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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@apache.org>
Subject Re: draft proposal
Date Thu, 09 Jun 2005 10:40:06 GMT
Mikler wrote:
> Hello! Ross!

For the benefit of other devs. Mikler wanted to do the forrest-voice 
project, however, I already had considerable interest in that project. I 
have said that I will consider any project put forward if the community 
view it as useful. Hence Mikler has posted this proposal here.

Comments from devs are welcome.

> I’ve tried to locate the Eclipse plug-in, that you mentioned, the alpha one.
> But I wasn’t able to find it in http links download. Tonight I will checkout forest
from trunk

It's in the whiteboard directory

>  But even without it here is some kind of my proposition draft.

There is another project you may like to consider instead of this one. 
We have recently been discussing the use of Forrest and Lenya 
(http://lenya.apache.org) as a documentation system. For this to work we 
need a) Lenya to be using SVN as its repository and b) Forrest to have 
an SVN generator

The Lenya community have agreed to mentor a suitable candidate (with me 
as a co-mentor). For background see 
http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?t=111805523300003&r=2&w=2 and then 
http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?t=111814609300001&r=1&w=2

I will continue to give you feedback on this proposal should you wish to 
proceed with this one.

> Description of the problem
> 
> Forest is a publication framework, powerful and useful. But let us take a look at what
a new person should handle to start a productive work with Forest. We can say that besides
content enrichment, user should manage configuration files, skins (in future views), site.xml
file. All the management, mentioned above, requires edition of text based files, what might
be confusing for a new user. So, to my point of view, there is a clear need for a editing
front-end to Forest publication framework.

You should be aware that yesterday I received an excellent proposal 
(draft) to extend the eclipse plugin with wizards, config editors and a 
few other bits and pieces. This does not preclude you from following 
this same route, however, you should be aware you will be duplicating 
some parts of your proposal.

> Another point is that Forest can be used to construct useful content for third party
software. E.g. Forest can be used to generate help contents for Eclipse Rich Client Application.
Such feature will help to promote use of Forest in Eclipse community.

This aspect is not covered by any other proposal I have received to 
date. I quite like this idea. Especially when we look at the Cocoon 
proposal I am co-mentoring 
(http://wiki.apache.org/general/SummerOfCode2005#cocoon-refdoc) and the 
Eclipse Lepido project (plugins for building Cocoon apps in Eclipse).

If we bring all these together we have an almost complete documentation 
framework for both Cocoon and Eclipse applications.

However, taken alone (i.e. without the eclipse plugin extensions) I am 
not sure it is enough work.

There is some stalled work on a DITA input plugin that is required by 
the Apache Derby project (see 
http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=forrest-dev&m=111223334530080&w=2) I 
believe this DITA input plugin, a DITA output plugin, and your Eclipse 
help output plugin would be a good chunk of work for Summer of Code project.

They all require the same skills so once you have mastered one solution, 
the others should come "easily".

> Proposed solution.
> 
> Proposition is to create an editing front-end in a form of Eclipse plug-in, containing
forms and wizards, that can help edit configuration files, site.xml file and application of
skins (or views).
> As soon as Eclipse can help to promote Forest, let Forest help Eclipse RCP developers.
Proposition is implement following:
> 1)      extend Forest plug-in (or create another one) to let it generate Help based on
contents from XML. 

This would not be an extension of the Forrest plugin for Eclipse, but 
would instead be an output plugin for Forrest (it gets confusing doesn't it)

> 2)      Some part of XML contents can be marked to be used as Eclipse Cheat Sheets, that
in form of site should be rendered as HOW-TOs.

This is an excellent idea. For those that don't know an Eclipse cheat 
sheet is a how to with extra information that allows you to mark up a 
sentence such as "to create a new page open the New Page Wizard from the 
File menu" in such a way that the user can click on "New Page Wizard" to 
open the wizard.

I'm not commenting on the rest as it may change considerably.

We need to work on the clarity of your descriptions, but we may as well 
do that once we start to settle on the content.

Ross


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