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From da...@cocoon.zones.apache.org
Subject [DAISY] Created: History
Date Tue, 01 Aug 2006 11:59:10 GMT
A new document has been created.

http://cocoon.zones.apache.org/daisy/documentation/1178.html

Document ID: 1178
Branch: main
Language: default
Name: History
Document Type: Cocoon Document
Created: 8/1/06 11:59:03 AM
Creator (owner): Helma van der Linden
State: publish

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<p>Cocoon started simply enough. In 1998 Jon Stevens -- of Apache JServ,
Turbine, Velocity, Anakia, and Tigris Scarab fame -- and I created scripts that
managed the automatic update of the java.apache.org site. The scripts were dead
simple: iterate over all the CVS modules that java.apache.org had under the
/docs and copy them to the right place.</p>

<p>The problem was that people were continously messing up the docs. Few people
want to write documentation for open source projects; when they do, you thank
them and don't complain about coherence of style and stuff like that. Or you
won't have any docs at all.</p>

<p>The solution was obvious: we needed a way to separate style from content. In
late 1998 the first XSL working draft was released and IBM made a Java XSL
processor, LotusXSL, available. I downloaded both and started to play around
with what was later called XSLT. While playing with this stuff, I quickly grew
tired of typing a command line, moving to the browser to see the result, over
and over. I wanted a less tedious change-transform-reload cycle.</p>

<p>So I wrote a servlet that handled the tedious bits for me; I could modify the
stylesheet, hit reload on the browser, and the servlet would handle everything.
This was at the very end of 1998 and Ron Howard's movie Cocoon was playing on
the television, which explains the weird name only partially. I believed at the
time that these technologies were a key part of the future of the Web, so a
cocoon was just what was needed to allow them to incubate and grow stronger.</p>

<p>Apache Cocoon 1.0 was a servlet, about 100 lines of code, that used XML4J
(later Apache Xerces) and LotusXSL (later Apache Xalan) to transform an XML file
with an XSL stylesheet. At that time, XSLT, XPath and XSL:FO were still part of
one big spec. I didn't think it was very useful for anyone else so I kept it on
my disk for a few months. Then, around March 1999, on the jserv-dev mail list
somebody was asking about XSL, and I said that I'd written a servlet that did
all that transformation on the server side. Many people asked for it, so I
requested a formal vote and the Apache Cocoon project was started under the
java.apache.org umbrella.</p>

<p>The 1.0 version contained very little code, but lots of examples and some
simple docs that explained what XSL was and why I thought it was important to
learn it. After its release, people started joining active development, and we
turned a small servlet into a full XML-based publishing system, which is now
used in many production sites around the world.</p>

<p>But Cocoon 1.x was designed when the XML world was very young and experience
was very small and it was based under several design choices that turned to be
very limiting. So, around November 1999, I expressed the intention to work on
the next generation (what people started calling Cocoon2 or simply C2) to solve
all those architectural issues.</p>

<p>It took two years and three different project leaders to finish Cocoon 2.0
but we made it. It's an XML framework that raises the usage of XML and XSLT
technologies for server applications to a new level. Designed for performance
and scalability around pipelined SAX processing, Cocoon offers a flexible
environment based on the separation of concerns between content, logic and
style. A centralized configuration system and sophisticated caching enable you
to create, deploy, and maintain rock-solid XML server applications.</p>

<p>Cocoon was designed as an abstract engine that could be connected to almost
anything, but it ships with servlet and command line connectors. The servlet
connector allows you to call Cocoon from your favorite servlet engine or
application server. You can install it beside your existing servlets or JSPs.
The command line interface allows you to generate static content as a batch
process. It can be useful to pre-generate those parts of your site that are
static, some of which may be easier to create by using Cocoon functionalities
than directly (say, SVG rasterization or applying stylesheets). For example, the
Cocoon documentation and web site are all generated by Cocoon from the command
line.</p>

<p>The history will continue here...</p>

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