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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: [RT] Dynamic Content in Forrest
Date Wed, 24 Aug 2005 01:08:21 GMT
Tim Williams wrote:
> I'm wondering how folks handle dynamic content within their Forrest
> sites.  

Forrest has a stated goal to provide static representations of sites 
where possible. However, some of us do use it in dynamic environments 
and now we have plugins we can afford to relax things a little with 
respect to dynamic sites.

Having said that, Forrest does not resist dynamic content, it just likes 
to see a static alternative wherever possible. For example, Lucene 
searches can be replaced by a Google search box.

> Specifically, I'm wondering about the following use-cases (there are
> others but these are exemplars for discussion:

Before answering specific use cases let me first say that since Forrest 
is built on Cocoon you will usually find that the solution for all use 
cases are in the Cocoon framework somewhere.

> 1)  Permissions.  Do you just use standard web server functionality to
> handle permissions?  What happens when you web site scales and you
> need credentials independent of the server? Has anyone accounted for
> that?

See the authorisation block in Cocoon

> 2) Sessions.  Clearly related to the above, what's the approach for a
> "session" in Forrest?  There was a discussion recently on Cocoon-users
> (i think) that asked what if I simply want to change the site header
> depending on who the user is?

There are many of ways of working with sessions in Cocoon. The easiest, 
but least flexible is to use the {request:*} parameters in the sitemap. 
There is also a request generator that allows you to aggregate the 
request parameters with the source document. For full flexibility you 
should really think about installing the Flow block from Cocoon.

> 3) Discussion Forum/Bulletin Board.  Say I've got a site that's 95%
> content but I want to have a simple discussion forum, how do i
> integrate it?  I've noticed one of the example sites uses IFrames but
> that doesn't seem like a very clean solution to me.

Choose the bulletin board software you like and use the HTML generator 
to get the relevant content from the forum software and embed it within 
a Forrest site like any other source file.

> I guess the database plugin answers the question when the *content* is
> dynamic, so the question is really when we want to integrate simple
> applications into Forrest.  Anyway, I throw that out there... 
> thoughts?

Plugins are your friend :-)

In the past Forrest would probably have resisted these ideas. However, 
now we have plugins users/devs can easily create these kinds of 
applications without having to fork Forrest. The question is whether 
Forrest wants to host these kinds of plugins since they will not work in 
a static environment. We'll worry about that later though, they can 
always be hosted elsewhere.


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