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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject [rant] the difference between a community and a software
Date Thu, 19 Dec 2002 11:11:05 GMT
I started this project because xml.apache.org was sucking up almost all 
the ASF web bandwidth and stylebook (the tool used before) didn't have a 
community around.

Forrest *happens* to use Cocoon because that's what I knew and liked.

And uses Cocoon from the command line because I thought it was a cool 
thing to mix cocoon views with crawlers (a first taste of what power 
standardized URIs schemes could bring).

Forrest uses the Document DTD because that's what we came up with.

Forrest is a software and as a software is limited, like any other software.

Many people wrote that I consider Cocoon and friends sacred, holy and 
untouchable. That's BS. That's something people say when they have no 
more arguments. Do you seriously think there could be 20 developers on 
cocoon if I had a stupid code ownership problem?

I started Cocoon for something like Forrest. I choose the XML way. It 
grew bigger than I expected. The software? no, the community. So big, in 
fact, that the stylebook-like functionality was enough to start another 
project (forrest). And another community.

Oh, I would love to unify Forrest and Maven and Stylebook and all other 
documentation-generation efforts around Apache. But people have to be 
'respectful' of one another and about other choices.

I can hardly see this happening.

Maven and Forrest are full of people who disrespect the choices others 
did because they are so full of themselves to seriously think "you're 
wrong" without even considering the fact that maybe there is something 
more behind that they don't know about and might change their picture 
entirely.

The same could be said about Cocoon and Turbine.

Interesting enough, Jon and I get along so well in real life.... and no 
so well on email comunication. Could it be that the communities we 
started got that perception and built from there? I wonder.

Sure, Jon and I have different attitudes toward technology, but this is 
*value*, damn it. It becomes a problem *only* if we start lacking respect.

I hear people say "you're wrong" instead of "I think you might have a 
problem when you reach this and that stage", I hear people complain 
about 'element names of DTDs', I hear people complaining about speed and 
memory consumption... I wonder if they complained about speed and memory 
consumption of java back in '95.

I hear people trying to bring these communities to talk together, but 
with the "you must do this" attitude. How are you to tell somebody else 
what to use for their stuff? how in hell do you think you can know what 
they need and like?

Maven uses anakia, it's text based, it's light and fast. Great, it might 
be useful in those situations where lightness and speed is needed.

Forrest uses cocoon, it's xml based, it's heavy and slow but it can be 
run as a webapp, it can contain browser editing code, it has great 
support for multi-channeling and link-translation, it can use all cocoon 
components to connect to various things like databases and so on.

There is overlap between forrest and maven. Can this be reduced? 
factored out?

I don't know.

Do I care?

Well, no. In all honesty, I don't. I just wanted xml.apache.org to stop 
sucking and this project is helping doing that, I'm happy. Everything 
else is a plus.

But please, everyone, let's try to understand we are all part of the 
same family, just trying to do the same things with different ways. We 
sure have more to learn by keeping our eyes open, than by looking the 
other way "just because" your bikeshed happens to be painted with a 
color I don't like.

Arguing about technology is silly. There are much better ways to spend 
your time. Think about it.

-- 
Stefano Mazzocchi                               <stefano@apache.org>
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