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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <nicola...@apache.org>
Subject Re: The sky is falling! :) Comparing Maven and Forrest (Re: NPEs on second build + rant)
Date Sat, 17 Aug 2002 14:59:04 GMT

Jeff Turner wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 16, 2002 at 01:51:15PM +0200, Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> 
>>Jeff Turner wrote:
>>
>>>I wrote the following blog entry about a day spent trying to use Forrest:
>>>
>>>http://www.webweavertech.com/jefft/weblog/archives/000027.html
>>>
>>>It was written just to let off steam at a wasted day, but I hope it will
>>>be accepted here in the spirit of constructive criticism, 
>>
>>Forrest is not yet ready to be used easily in other projects, because it 
>>has not been really discussed and done yet.
> 
> 
> Exactly. And why not? Because the focus has always been "let's improve
> xml.apache.org", not "let's make a generally useful doc system".
> 
> I'm suggesting that the social engineering of Forrest is subtly but
> significantly wrong. The fastest way to get a good-looking xml.apache.org
> is *not* to simply advertise that fact and get cracking, as Forrest has
> done. The goal is too abstract; not enough people care. Instead, one
> should appeal to people's self-interest; broaden the focus, say "we're
> here to make a brilliant doc system that anyone can use", and get people
> involved. THEN, if the project has evolved correctly, the secondary goal
> of a better xml.apache.org will be met.
> 
> Forrest micro-optimized on one tiny section of the problem-space.
> Forrest hoped that a general solution would emerge from tackling a
> specific problem, rather than tackling the general problem (with
> consequently more resources) and letting a specific solution
> (xml.apache.org) fall out.

In fact, the goal I have, and that many of our committers have, is to 
make Forrest work in an Intranet ant for other sites.

You are wrong in this assumption and this analysis.

What we have done is make a bot-generation possible, regardless of 
Xml.Apache.
I don't see anything wrong with this.

> As evidence for this view, I ask you again to compare Maven to Forrest.
> Both have goals of unifying the websites of their respective
> organizations (Jakarta and xml.apache.org). However with Maven, the
> unification goal is subordinate; first, they want to produce something
> cool and consequently widely used. In Forrest, the unification goal is
> explicit, and as a result Forrest is only good at generating docs for
> Forrest. Result? Despite Forrest's head-start, Maven has a much more
> dynamic community, and Jakarta sites are a lot closer to being unified
> than xml.apache.org sites.

I still have to learn in making communities.
Remember that many of us come from the world of Cocoon and Avalon, and I 
think that I'm learning a lot from the Maven and Turbine community in 
the way they get support.

> I invite everyone to read 'The Rise of "Worse is Better"':
> 
> http://www.ai.mit.edu/docs/articles/good-news/subsection3.2.1.html
> 
> 
> Practically, what I'm asking is that people take these thoughts to heart,
> and if they agree, then start giving priority to problems limiting
> adoption over problems limiting xml.apache.org coolness. The most
> immediate problem is, I'm afraid to say, the forced Centipede
> integration. By all means use Centipede to build Forrest, but don't force
> it on users. 

We never have, and never will.
Steven is definately -1 for this.

Besides, Centipede is basically Ant, so what I will do is something that 
can be used in Ant.
Of course, Centipede has autodownload and all that stuff, but like 
Maven, it's an option.

> To further crush Nicola's ego :) and to help spread adoption
> of Forrest, I'll be spending tomorrow attempting a Forrest Maven plugin.

;-) You're not crushing any ego, but making me happy.
If Forrest has a Maven plugin, it will really help its adoption, and we 
all know how a common Apache DTD would benefit all.

I have already said on many lists (the last on james-dev) that there 
will be a Maven plugin. Currently I really don't understand how to do 
them very well, and this is the reason I'm waiting to do it. I see 
massive committs to Maven, and personally I chose to wait for a more 
stable version.

But if you are ready, go for it!
I strongly support you in this :-)

If you need help, we're here :-)

-- 
Nicola Ken Barozzi                   nicolaken@apache.org
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)
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