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From "Robert Simmons" <>
Subject Re: Cocoon is too complex for consumption?
Date Sat, 25 Jan 2003 16:13:08 GMT
I think you might already be there. Currently the concept of cocoon is a great one. I create
a piepline and cocoon shunts it from a
to b, applying the transforms and so on. Great development effort. Pardon the language but
its a shitty user effort. Just look at
one of your paragraphs in the linked archive.

"If we don't do this, not only Cocoon will get bigger and bigger (and
start appearing more as a distribution of technologies, than a
framework), but users will find it harder and harder to modify it for
their specific needs."

And that is the crux of the problem. Whoever is heading the project seems a bit confused.
People dont want to MODIFY cocoon. They
want to USE cocoon. They want to install cocoon's mechanics, then drop in their pipelines
and go. Cocoon is now trying to do all
sorts of things that dont need to be done imho. The number of features is so staggering that
gettign started is near impossible. But
as I get more into the product, I find myself saying, petulantly, "But I just wanted the pipeline!"
And that is all that I wanted.
To have a pipeline. To be able to say to cocoon, "Yeah, well ... in your pipeline whenever
someone hits URL x, go to pipeline Z and
run my custom class (which connects to ejbs and so on) and transform it with stylesheet Y
and give it back to the user.

"But you arent understanding how cocoon works Robert!" BINGO!! You hit it right there on the
head. I dont want to understand how it
works. As a user Im not interested. When reading the JBoss documentation, I skip over all
the architecture stuff and the development
stuff. As a user, this stuff is irrelevant to me. Object oriented programmign is supposed
to guarantee to provide me with an
interface and then implement some functionality. How? Who the hell cares? Im a user of it.
My prime computing expertise is in the
back end side of EJBs and issues that pertain to them. I want to USE cocoon, not develop on

Possible solutions to this.

1) Rearchitect cocoon to implement some sort of deployment mechanism, such as COB. The problem
here is that then you have to get
that working with application servers and so on. The other problem is inertia. Gettign the
masses of developers to learn a
new-unstandardized deployment mechanism.

2) MERGE it with tomcat in the way JBoss has merged with tomcat. I download JBoss and they
are like "well tomcat is included." I say
"cool" and drop in my wars and go. If cocoon had a basic mechanism install that could be installed
into tomcat than the situation
would be aleviated. Users of the product drop their wars into tomcat as normal with a sitemap
file in the WEB-INF directory and
their special generators an so on in the classes directory. Cocoon magically wires together
the pipeline. No worrying about how to
configure cocoon or what properties to give it or so on. Thats left to advanced users under
the heading of "customizing your

At any rate I can see the learning curve for this product is steep. And cocoon is mainly going
o suffer from people like me. People
whoe would love to use it but dont have a month to blow trying to get a technology to work
that is merely suppsed to be an EASY way
to develop a polymorphic presentation layer.

Lastly, flaming is not an option. These are the opinions from a newbie comming into cocoon.
Readers of this list can flame all they
want but that is just hiding from the very real problems.

-- Robert

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven Noels" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, January 25, 2003 3:43 PM
Subject: Re: Cocoon is too complex for consumption?

> Jeff Turner wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> oh, but that is unfair since you are a Cocoon committer and you have
> easier access to such things... not! ;-)
> </Steven>
> --
> Steven Noels                  
> Outerthought - Open Source, Java & XML Competence Support Center
> Read my weblog at  
> stevenn at                stevenn at
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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