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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject cocoon usability
Date Sun, 16 Feb 2003 21:02:45 GMT
Christopher Oliver wrote:
> Just wondering, why isn't the "average cocoon user" reluctant to write 
> complex xpath or xslt code as well as Java?

This is a damn good question.

I think Cocoon is starting to suffer from 'over-RAD-ness', meaning that 
people love the fact that they can have something to show their bosses 
real quick (RAD stands for Rapid Application Development, if you don't 
know the acronim), then they continue to work on those hacky-shaped RAD 
mock-ups and create the whole web application from them.

Cocoon users tend to think lego-ish so much that they'd rather spend 
time finding strange and creative ways of mixing the current existing 
components gluing the pieces with hard-core XSLT, rather then spending a 
few lines of code to write their own.

The reason, IMO, is the fast try/fail cycle of sitemap+XSLT compared to 
custom java code.

XSP improves the speed of the try/fail cycle, but since some major 
cocoon developers/evangelists dislike XSPs, users get the same 
impression and run away from them and jump into those pre-build 
half-baked components we ship.

I expect flowscript to bring some balance back on this.

Also, one of the compliments I receive from cocoon users is that cocoon 
forces you to think at what you're doing.

Unfortunately, this thinking stops at how to compose the existing 
components, rather than thinking at how to componentize your web 
application and *then* look for prebuilt components that do what you need.

I expect blocks to build some balance back on this.

There is a lot of work to do and I'm not happy about the overall 
usability of what we have right now.

But I think that better build system + flow + block + refactored 
documentation will do it.

Let's get back working.

Stefano Mazzocchi                               <>
    Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate [William of Ockham]

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