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From "bart remmerie" <>
Subject Re: Cocoon Productivity
Date Tue, 29 May 2007 10:14:28 GMT
I've been a 'jojo' cocoon user for some years now and a convinced addict.
The learning curve is rather steep, but with nices 'plateaus': repeated
steps of steep learning followed by rather easy mass-production.

What has frustrated me the most are 2 things:
lack of evident documentation &

With lack of evident documentation, I basically mean the existence of docs
that go just that one step further.  for example, in CForms, explaining the
insert-bean stuff just a little bit more than just a couple of lines in the
documentation. Now you have to combine a lot of sources: mailing lists,
wiki, docs, api-docs, ... It's true that the user who persists learns a lot
about cocoon when trying to find out everything by her/himself, ... but
'easy to use' should be replaced by something like 'satisfying to learn on
your own'.

Upgrading to a next version has never been a smooth process so far.  I'm
currently using 2.1.10 and the YourCocoonBasedProject ant scripts from the
wiki.  One day, I'll shift to 2.2, but so far, trying to set it up out of
curiosity has brought me nothing but frustration.
As a cocoon user, learning yet another framework (Maven) is not what I'm
looking for.  If is can make development easier, I'm interested to learn,
but please explain the benefits & basics to get people going before pushing
them into a direction (they didn't ask for in the first place).
Or replace the 'easy to use' by 'easy to use, ... if you are an experienced
user of spring, maven and other related frameworks like hibernate, ...)

If cocoon has the ambition to be used, please pay attention to what the
(potential) user wants (and documentation might be just one of the


2007/5/29, Martijn C. Vos <>:
> Niels van Kampenhout wrote:
> >
> >  But I just have a strong feeling that for someone without years of
> >  Cocoon experience it is too easy to screw up.
> It depends a lot on what you want to do. Cocoon is brilliant at
> simple stuff. My problem when learning Cocoon was that the
> documentation on the website discussed XSP, Actions and dozens
> of other things that you simply shouldn't use. Cocoon is all
> about generator->transformer->serializer, and everything that
> fits into that model is easy to learn, once you realise that
> this is actually what it's all about.
> >  Some people get
> >  it, some need a little longer to understand, others possibly
> >  never will.
> >  This is OK I guess. But once they "see it", the difficulties really
> >  start. Where to go from here? How to develop a real, complex
> >  application with Cocoon?
> I think the most important thing to realise about Cocoon is that
> it's a framework of Java components. Cocoon is great at the simple
> generator/aggregator->transformer->serializer pipeline, but I
> think all the really complex stuff should be done in Java components
> as much as possible. In too many projects I've seen people trying to
> do complex stuff in XSLT, or using flowscript to do all the stuff
> that the pipeline can't. The problem is that while flowscript is
> very powerful, it doesn't quite fit in the pipeline way of working,
> and that makes lots of things more complex than they should be.
> >  Of course all the software engineering principles apply as much to
> >  Cocoon applications as to any other, but most people find it
> >  difficult
> >  to abstract away from the "traditional" frameworks for which they
> >  learned their patterns, and apply their knowledge to Cocoon.
> >  And that's
> >  no surprise, because Cocoon is so big, you can do so much
> >  with it, and you can do it in so many ways.
> And many of those ways are IMO too complex and too inefficient. I
> think the basic pipeline is really easy to understand, as are the
> basics of how XSLT should be used (i.e: not for logic and
> calculations, but only for changing the structure of the XML).
> Everything more complex than that should be done in Java, which
> immediately makes more use of "traditional" programming experience.
> mcv.
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Bart Remmerie

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