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From Mircea Toma <>
Subject [oss] cocoon and avalon based portal
Date Tue, 26 Aug 2003 18:47:16 GMT

A little more than an year ago I started to work on a project that had
as a goal the building of a portal. The client is/was a Canadian mutual
fund company that needed a consistent way of accessing the information.
Being an occasional Avalon committer and a Cocoon lurker I have
"obviously" chosen these technologies to help me build this portal.
The client ( ) was aware of the fact that all of
the libraries, frameworks, and tools were coming from the open source
community, so it expressed it's willingness to release to code back to
the open source community.
You can find the source code of the entire project at . I put the source code there
with the intention of making it public first, but to move out the
libraries (located in sub-projects) back to Cocoon and Avalon projects
as components.
Some of the features that the portal implements are:
- RSS 2.0, 1.0, 0.9x, XHTML 1.0, OCS 0.5 aggregation formats
- LDAP back end for storing user profiles
- CSS skins
- RDF/OCS 0.5 content directory

There are a few libraries I had to create, either because I couldn't
find what I needed or the implementations were not satisfactory. You can
find all the libraries in "webtop/components" directory of the project:

- contextmanager : service api. manages JNDI contexts (similar to a JDBC
connection pool).
- diagrama : service api for accessing, creating, updating and removing
objects located in a graph. there is one implementation for JNDI, but
you can have implementations such as JDBC, Castor, Hybernate....
- marshaller : service api for marshalling and unmarshalling of
JavaBeans to XML and back using SAX. Castor is used for the default
- metatropeas : utility for transforming JavaBeans to directory entries
and back. JNDI is used for the default implementation.
- steppingstone : workflow service api. finite state machine implementation.
- epoxy : cocoon transformer. tag library for XHTML-GUI generation.
- validator : validation service api. Schematron implementation. it has
the advantage of detailed massages for invalid XML documents.
- vfs-block : cocoon generator. generates XML based on the content of a
directory, similar to DirectoryGenerator, but for a multitude of protocols.
- javamail-block: cocoon generator. generates XML when connected to
POP3, IMAP, NNTP stores.
- security-block : cocoon transformer. blocks content based on the roles
the user is in. unlike RoleFilter transformer it uses the envelope
pattern (not attributes).

I could talk a lot more about all this, but for now I'm waiting for your


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