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From Sylvain Wallez <>
Subject Re: AW: Debug cocoon applications
Date Thu, 24 Feb 2005 21:25:41 GMT
Markus Vaterlaus wrote:

>Hello Oleg, hi list,
>I tried some of their plug ins and they are quite useful and
>interesting. Maybe there are quite a few other plug ins out there
>which support you whilst you work with cocoon. Furthermore there are
>over a dozen or so plug ins floating around that support you dealing
>with XML and XSLT.
>However, IMHO it's not the point that there are several other tools out there.
>The point is, that none of these tools really fits in the real need
>nor is it tightly bound to cocoon. The plug ins from s&n or anyware
>are both bound to the respective firm and their strategy and not the
>cocoon community. Which is fine in a commercial sense, but I think we
>should focus on a potential cocoon first timer. These firms (or some
>of their employees) are respected and valuable members of the
>community. And I really appreciate what they've done to become cocoon
>what it is. And I also understand (or at least I think I'll do :)
>their motivation to offer such tools. However, frankly, what cocoon
>and it's community needs more than that is a set of tools which
>enables our first timer to get his feet wet. I think such tools should
>not be bound on a commercial business case in the first place. They
>should be bound to the community and its product, needs and
>Just think for yourself. As an IT manager do you consider to look
>closer at a framework, that is OSS and pretty cool, but to get you
>started you have to fire up notepad? Doesn't sound quite cool to me.
>If you leave out notepad, and look around, you'll find some other
>tools which are of unknown quality, availability and support. If you
>choose one of them and you have bad luck, you happen to end up with
>Notepad again in a very short time.
>For example have a look at tomcat. The manager and admin applications
>added quite a value to the "product". Everybody using tomcat before
>version 3.x knows what I'm talking about. In this respect, cocoon also
>needs some best of breed / practice (sorry the marketing lingo), that
>supports the first steps. I think a good plug-in in eclipse could do
>the job. For instance, I'd prefer a basic set of tools that enable me
>to develop an little application, to deploy and manage it. If I need
>at a later time further support or better tools, I'm willing to pay
>for it (and I hope other's are too). If so, there is also a market for
>more advanced tools. Or to put it short: I don't need  five different
>tools to do some basic tasks, but none of them really satisfying. I
>just need a good one. But this tool has to be supported by the
>community and bound to the community product.
>Although, if you have any experiences with the plug ins from anyware,
>please share them with us.

I have a lot of experience with these plugins ;-)

They provide 3 main features:
- a "cocoon start" plugin that sets up a new Eclipse project with a 
webapp directory containing Cocoon libraries and a basic sitemap,
- a sitemap editor,
- a CForms definition editor.

The two editors are what we call "bijective editors": several tabs 
provide different views on a single file, all sync'ed without saving. 
There's of course the source view with the usual autocompletion feature 
and several tabs providing a form-oriented view on the file. These views 
allow people to quickly edit files by just filling in forms. This is 
useful for newbies that don't know the XML schema of sitemap or form 
definitions, but also bring a lot of productivity even for more 
experienced users. Those that already wrote a lengthy form definition 
know what I mean!

There are also some specialized outline views since you want to view a 
tree of the structural elements of the file and not all its details 
(e.g. you don't want to see all <map:parameter> in the outline like what 
raw XML editors do).

Now about the business/community issue, I understand your concern. 
Cocoon would be much more appealing to IT managers if it had some 
opensource tooling. At least the basic tooling. For this reason and also 
some others, we, Anyware Technologies, decided to change the way our 
Cocoon-related plugins are distributed and developed. There are some 
things currently going on (I won't say more now), but your concerns 
should be addressed more than you expect in the coming weeks.

About the current status of our plugins: you can download them for free 
with an evaluation licence, and we currently are not able to answer 
questions about their price. Guess why ;-)

I also started some time ago some work on a debugger for many things in 
Cocoon: sitemap, jxtemplate, xslt, forms definitions and bindings, etc. 
Actually potentially everything that is based on some tree-based 
interpreter. I have a raw experiment on my laptop but currently lack 
time to finish it. The commercial status of this debugger. <RT>Don't 
know if there's some interest for community sponsoring and/or 
contributions, we're open to discussions</RT>

Stay tuned!


Sylvain Wallez                                  Anyware Technologies 
{ XML, Java, Cocoon, OpenSource }*{ Training, Consulting, Projects }

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