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From "Joel McConaughy" <>
Subject RE: Cocoon: Language Babel -or- Database Development Platform ?
Date Wed, 28 Apr 2004 16:20:43 GMT

... [snip] ...
> Ugo Cei has claimed that all you need is Flowscript, CForms, 
> some sort of O/R mapping (Like 
> hibernate or OJB), and the JXTemplateGenerator and you're set.  
> I tend to agree with him, but I have 
> no practical experience to back it up with :)

I'm not sure that's true.  I have been working with hibernate and flow
for three weeks and have found that it's not so easy.  A simple example
is trying to load the results of a hibernate query returning multiple
rows into an editable form/binding repeater.  This should be a
no-brainer use case but doesn't seem to work.

IMHO, an out-of-the-box hibernate/cforms binding (or some other O/R
framework) should be a hard requirement -- otherwise where is the
productivity gain?

OK, I'll climb down from the soap box now ;)

Joel McConaughy
Managing Partner
Displayware LLC
800 Fifth Ave., #101-316
Seattle, WA 98104-3191
206-300-4732 Direct
206-382-2188 Fax

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Collen [] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 9:09 AM
Subject: Re: Cocoon: Language Babel -or- Database Development Platform ?

Comments inline...

Derek Hohls wrote:

... [snip] ...

> But many still spoke up, saying that Cocoon was but one Framework 
> among many and so insufficient on its own to deliver Real 
> Applications.  And so a great Babel of other languages and tools were 
> taken up and other approaches, based on the Old Ways of Templating 
> Languages (up to now, considered a heresy amongst the Cocoooners),
were incorporated.  Few now
> understood the Great Cocoon Universe and many were confused.   And the
> Users wondered why Developers spent all their time learning these many

> and arcane Ways and why applications took so long to deliver...

Hmm, as far as real applications go, see:

I'm sure Ugo, as well as other people on the lists can relate some
real-world success stories about 
using Cocoon.

> OK - aside from the rather poor parallel to the original, I guess I am

> beginning to be concerned about how much is seemingly required to get 
> going and __keep__ going with Cocoon-centred apps.

Getting up to speed with Flowscript took maybe a week for me.  YMMV, but
it's not all that 
complicated.  Have you read ?

... [snip] ...

> I am now at the point where I am faced with the possibility to design 
> and deliver a large, complex, long-term, database application via a 
> web front-end (as opposed to a traditional client-server front end, 
> written in a RAD GUI, which is what I have done up to now).  I believe

> that a web-based solution is the correct long-term approach, even if 
> some of the technology seems a little clunky right now.  To date I 
> have been content with using XSP / ESQL for small, interactive DB 
> apps, and I _had_ thought that I should now have to learn Cocoon Forms

> (or Woody) and Flowscript, xReporter and, possibly, Java Beans for
logic - somewhat
> of a learning curve for me but also not impossible.   However, recent
> discussion on this topic shows that some developers believe a whole 
> slew of _other_ technologies (outside of Cocoon) need to be learnt and

> incorporated before one even starts with the design...
> So, my question is:
> *** Which solid, well-documented approaches, using primarily 
> Cocoon-based mechanisms, exist to create complex database 
> applications? These approaches need to be at least documented in a 
> detailed article and, preferably, in a well-written tutorial/guide.

What exactly is you use case?  Are you writing a traditional webapp, or
do you need to do more of a 
data analysis type application? (Or neither?)

Ugo Cei has claimed that all you need is Flowscript, CForms, some sort
of O/R mapping (Like 
hibernate or OJB), and the JXTemplateGenerator and you're set.  I tend
to agree with him, but I have 
no practical experience to back it up with :)

I agree that this needs to be much better documented than a bunch of
loosely-related HOWTO's and 
Tutorials.  Maybe a free book like Dive into Python is what we need.  I
have some ideas about how 
Flowscript can parallel UML system sequence diagrams that I would love
to get a chance to expand on 
given the time.

> ** My observation is - if such does not exist, and I still want a web 
> front-end, should I be abandoning Cocoon and going for some old-style,

> template-based approach, using other frameworks such as Struts, 
> Hibernate, Velocity, PHP etc. etc. [and, of course, the same question 
> applies here - is there something well-documented which lays a solid, 
> detailed foundation/guide for taking a developer through all this?]

Of course you shouldn't abandon Cocoon if such an approach is not
well-documented! ;)  It just means 
there's an opportunity for someone to blaze a trail into uncharted

> * My last thought is - if there is no well-explained answer to either 
> of the above, does this mean we are on the cutting edge when it comes 
> to this type of work... because then I will at least know where I 
> stand and can, hopefully, decide accordingly!

The fact that I've heard Struts developers speaking of pulling out
pieces of Cocoon for their own 
use seems to indicate that we are on the bleeding edge.  It's tough, but
it's also really fun :)


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