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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <>
Subject Re: Giving up! Cocoon too big, slow and confusing
Date Thu, 27 Jun 2002 19:31:16 GMT

daniel robinson wrote:
> My .02,
> Thanks to Eric, Argyn and John for their honesty.  And thanks to all of 
> the Cocoon developers for their hard work and vision.  I would like to 
> add my comments to the reality check that is going on.
> I have over 17 years experience in the industry and have led developer 
> teams working on commercial software projects.  I am an expert Java 
> programmer as well as C/C++ and others.  I have worked on multiple 
> operating systems.  I love a challenge.  I'm not bragging (believe me I 
> don't think any of this stuff is anything to brag about in the REAL 
> world :) ), but I want to do a level-set as to who is doing the talking.

You don't mention programming in the XML field.
This is paramount.

> I embraced this project because:
> 1) It had the Apache "stamp of approval"
> 2) It said it was > version 2.0
> 3) The technological vision and approach seemed (and still seem) to be 
> the correct one.
> What I wanted:
> 1) To get a simple web site up fast and lay the groundwork for 
> subsequent versions (see

The example webapp.
Full of prebuilt parts.
What's the problem?

> 2) To use open source for all the right reasons.

What are they?

> What I experienced:
> 1) An incredibly steep learning curve that has no end in sight.  I have 
> NEVER worked on a project where I spent a hard 6 weeks slogging through 
> a technology and had NO IDEA when it was going to end.

Too generic. What don't you understand?
What do you expect and doesn't work as you expect?

> 2) Documentation is not usefull - sorry.  I've tried and tried.  The 
> closest it has come to being useful is that after I've spent hours on 
> something and asked questions on the mail lists I have been able to go 
> back to it and say "oh.. that's what they meant"

What documents were not helpful in what cases?
What couldn't you find?
How did you search for it?

> 3) Serious problems (hours lost) upgrading from 2.0 to 2.0.2 - looking 
> at the change logs for potential hints at what was necessary was a 
> non-starter.

What were the serious problems? (hours lost is not a problem, it's the 
result of the problem)

> 4) Generally helpful but inconsistant responses from the mail lists. You 
> should seriously consider joining the two lists as all it is doing right 
> now is making me have to search both lists for everything that i'm 
> looking for.  Many of the questions were answered in a way which built 
> character but were much too cryptic to be helpful to anyone who comes 
> later.  (I'm sure this is because the really knowledgeable people are 
> spending too much time answering e-mails).

We give help. *Not* complete solutions. We are not paid for it, it's all 
free help.

> My conclusions:
> 1) Almost by definition this should not be a released product - sorry 
> but true.  Someone should define what is meant by alpha, beta and 
> released software - also the meaning of point releases.

This is not a shrink-wrapped software.

> 2) I don't have time to read the source code - not because I can't or 
> won't from some misplaced belief that it shouldn't be necessary - 
> because I don't believe it would be time well spent - too much of a lack 
> of basic doco to make it worth the time.

Sorry but I don't get it.
We have *tons* of documentation. But you just gotta learn ;-)

> 3) I will continue to maintain the current web site in Cocoon while I 
> research alternatives.  I am going to keep an open mind and hope that 
> the forthcoming books will be of assistance - however I don't see how 
> this will be since there have been significant changes (forms and 
> authentication system to just name a few at the feature level) since 
> those books have gone to publishing.

Forms and authentication systems are not changed. We have new ones.
Did you ever think that nio is a change to io package?

What you wrote is completely useless to me, sorry.

If you really want to help us, and it seems you do, please explain the 
real problems in terms of
- what you want to achieve.
- how you did it
- what you assumed correct and don't see working
- where-how you searched for a solution
- how you tried solving the problem
- what you would have wanted to see-find

All these *concrete* examples would really help us.

Thank you.

Nicola Ken Barozzi         
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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