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From Jeff Turner <je...@apache.org>
Subject Re: extending site.xml -> was -> RE: directory/menu structure
Date Tue, 08 Apr 2003 16:57:51 GMT
>From another thread:

On Mon, Apr 07, 2003 at 09:25:48AM -0700, Robert Koberg wrote:
...
> Is there a forum to discuss Lenya under the Apache umbrella? Perhaps the
> site.xml /discussion/ could occur there since there doesn't seem to be any
> interest from the developers of Forrest (Did I not present it generically
> enough? Did I not explain it plainly enough? Do you need more information on
> any areas?).

Sorry :/  Usually if I don't have anything intelligent to say, I don't
say it, but that doesn't mean I'm ignoring things.

My Forrest interests go:

1) Solving user problems
2) Adding requested features
3) Defining the 'data model' underlying Forrest
4) Defining XML formats

The expanded site.xml concerned 4), with massive but undefined 
implications for 3).

Forrest currently has a very weakly defined data model (skinconf.xml +
forrest.properties).  Forrest's structural model (site layout) is defined
in a very diffuse form in the Cocoon sitemap.  The site.xml file is
purely there to define menus.  We could infer the whole of site.xml from
filesystem + sitemap.

By contrast, LSB seems to have the structural and data models all tightly
defined in site.xml.  As you say, great for storyboarding, but can
Forrest really use the same thing?

1) Structural implications

Forrest can't do that, because the sitemap is central to how Forrest
works.  Forrest's site.xml can _never_ drive things in the way LSB's
does.

2) Data model implications

As I said above, Forrest's data model is very weakly defined, and we need
to fix this, but this needs to be done by improving Forrest, not by
grafting on LSB's solution.  Let's say we give site.xml nodes a @css
attribute.  Where did it come from?  What do we do with it?  How does it
interact with each skin's CSS?  The LSB answer doesn't apply to Forrest.

We've currently got skinconf.xml as our data model; we can throw it away,
but need a fully explored alternative first.  Where does skinconf info
(project name, url, images, copyrights, credits) go in the LSB model?
Somewhere in the root of site.xml?  Sure, we can do that, but the
question needs to be addressed holistically [1].

Hence the blank expressions - I cannot express opinions on fundamental
issues in the form of criticism or approval of an XML format.

So I'd like to take one specific, practical aspect of your site.xml
suggestion: that of improving menus, and focus on that in my next email.

Anyway, thanks for taking the trouble to write up the email I'm
complaining about -- it's very good to have one's assumptions challenged
:)


--Jeff


[1] "addressed holistically" is a phrase meaning "buggered if I know
how".


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