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From montefin <>
Subject Re: Any "user-friendly" distribution of the XML Apache stuff?
Date Wed, 24 May 2000 00:57:13 GMT wrote [in part]:

> ...I'd be interested in hearing about other
> people's experiences with this [i.e. Exeter].


About 9 months ago, out of sheer frustration with the Cocoon
documentation, I did a search for XML middleware and found Exeter.

Okay, it was a 'package that included an older version of Cocoon', but
the fact is _it worked_. I started installing at about 9am in the
morning, and by 8pm that evening I had a working XML web site going. So
I immediately got a taste of what Cocoon could do! And it's still

Exeter's documentation was the difference, not the softwares. I could
read it, understand it and implement it. Someone had thought it through
from a new users point-of-view.

Still, wanting to learn, understand and use 'the real Cocoon' I did
manage to get Cocoon-1.6.1 installed on a separate Apache server. But
guess what, I had to keep checking the Exeter 'model' to see how to get
the 'real Cocoon' working.

I keep watching this list to see how Cocoon develops, grows and,
hopefully, improves its basic user interface (read documentation here),
but I am hesitant to either a.) tinker with the original Exeter install,
or b.) attempt a 'real Cocoon' upgrade from 1.6.1 to 1.7.4.

Would I have to scrap everything and start all over to migrate from
1.6.1 to 1.7.4?

Don't get me wrong. I think Stefano is a genius. I've never seen anyone
so passionate and involved with their masterpiece. And, through my
involvement (as a user) with the Java and Apache worlds, I know he is
highly respected. And I know there are members on his team who
appreciate a user's need for clear, concise, doable documentation and
are actively trying to bring that about for Cocoon.

But, hey, I'm a simple guy. I run Red Hat and Debian web environments.
Still, I probably do 30% of my installs from sourceballs as opposed to
.deb or .rpm files. Always, it is the quality of the README and INSTALL
files that spell the difference between success and endless frustration
with a sourceball.

What's this I see?


Well, that's a lot more than 2 cents, so I'll end here

montefin wrote:
> The Exeter XML Server seems to be trying to meet this need:
> . It seems to include
> everything: the Apache httpd, JServ, Cocoon, and other stuff. They say:
> "There are more than 7000 combinations of the open source components that
> comprise the ExeterXML Server. To deliver the power of open source without
> the risk associated with compiling components incorrectly, XMLSolutions
> provides you with an easy installation guide. Without this basic
> installation process, it would take a highly trained Internet software
> engineer weeks to achieve the correct component combination."
> And you're half-way there in only a weekend! I haven't done any more with it
> than glance through their web site; I'd be interested in hearing about other
> people's experiences with this.
> Peter

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