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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Back from Germany
Date Tue, 29 Oct 2002 21:46:36 GMT
All right, I'm back from Germany.

Last week I tried to make it for the Frankfurt gettogether but I had a 
car crash and I couldn't make it. :/ Luckily nobody got hurt, I just 
couldn't drive any longer and I had to come back home.

So I took the plain to Bonn where I spoke at the 

The speech was 'The Economy of Distributed Metadata Authoring' and was, 
in short, a critic to the semantic web technologies from a 
socio-economical point of view.

I managed to get a vew people depressed (sort of: what are we going to 
do now?) but I got very positive feedback, expecially from the oldest 
people (wisest?). Ah, you can see the webcast if you're really 
interested (there were some neat stuff in my panel, very interesting 
projects, expecially with the use of heuristically extracted MPEG-7 
metadata from video streams. Cool stuff.)

Anyway, after that, I took the train up to Paderborn to visit Carsten 
and Matthew. (first thing I learned: german trains are not so 'on-time' 
like the stereotype suggest. second: they are *very* expensive!)

Anyway, I reached Paderborn during a pretty heavy storm (as usual!) and 
we went visiting the 'computer museum' at the old Nixdorf offices.

We had a great time there :) And it was soo cool to see a Commodore 
Vic-20 exposed in a museum since I stil have mine functioning at home :)

But the downside is that I felt kinda old, you know :) Gee, 21 years of 
programming experience and 28 years-old. I think I should get a life one 
day :)

Anyway, I won't go over everything that happened there, but the 
important thing for us is that I finally managed to explain the block 
concept to Carsten the way I intended it.

And he loved it :)

We agreed not to start implementing it until 2.1 is out but we outlines 
the system so that it minimizes the impacts on both the current 
architecture and, more important, on the usability of Cocoon in general.

The idea is to give the users the ability to move to blocks in a very 
easy and natural way. That is:

  phase 1) use Cocoon as you do today. You won't be forced to use blocks 
if you don't need them or you don't understand them.

  phase 2) use blocks just for deployment. This is mostly similar at WAR 
files today: just package your stuff as a block and deploy it on a 
running Cocoon.

  phase 3) use blocks for deployment and depend on other blocks. This 
will work sort-of APT-get: when you deploy your block and you need, for 
example, FOP, Cocoon will deploy your stuff and then go looking for the 
FOP block and deploy it for you. Of course, the behavior will be all 
user-selectable and all that but that's the general idea

  phase 4) users will start providing their own blocks to others to 
depend on.

Also, we planned on having a web interface on top of Cocoon for 
configurations and for block deployment. Of course, all secured and 
possibly to be turned off for production environments.

NOTE: the current block-like refactorization for Cocoon 2.1 is actually 
a great thing because it already removes stuff from the 'main cocoon' 
and cleans up the things that we'll later move on real and dynamically 
deployable cocoon blocks. So, there is no need to rush or to change what 
is being going on today.

Stefano Mazzocchi                               <>

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