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From Addi <a...@rocktreesky.com>
Subject Re: vague issues with Forrest use
Date Mon, 31 Oct 2005 12:22:22 GMT
Hm, well I don't know what resources the Apache projects are dealing 
with but I have not implemented Forrest at my work (other than for me to 
play with) because I am the only person who understands anything about 
XML.  The biggest hurdles I see at my office are site.xml and the actual 
documents with deployment also being a secondary issue.  They are 
hurdles because I can't be the only person who knows how to use it.  It 
isn't efficient if I'm the only one who can add docs and do anything at 
all with it.  Now that I have spent time with Forrest I know there are 
some tools to help me with those issues.  So *for my use case situation* 
things that would make Forrest more viable:

- A simple, intuitive way for non-XMLers to add things to site.xml
- Emphasis and stupid clear instructions on document plugins (DocBook, 
OpenOffice)
- Emphasis and stupid clear instructions on Forrestbot

By stupid clear, I mean so that someone with little XML and Forrest 
experience can understand at least half of what you are saying and not 
be intimidated to at least try.

Anyway, those are my knee-jerk thoughts in response.  Hope I'm not 
off-base of your point.

- Addi

David Crossley wrote:

>(Sorry, this got too long but i reckon it is important.)
>
>As you know, various people are using Forrest.
>For some see: http://forrest.apache.org/live-sites.html
>
>We can only presume they are well aware of what they are doing.
>They have chosen to use the pre-1.0 software. They will all
>have someone who knows how to run forrest, and knows to ask
>questions on the forrest user mailing list if they get stuck
>with upgrading, usage, installation, etc.
>
>However, i wonder if we are doing such a good job with
>making software that is usable now, even though it is a
>long way off being a 1.0 release, that some people/projects
>are getting themselves into hot water by depending on it
>before it is actually ready.
>
>We need to emphasise in our documentation, and in the
>release announcements, that this is pre-1.0 software. 
>Yet still we can show that it is certainly usable for
>those who are prepared to move with it. We use it.
>
>I am particularly concerned about certain meta-projects at
>the Apache Software Foundation. For example, xml.apache.org
>and incubator.apache.org
>
>These places decided to use Forrest long ago, IIRC at 0.5
>
>However, they do not now have people who understand how to
>use it, how to upgrade it, how to get around its quirks.
>Especially at Apache Incubator. The people are there
>to introduce new projects, new people, and to write and
>publish documentation.
>
>I don't quite know the history of Incubator, but i presume
>that people got excited about eating Apache dogfood and
>decided to go with Forrest. Perhaps the original proponents
>moved on. Now it seems that people are not happy with it,
>finding it cumbersome. I have heard some people say
>that they can't actually point to any particular thing.
>Mostly it is just silence and lack of use.
>
>Recently it was proposed that Forrest might be a solution
>at another part of ASF Infrastructure. That met with a lot
>of criticism, yet there was not a lot of concrete feedback.
>
>Over-dedicated volunteers like me and Ross, tend to go and
>help such places. However that is not sustainable.
>
>I don't know what to do about this. At the least
>i thought to send this mail because the Forrest PMC
>should be aware that there is something happening that
>could be damaging for our project. People are gumbling.
>
>We need to look at ways of making it more user-friendly.
>It is obviously not easy or the incubator.apache.org
>issues would not arise.
>
>Perhaps the problem is documentation for how to install
>and use forrest. These projects have a smattering
>of their own documentation for how to use it, but often
>it is poor and way out-of-date. Perhaps we need to
>write a document focussed on use of Forrest at Apache.
>
>Perhaps we need to actively go out and ask those
>Apache projects that use Forrest, what they see as
>the hindrance. It seems to me that people must be
>grumbling but not actually saying that they have issues
>or perhaps not being able to define the issues.
>
>-David
>
>
>
>  
>

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