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From Glen Ezkovich <>
Subject Re: [RT] CTemplate
Date Sat, 26 Feb 2005 23:46:15 GMT

On Feb 26, 2005, at 4:01 PM, Ralph Goers wrote:

> Glen Ezkovich wrote:
>> They will always find a special case where this is most expedient or 
>> only solution they see because they don't realize that there are 
>> other more appropriate solutions. Making this configurable just adds 
>> one more complexity to the equation. I suggest that it be decided one 
>> way or the other. If you want users to be able to hang themselves by 
>> writing Java code in their templates if they choose, let them. If 
>> not, don't.
> The problem is, it isn't our place to be prohibiting this. This is a 
> policy decision user's of Cocoon need to make. You can be sure that in 
> my organization I would have a policy that prohibits enabling this 
> feature, but I am also sure that there are plenty of folks who don't 
> share the same view and consider the ability to invoke aribitrary 
> stuff from a template a necessity.  In that sense it has to be 
> configurable, because I want to absolutely be sure the feature cannot 
> be used and not rely on folks voluntarily complying.

I think we share the same sentiment. On the other hand, you can not be 
sure that someone has not turned this feature on unless you check and 
if the feature is there you can check to see if it has been used. 
Either way you have to check. Admittedly, checking wether it is turned 
on is easier then checking if it has been used. If you are in charge 
and you say "do not write Java programs in the template", then the 
compliance is not voluntary.

Until recently, I believed that "features" such as this should be 
configurable because as you say, not everyone shares the same view. 
What I've come to realize is that the more there is to configure the 
more difficult and annoying a product becomes to use. I've also come to 
realize that if I believe strongly about a policy and can build 
consensus, then its probably a good thing to enforce that policy in 
code. There is a reason that you will have your organization prohibit 
this feature. Why, in a product that you are contributing to will you 
allow users to make bad decisions? Stand up for your convictions. While 
CTemplate will be Cocoon's template framework, nothing precludes those 
who want the ability to write Java programs in their templates from 
implementing there own template generator or using the current JXTG.

The feature of configuring the ability to write Java programs in a 
template smells of featuritis and MS Office syndrome. If you feel that 
there are currently valid reasons to allow Java programming in a 
template leave the ability in and add a script to your build system 
that checks for this in your templates. If you, like me, can see no 
valid and appropriate use case at  this time, take it out. Keep things 

Glen Ezkovich
HardBop Consulting
glen at

A Proverb for Paranoids:
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to 
worry about answers."
- Thomas Pynchon Gravity's Rainbow

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