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From Bertrand Delacretaz <>
Subject Re: Uses for Cocoon
Date Tue, 05 Aug 2003 08:41:44 GMT
Le Lundi, 4 aoû 2003, à 21:55 Europe/Zurich, Shawn Church a écrit :
> ...My html-based representation is pretty good, but I would like to 
> provide a feature to convert this summary information to a .pdf file 
> which can be distributed, printed, archived, etc.  I'm using the 
> Velocity templating engine for the page generation, and I'm not 
> interested in converting the whole site to XML.  My goal is just an 
> on-the-fly .pdf generation of this one summary document...

Cocoon includes two PDF generation tools: FOP and iText.
Briefly said, FOP uses the XSL-FO standard to describe documents 
whereas iText uses its own page description language but is "lighter" 
to run. Both take XML as input though, so you will need to convert your 
data at some point.

The best thing would be to study the corresponding samples (use the 
"blocks with samples" link from the Cocoon samples page) and/or the 
HTML/PDF generation How-To found at (not 
yet up to date for 2.1 on the website, please ask here if you have 
problem running the examples).

>  ...Is Cocoon overkill or even appropriate for this sort of 
> application?...

It is certainly appropriate, but you should study the samples before 
making a decision.

> ...Can anyone provide any case studies or real-world examples of it's 
> implementation?

I think the most widespread use of Cocoon today is on-the-fly 
publishing of data in various formats ("multi-channel publishing"), but 
the "interactive webapp" parts of the framework are progressing very 
quickly and will probably take the front stage soon.

   Bertrand Delacretaz
   independent consultant, Lausanne, Switzerland

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