficient, taking the standard Cocoon 
installation as a starting point, so that a user would be able to create 
something with Cocoon first, learning the details later on. 

Using the automount mechanism, the examples can be delivered very simply 
(sorry for the plug, but see for example what I wrote at 
http://www.cocooncenter.de/cc/documents/resources/hot-plugging/index.html) 
and lead the user from a default Cocoon installation to a working example 
created by the user. I think the average user understands 
much better by doing than by hunting for existing files and reading their 
contents. And the small size of these how-tos would say a lot about how easy 
these tasks are with Cocoon, without even having to install it.

If this could cover the whole matrix of XML, HTML, SQL/JDBC as inputs and 
HTML, XML and PDF as outputs, this could IMHO help getting a lot more users 
on board. Of course this info exists today (mainly in the samples), it's 
mainly a matter of making it more accessible and uniformly packaged.

My 2 swiss centimes (hey, not even euro around here ;-)..
-- 
 Bertrand Delacrétaz (codeconsult.ch, jfor.org)

 buzzwords: XML, java, XSLT, cocoon, mentoring/teaching/coding.
 disclaimer: eternity is very long. mostly towards the end. get ready.






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