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From Anthony Aldridge <>
Subject RE: Giving up! Cocoon too big, slow and confusing
Date Fri, 28 Jun 2002 08:22:20 GMT
This is both a serious problem in terms of documantation/tools etc.. But
also in terms of cocoon itself. Some of the points are valid, not just in
terms of whether it's documented or not, but in terms of the actual system.

You know how much most people on this list love and respect cocoon, but
sometimes it does seem over complex and dense - even to those who have been
around the project for some time.

I know I started a thread talking about developing a front end content
management app (really a cocoon management app) and didn't have the
time/resources to properly follow up - but without serious consideration to
how end-users sre going to use the product, it's almost inevitable that
Cocoon will end up being a specialist product mainly for the people who
have been involved increating it.

I reckon either:

1/ Cocoon config (sitemap etc) is radically simplified
2/ Tools are created to create the config

Otherwise the great potential of the project may end up unfulfilled.

Re: a previous mail on this subject:

Genius level people  not understanding other's inability to memorise
aspects of the project! RUBBISH, people who have inside knowledge often
appear to be geniuses and magicians, it's a mirage! True genius
communicates - which is precisely the problem highlighted on this thread -
the relatively poor documentation/tools regarding Cocoon against the
fabulous technology.

Once someone said: UNIX is not NOT user-friendly, it's just choosy about
its friends!
I reckon the time has past when we can be choosy - otherwise .NET rubbish
will start becoming another cross we all have to bear (as developers), when
properly presented, Cocoon could provide a real way forwards to the web-app


Anthony Aldridge
Application Development
Managed Intranet Hosting

PS I've developed an alternative way to use cocoon, based on what I call
'JBXSP' (JavaBeanExtensibleServerPages). ALL the logic, and the xml is
generated via introspection from pure java (no embedding java logic in
xml-style files). All that's required then is the xslt stylesheets to
translate, and a single xml file to call the basic java system. Ultimtely I
want to keep the xslt files as fragments in a database to be called by the
JBXSP system as required.

For me (as a java programmer) this is perfect - it may not suit everyone's
needs but I'll be happy to share the ideas with the community, if anyone's

Matthew Langham <> on 06/28/2002 07:45:14 AM

Please respond to

Subject:  RE: Giving up! Cocoon too big, slow and confusing

A few comments on various raised points:

> 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.

Changes between releases must be documented so that the migration is a
painless as _possible_. But if 2.0 provides what is needed then perhaps
upgrading is not always the best idea. We don't upgrade all our production
installations of Cocoon each time there is a new release. We have Cocoon
based sites that are happily running a pre-2.0 version of Cocoon.

> 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.

Unfortunately this is _always_ the case. We finished our book in March (!)
and the printing process is such that it just takes that long before the
book hits the shelves. There is nothing we (as the authors) can do about it
(apart from preventing new Cocoon releases :-)). On the other hand we
decided to include a CD containing a defined version of Cocoon so that the
details in the book match the software. The concepts have not changed
between 2.0 and 2.0.x - but things have been added.


Open Source Group       Cocoon { Consulting, Training, Projects }
Matthew Langham, S&N AG, Klingenderstrasse 5, D-33100 Paderborn
Tel:+49-5251-1581-30 -
Cocoon book:

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