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From "Marc Portier" <>
Subject RE: NPEs on second build + rant
Date Fri, 16 Aug 2002 13:27:33 GMT
> Thanks, that looks like it.
> I wrote the following blog entry about a day
> spent trying to use Forrest:
> /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,

Your observations are quite correct.

gave the assignment to a number of students we mentor to
start on their project with forrest, they're returning much
of your comments...
we need people actually trying this to get a list of the

I remember spending more then one day on other OSS projects.
Somehow they manage to get there.

So, please stay tuned, Jeff.
And maybe spend (not waste) more time in the future to get
us the feedback we need.

On this very topic, my analysis at this stage would be:
There is currently too much coupling between the forrest
build.xml and the generation of the docs.
The correct steps would be
- decide on forrest in your project
- get forrest from cvs
- build forrest (so the main build target of forrest should
not build its own docs!)
- have your project refer to forrest for building YOUR docs
The start with forrest and modify to your own project is not
an option to get you started, it is pretty much a
requirement to ever get somewhere.

Some of that decoupling today can be achieved by using the
forrestbot (,
that one, btw, does the 'clean' for you), but that is quite
an overkill if you're only looking at one project.  (my
thinking on the refactoring of build.xml towards the ideas
in forrestbot is driving my ideas further away still for the
moment, I have the feeling there is more non-fitting-in
things around forrest to date... I'm trying to consilidate
and formulate those ideas in the near future)

By the way, I noticed centipede is working towards a central
installed solution, rather then a copy over into all
I believe that such is part of the solution we need.

and thx again, Jeff (not for publishing the rant though :-))


> --Jeff
> > --David
> >
> > Jeff Turner wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > Running './ docs' the first time
> works fine. The second time, it
> > > dies with:
> > >
> > > .
> > >   [broken link]--> /forrest/xml-site/
> > > FATAL_E 2002-08-16 19:22:05.579 [cocoon  ]
> (): Exception caught
> > > org.apache.cocoon.ProcessingException: Failed
> to execute pipeline.: java.lang.NullPointerException:
> ...

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