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From Brett Presnell <>
Subject Re: describe Forrest in 50 words
Date Wed, 20 Apr 2005 11:03:10 GMT

David Crossley <> writes:
> Here is the proposal so far ..
> ------------
> Apache Forrest is an XML standards-oriented documentation
> framework based upon Apache Cocoon and separation of concerns.
> Using a plugin architecture, various source input formats are
> transformed and aggregated with other sources into various
> output formats. This presents a unified document structure
> and design at the output stage. Forrest can be used as a
> dynamic application, or can generate sets of documents via
> the command-line, and deploy with an automated robot.
> ------------
> That is 70 words. Looking at the other project
> descriptions at
> that puts us second behind Cocoon (77) and in front of
> Struts (65).
> Does anyone have more comments? We need to target the
> description somewhere between the user and developer.

As a one-time and, I hope, future user of forrest, I thought I might
try to chip in here.  Taking David's version as my starting point, my
attempt comes to 49 words:

   Apache Forrest is a standards-based documentation framework based
   on Apache Cocoon.  Forrest emphasizes separation of presentation
   and content, using a plugin architecture to transform and aggregate
   a variety of input formats into a unified document which may be
   generated statically or dynamically from sources.  Output formats
   include HTML and PDF.

I'm sure this needs more work, but I think it would be clearer to a
user like me.  It is probably not as complete or precise as the
developers might like, but I think that it is worth keeping in mind
that a short description like this must necessarily sacrifice
something in detail and precision in order to succinctly get the main
points across.  For me personally, the biggest shortcoming of this
version is that it doesn't make clear (at least to me) that Forrest
can be used as a sort of CMS replacement for managing a (relatively
simple) web site, which is my main interest.  However, David did not
emphasize this aspect of forrest either, and recognizing that some
things must be sacrificed in a short description, I decided to follow
his lead.

BTW, I won't be offended if you don't want to use any part of my
version.  I don't have any reason to be sensitive about it,
particulary since my expertise in all this is very limited.

Brett Presnell
Department of Statistics
University of Florida

"We don't think that the popularity of an error makes it the truth."
   -- Richard Stallman

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