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From "Derek Hohls" <>
Subject Re: Reliable XML/XSL editors for Cocoon development ?
Date Wed, 24 Nov 2004 05:56:00 GMT
My 2c is that the *designers* should not be let loose
anywhere near Cocoon - it is a development tool.  The
designers could be given template pages, for example,
to work with.  Depending on the complexities of your 
operation, you can easily get away with:

sitemap match 
  -> generator(read file or use SQL) 
    -> transformer

Essentially a three step approach.

Yes, flow can be added if more complex logic is needed;
but again, Java is purely optional.  Flowscript is based on
Javascript, which even page designers should know ;-)
I can only say I have been using Cocoon for about 5 years
and the amount of Java I have written has been really
minimal (mostly with the now little-used XSP).

Remember: Cocoon has the power "under the hood" but
for the time when you do not need it, the elegance and 
usability of the sitemap is sufficient.   KISS.

>>> 2004/11/23 04:36:21 PM >>>

We are using Dreamweaver for our current websites design, producing
xhtml pages - templates - containing custom tags that once hosted on
our server are being replaced on the fly by database data, which is a
very classic setup, I guess :)

We'll be moving to a Cocoon based backend soon, mostly for enterprise
needs (i.e we need to host and access various SOAP web-services - Java
behind -, and exchange XML flows with our clients, which are in the
publishing industry, I assume Cocoon is the right choice), but I'm
currently trying to figure out if Cocoon can be a reliable solution to
manage several web sites (I do not mean "web applications" here, only
"sites", like small sites based on a small database) : afaik, you have
two popular methods to output website content, XSP versus
Flowscript+JX, which is fine but both are very "code-based", I mean
websites designers are not Java or XML experts (or both).

My problem is that our designers - they did spend several days
evaluating Cocoon - are afraid to move from our current DW+PHP
backend, because they think the whole "sitemap > pattern hit > xsp or
flowscript + jx > transformer > result" is just too obscure and
difficult to dig into, ie when editing a website you have to remember
the whole sitemap schema, especially when using aggregates. I also
don't understand the right choice between having a mega-huge xsl sheet
able to transform every page on our site based on call-templates or
"one xsl per page transformation" path. Plus they told me XSP was
similar to our PHP approach but was an obsolete (?) framework, and
Flowscripts look nice but require a huge Java knowledge. What I am
looking for is an editor being able to handle Cocoon-based websites :
for example, something being able to traverse a sitemap, find all
matching patterns, build a tree of patterns, output the resulting xml
flows (from xsp or jx sources), and visually edit elements of the xsl
sheet. Dreamweaver has no clue about XML/XSL editing, XMLSpy has no
clue about visual editing, Eclipse has never been a web editor, and
Cocoon Wiki is dry on visual editors reviews.

What are you guys using when dealing with 'pure' website design and
management under Cocoon ? Thanks for any input :)

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