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From Lars Huttar <lars_hut...@sil.org>
Subject vitality of Cocoon: a good basket to put eggs in?
Date Mon, 11 Jul 2011 15:10:28 GMT
Dear Cocoon developers,

Congratulations on the alpha-3 release of C3. I was just telling my
customer how Cocoon seemed to have languished, when I saw the
announcement about C3a3. That is encouraging.

We have been developing and using Cocoon applications since about 2004.
We are still using Cocoon 2.1.11 for these, since we've not wanted to
invest the time/risk in an upgrade to 2.2. But now we've come to a
project where we have a further horizon to look toward... we have about
a year, in which we could try 2.2 or even 3.0 and see if they are stable
and featureful enough to support the work we want to do.

In light of the trailoff of activity on this mailing list (see graph on
http://cocoon.markmail.org/), and lack of maintenance releases for
Cocoon 2.2, my customer and I were looking for alternatives to Cocoon:
an XML-centric web app development framework, where XSLT can be
pipelined (no serialization between steps), and where URLs are mapped to
pipelines via a declarative sitemap. As far as we can tell, there is
still nothing out there like Cocoon! It's such an elegant model, it's
surprising that it hasn't been duplicated more often. There are a couple
of other candidates, but nothing that is mature and proven as well as
Cocoon.

So we're looking at trying Cocoon 3.0. So far, the alpha release and
beta snapshots are encouraging. The amount of documentation still "TBW"
is not as encouraging.

Our plan would be to try and port the Cocoon 2.1.11 project we're
working on over to 3.0, and see how it goes. If we find bugs and missing
features relative to 2.1.11, we'll have some time to request fixes. I
may even be able to help with those fixes, though I would need help...
the times I've tried to get into the internals of Cocoon, I find the
Java classes rather overwhelming, especially as I know little about Java EE.

I guess my main question is, how reliable is the Cocoon dev team's
commitment to Cocoon 3.0? How likely are we to see a release version in
the next 6 months to a year? Will there be bug-fix releases, or will 3.0
be dropped in favor of another rewrite?

I realize no one can 100% predict the future, especially when the code
is being developed on a volunteer basis; but I would like to at least
ask the question and gauge the level of seriousness about the project. I
also would be interested to know whether any of the Cocoon committers
would be open to contract work on Cocoon, and whether that would make a
difference to the vitality of the project.

We have derived a great deal of benefit from Cocoon, and hope to see it
grow and succeed into the future as the technology environment changes.

Regards,
Lars


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