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From Steven Noels <>
Subject Re: Doco needs landing
Date Mon, 01 Dec 2003 20:12:54 GMT
On Dec 1, 2003, at 2:14 PM, David Crossley wrote:

> Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
>>> David Crossley wrote:
>> ...
>>>> What is worrying is that this one-person thing (though i trust
>>>> Stefano to know what to do) will have no community to land in
>>>> and Apache will spawn yet another new project.
>> Well, Doco ahould be a glue that it to put together different projects
>> in a coherent vision. We have Slide (backend), Lenya (CMS), Forrest
>> (presentation).
> It sounds like it will be a new project outside of the
> Cocoon/Slide/Lenya/Forrest projects. Fair enough, that might
> be the best solution. But where is the planning to enable that?

There is none, at least not in a formalized sense, but that shouldn't 
be a problem. I'm currently balancing between a) we should require 
every more-than-trivial code donation to go through the Incubator, not 
for IP issues (which I doubt would ever emerge from our own dear 
Stefano), but to make sure community-building is not an afterthought, 
and b) "OK, let's see what Darwin does with it" attitude. Planning 
won't help much, IMHO, it's just the PMC which needs to decide which 
way it wants to go: do we need more code a possibly interested 
community could come for and play with, or do we try to flesh out a 
community before, which might ensure a better longevity of the code. 
Either case, I still believe things just happen, and we should be 
reactive and decisive enough to make the best out of this, by actively 
(re)structuring the Cocoon project (as a whole) towards optimal 
community cohesion, while still providing breathing space for the 
different subcommunities.

The fact Doco has an ASF-wide appeal doesn't simplify this equation, 
although to its own benefit IMHO. Forrest is technically also 
intricately linked to Cocoon, still its community of users is wildly 
different - so offering cross-codebase commit access was perhaps the 
better idea rather than actively trying to subsume Forrest in the 
Cocoon hemisphere. Ditto with Doco: it might be linked to Cocoon, if 
only by its creator, and no doubt also because of technical reasons, 
but still it might warrant its own development community in the future.

Frankly, I think we should get our act together on other issues (Rhino 
reintegration, Fortress, Blocks 2.2, project guidelines, splitting of 
some blocks in effective subprojects, and some light weeding of code 
cruft) before trying to grow the Cocoon organizational structure beyond 
what we have now (by providing anything else than a technical landing 
zone for Doco). But that's IMHO and just my intellectual exercise - 
please take it as is.

Also, I think Stefano just needs a bit more time to come up with 
something sufficiently designed and fleshed out so that others *can* 
collaborate on it, which is exactly the same as happened with Woody: 
there were three, maybe four weeks of intense, behind-closed-doors and 
silent thinking, designing and coding, before there was a first code 
drop in the public repository. I'm not going to evangelize this method 
of contributing for all future contributions, but sometimes people need 
to be able to get down with their head and get some real work done, in 
order to let others join successfully. This, IMHO, is the holy grail of 
Open Source development: moving forward while not claiming the entire 
"thoughtspace" and design, so that others feel both welcome *and* 
capable to join.

Steven Noels                  
Outerthought - Open Source Java & XML            An Orixo Member
Read my weblog at  
stevenn at                stevenn at

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