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From Steven Noels <>
Subject Re: never gonna make it to a butterfly
Date Mon, 21 Oct 2002 14:51:54 GMT
[warning: rant ahead]

[copied from cocoon-users - the usual, but well-educated complaint about 
missing documentation and 'competing' solutions for the same problem 
inside Cocoon and the confusion this causes]

to -dev: I recall meeting with Giacomo in October 2000 
( where he educated me about 
authentication/authorisation really being the concern of the servlet 
container rather than Cocoon itself - and after the preparation of some 
course material for a Cocoon workshop we did two weeks ago, Marc and I 
came to the conclusion that this indeed is a feasible way to go - just 
rely on Cocoon for building up login screens, and let the container 
manage authentication and authorisation. How this orthogonality could be 
related to/embedded into the sitemap, I cannot answer right now, and I 
do believe the Authentication stuff is doing a nice job in this regard, 
but we should clear the area for 'competing' approaches while not 
confusing newbie users even more. Same with the LDAP stuff, same with 
database access.

I know about the Blocks work-in-progress, but still I believe there 
should be some serious thinking about what goes in and stays out of the 
Cocoon core. There is simply too much that shouldn't be part of it.

Being able right now to actually contribute to the Cocoon documentation, 
I'm baffled currently with the amount of 
gee-let's-see-if-we-can-fit-this-also-inside-Cocoon, some of it 
well-maintained by the original committer, some of it... well - see 
below ;-)

Some people might know already that I have been working (slowly) on an 
open infrastructure to host and showcase (the development of) 
Cocoon-related open source projects: Related to 
that, there is the xml-cocoon2-apps module now...:

stevenn@ELISABETH ~/projects
$ cvs checkout xml-cocoon2-apps
cvs server: Updating xml-cocoon2-apps
U xml-cocoon2-apps/module.xml
U xml-cocoon2-apps/properties.xml
U xml-cocoon2-apps/status.xml
cvs server: Updating xml-cocoon2-apps/legal
U xml-cocoon2-apps/legal/LICENSE
cvs server: Updating xml-cocoon2-apps/src
cvs server: Updating xml-cocoon2-apps/src/bringmethis
cvs server: Updating xml-cocoon2-apps/src/bringmethis/cocoonapp
U xml-cocoon2-apps/src/bringmethis/cocoonapp/cocoonapphere.txt
cvs server: Updating xml-cocoon2-apps/src/bringmethis/conf
U xml-cocoon2-apps/src/bringmethis/conf/configurationhere.txt
cvs server: Updating xml-cocoon2-apps/src/bringmethis/java
U xml-cocoon2-apps/src/bringmethis/java/javacodehere.txt

Hm - not much in there?

Am I the only one who believes too much has been made part of the Cocoon 
core right now - and that keeping all of this up to date is next to 

Also, for the -docs people: given the current 'component explosion' of 
Cocoon, will we ever be able to host a set of coherent documentation, 
keeping in mind versions and optional components/functionalities?

Just a thought. If I will be asking every committer one question on the 
19th of November, it will be that one: what is Core to Cocoon.

I believe everything which doesn't add anything to the sitemap 
model/grammar/syntax, should be moved out of the core, and can only be 
moved back in after lenghty elaboration.

Or am I FUD'ing here?


[message from cocoon-users underneath]

Ray Martin wrote:

> I came into the Cocoon2 stronghold not just because I was caught in the
> hype.  But, also, because I liked the principles on which Cocoon was
> founded.  The fact that Cocoon is based on Avalon is a good thing.
> I am a fan of Avalon not only because it has the best written white paper on
> the subject of frameworks and component reuse, but also because those folks
> put the talk into practically - a robust working framework.  Do I know all
> about Avalon?  No, I do not - I have alot to learn and I am working on it.
> But, I enjoy learning from the masters.
> Cocoon seems to have some great philosophies and concepts.  But, it has been
> a painful experience because of inadequate details of information.  I
> consider all those contributing to the Cocoon effort to be GIANTS in
> conceiving and implementing the servlet engine and framework.  I wish to
> learn from these master, also.
> But, the information provided always leaves too much to be desired.  The
> information provided is like a cocoon that dies on the vine before it can
> become a butterfly.  I cannot learn from the masters if they inform me on
> about 98-99 percent of a subject and leave out the remaining 1 or 2 percent.
> I need two things at the moment - authentication and LDAP connection.
> I spent many many painful hours searching for information on authentication
> relative to the Cocoon framework.  After reading and searching for what
> seemed like forever (especially when bosses would like to see some
> progress), I found a great document at
> s.html.  This information was marvelous - allowed me to have insight that
> until then was impossible.  The author was a master - except IT DOESN'T
> work.  Well, 99 percent works, but the author left out how to do logout,
> mentioned that he would explain it, but never did.  That cocoon died before
> finishing and flourishing into a butterfly.  All of my study is down the
> drain, the 99 percent that was great has no value because the missing 1
> percent is needed to produce authentication within the Cocoon framework.  My
> disappointment cannot be expressed.
> LDAP - oh boy, how I searched.  Found three different writings - 1)
> LDAPProcessor, 2)LDAPTransformer, and 3) LDAP Taglib - all of which have no
> dates.  Information without dates is worse than worthless because it
> actually becomes mis-information.  I have spent exorbitant amounts of time
> trying to get LDAP to work within the Cocoon framework.  Am I ignorant?
> YES, but now that we have that concluded, that fact does not get my project
> to spread its wings and flourish.  I am currently working on the information
> found at
> What a terse piece of information.  When things are not working as planned,
> how does one learn how to proceed?  The information gives no clue.  Am I a
> master as you guys are? Absolutely not, but I am willing to learn from the
> masters.  But, once again the information is so terse that us lesser mortals
> can gain no comprehension.  That information is not gonna make it to a
> butterfly - it done croaked.
> Please note that i refer only to information - not documentation.
> Documentation is not expected from open source efforts.  Information,
> adequate information, IS expected.
> I was reading - the second
> to last sentence says that many projects are using Cocoon.  I wanted to be
> among those butterflies, but i ain't gonna make it out of the cocoon stage.
> Everyone was sure that I had chosen the wrong set of 'tools' to use for the
> project.  Have I proved them to be correct?  I am the pinnacle of idiocity -
> many projects can do it, but I CANNOT - wow...
> I and several others have been working on Cocoon for several months.  We use
> Torque to develop the database schema and accessor classes.  We write Cocoon
> actions for the middle tier business logic.  The business logic of course
> 'talks' with the Torque classes.  The desire is to have the Cocoon framework
> handle the presentation - but, at our current rate - we are never gonna make
> it to a...
> Is their a master out there somewhere who can fill me in on those missing
> tidbits of information?  I make a good student - not very bright, but I pay
> close attention when the masters speak...
> thanx,
> Ray
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Steven Noels                  
Outerthought - Open Source, Java & XML Competence Support Center            

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