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From "Andrew C. Oliver" <>
Subject Re: [RACOON] Let's clean Cocoon and modularize it (was: Cocoon Organization (Cocoon plugins))
Date Mon, 05 Aug 2002 13:17:14 GMT
Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:

> Andrew C. Oliver wrote:
>>> If nobody objects, I will branch on 7 August 2002 and start 
>>> refactoring.
>> Not that my opinion should count for much, but I object.  My 
>> objection is this.  Before there is an agreement and set of 
>> documentation explaining "WHAT goes WHERE" then this will be 
>> contentious.  Secondly, I'd like to see something that explains how a 
>> common person will go about installing Cocoon with *feature X* once 
>> its split into a billion complex pieces with UNKNOWN dependancies. 
> Each module will be a "project" in the Gump descriptor.
> Hence the dependencies are clear.

Thats a cop out.

>> Modularization will only work if the modules are defined in a human 
>> language.  
> Exactly.

Lets START there.

>> So far I see a million "lets fix it via just hacking at it" 
>> approaches, no definitions, and still inadequate documentation.  
>> Personally, I feel the documentation is FAR more important than ANY 
>> refactoring at helping users understand Cocoon.
> But how can you document a tangle? By writing tangled documentation, 
> as now.

That is false.  The state of the documentation is not related to the 
state of Cocoon, its related to the low priority that documentation is 
given.  Example:

The OLE 2 Compound Document format is more of a tangle than Cocoon could 
ever hope to be.  Yet this documentation is organized and conceise.  Can 
you read this and immediately grasp the low level concepts and just hack 
one out?  No probably
not, you'd need the experience of working with it.  But can you get a 
high level conceptual understanding and know where to start? Yes.  

There are innumerable examples of this throughout history, but I'm not 
that long winded.  Read some Stephen Hawkings and understand the order 
of the chaotic birth of the universe explained conciecely without making 
a web of chaos!  (And I'm mathmatically retarded)

> We need to get a cleaner separation of stuff and that is gonna be 
> documented.

No that is exactly the opposite.  We need a clear understanding of what 
is going to be seperated before we
do it.  Otherwise it will be more of the same.

> I will hack on the branch so that others can see the moves, and they 
> will be discussed as they are done.
HA!  And we'll be in exactly the same situation in the end.  I'm sorry 
but more doing things by the seat of our pants
without explaining it in honest to god documentation first (and 
documents can be modified as your understanding develops) is
a fools errand.  We'll just have the same thing broken into many pieces 
that very few people understand.  This is not an
improvement in my opinion.  (Like I said, it shouldn't count for much, 
I'm 3/4 very dumb user and 1/4 cocoon developer)


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