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From Alexander Klimetschek <>
Subject Re: Cocoon Forms vs. JSF
Date Mon, 04 Jun 2007 15:36:06 GMT
I personally like the features of Cocoon Forms and the easy flow with 
continuations, but I see the problem of two many files for a single form as 
well. And if you don't need continuations then the advantages of Cforms melt...

One of the key concepts of CForms is to be output-format neutral: so it 
could be HTML (Forms) and... ehm... wait... XForms... And that's the problem 
when you only work with HTML (and I'd be interested to hear if someone doing 
something else) - the overall "pipeline" gets very long:


Data (maybe XML)
Form Binding (standard/Java code)
Form Definition (XML)
Form Template (XML with a bit of HTML)
Form Instance (XML - you don't write it, but you need to know it for
                matching in the stylesheets below)
form2html standard stylesheet (XSL)
form2html custom stylesheet
(some html2html general stylesheet for your app)

So if you care about your user interface and want to tweak the HTML code 
that gets produced, you have quite a hard time figuring out how to write 
your form2html custom stylesheet. And often I sit there and have to think 
quite a while to make the decision where to put stuff. For example you often 
put HTML into the form template - but sometimes this could be put into the 
form2html as well.

And finally I practically see little value in splitting definition and 
template - the cases where you re-use your definition in multiple templates 
are very very few - and that's the only reason for the split up AFAIK, apart 
from general abstraction of the data model. But you probably have two data 
model abstractions anyway: in your Java code and/or in your database scheme.

Ok, enough rant, continuations, validation, javascript action handlers and 
ajax on/off are very good features ;-)


Alexander Klimetschek

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