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From Diana Shannon <shan...@terracare.com>
Subject Re: Ranting on a Wednesday evening [was: RE: Cocoon Marketing Position]
Date Thu, 11 Apr 2002 13:19:23 GMT

Simeon Walker wrote:

> AS a user I can say that it's very hard to use Cocoon. Don't
> get me wrong, *I* love it and I can see the potential, but I
> think that many potential users will look at it and think
> 'christ I'm never going to figure all that out' and then leave.

There are so many layers and levels of learning within Cocoon for new 
users. While it may seem appropriate for frustrated, vocal newbies to 
point the finger at Cocoon generally or its documentation specifically, 
many times this blame is misplaced. If you peer through the smoke screen 
of their "Cocoon frustration," there's often a more fundamental source 
of the problem. Most obvious are lack of experience with servlet 
containers, server configuration issues, XML/XSLT, logging and debugging 
practices, etc. While it's not the responsibility of the Cocoon 
community to educate newbies in all of these fundamentals, I think we 
could provide a road map for mastering it, with suggestions on what 
skills and learning is needed -- both inside and outside of Cocoon -- 
along the way. This could be something like an author's description of 
the intended reader in a "Who you are" introduction to a technical book 
book, but targeted at the many different levels and skill sets of users.

Perhaps many new users fail to realize is that you can use Cocoon in 
very simple ways at first and gradually add complexity as your 
comfort/knowledge increases. I have set up Cocoon-based web sites for 
clients who have but an elementary understanding of XML. Still, Cocoon's 
wonderful SoC allow them to maintain their web sites almost  completely 
(although I do jump in from time to time to add new features).

If a "learning road map for newbies"  would be of some utility, I'd be 
happy to provide a first draft.


Diana Shannon


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