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From Johan Kok <>
Subject [Fwd: Re: Plugin Use cases]
Date Sat, 07 Feb 2004 06:37:50 GMT
Ross wrote:

> Right now it is mainly stuff we have talked about in the past. For 
> example, the generation of slides from my source document as well as 
> normal HTML/PDF etc. 

+1  -- We need to look at these, plus the establishment of 'templated' 
documentation formats, e.g. the generation of a book or a thesis, or a 
manual with sideline highlights, or ever add-ins like case studies and 
added features like references, table of contents, indexes etc.

A feature that could be very useful is to be able to choose the 'seed' 
source when running forrest seed. Standard template sets could be 
available for download from the forrest site (something else that will 
require versioning in the same manner as skins).

> My source documents are not always in a "usefull" format, for example, 
> java code. I think this is a similar use case to creating, for 
> example, the JavaDoc code from a java source file. What would happen 
> is that some component would extract the key information from the Java 
> code (marked up with comments). 

Most source documents I have has to be converted from another source, 
that is where the Openoffice douments integration may be useful, I have 
not ventured in that yet, but providing samples of these (and other 
uses, e.g. chaperone) on the "sample" seeded templates would be 
extremely useful, especially for those starting out with forrest.

Maybe we should split this from Forrest and create a whole sub-project 
(even under cocoon) to develop a set of conversion utilities for various 
document formats to XML.  Define standard XML format for such, starting 
with the available document-v12.

A set of documents for conversion to XML ( i.e. ???->XML) should include 
at least the following:

    1. MS Office
           Word/rtf, excell/.csv, powerpoint (incl mail,
    netmeeting/calnedar, vcards, openlook, visio....
    2. Open Office
        Similar to MS Office
    3. Drawing/picture/animation packages (and formats) including:
    Corel, Adobe, Flash etc
    4. Mindmapping and other common products available in the market.

    These will enhance the usage of forrest/cocoon and other XML based
    product tremendiously

> Another would be the use of MathML or TeX to create mathematics markup 
> (via SVG) as discussed in a recent thread. This may require the 
> addition of a Cocoon component to Forrest, but most users will not 
> need this component.

A userfriendly ability to select such 'plugins' and jars from the 
forrest site, i.e. making the forrest site the central source for a 
user, that does not do any development.

> My requriements go further in that I need to be able to create a 
> dynamic version of the site too (interactive tutorials for example). 
> So, in most cases, I am wanting to put functionality into the version 
> of Cocoon shipped with Forrest. Some of this will massively increase 
> the size of a Forrest distribution and isn't applicable to most 
> (current) Forrest uses. Therefore, it really needs to be separate from 
> the core of Forrest.

How about the ability to switch between forrest and cocoon, keeping the 
Forrest skin and navigation 'schema' in doing so. Another nice feature 
in this case would be to be able to 'frame' a raw/html document within 
the Forrest skin.

> Recently I've been thinking that I should be working from the other 
> direction. That is I should be starting with Cocoon and bringing a 
> Forrest generated webapp into that. I've not really sat down to work 
> out the best route yet.

I've been thinking on the same route, also trying to think how one could 
then 'merge' the static look and feel (including menu structures) with 
the dynamic. In the latter it seems easier to do that from forrest with 
calling sub-sitemaps in the same manner as was done in cocoon. In that 
way it would be possible to obtain a mix of a dynamic and a static 

Johan Kok

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