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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: dev environment
Date Sat, 04 Jun 2005 13:12:04 GMT
Tim Williams wrote:
> Can someone please describe the proper dev environment for Forrest?=20
> Sorry for such an elementary question but I'm getting past the point
> where TextPad is useful.  With it seemingly being 80% xml files, 

There is no *proper* dev environment. It really depends on your personal 
preferences. The most important thing is to have a good XML editor.

I like JEdit and Eclipse, with the relevant XML plugins, but others use 
all sorts of different tools. You may like to look at for some hints as to 
what people are using and how.

 > I'm
 > having a difficult time getting my mind around how to
 > watch/trace/debug things properly.

There is no watch/trace/debug type functionlaity (or at least not that I 
use). Cocoon probably provides some such functionality, but I have never 
found it necessary, but then I don't often use such devices when 
programming either, it's just the way I like to work.

For me find the easiest way to "debug" Forrest is to be aware of all the 
processing steps between taking in the source and outputting the end 
result. When you know these you can do 'forrest run' and request the 
intermediate documents, such as "http://localhost:8888/body-index.xml" 
which will return the intermediate processing of the body of the document.

This is a real candidate for a new document. One that would considerably 
lower the barrier to entry for new devs. For now though, I would suggest 
that when you get to a point that you have no idea how to move forwards 
with respect to debugging drop a mail to the list and we'll try and tell 
you how to do it. Our replies can form the start of a document dealing 
with this.


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