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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Piwi - Forrest in PHP
Date Fri, 19 Dec 2008 22:53:10 GMT

On 18 Dec 2008, at 15:27, Christian Grobmeier wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I sent an E-Mail before a while about the PIWI project. Meanwhile a
> lots of improvements have been done and I would like to point you to
> the project again.
>
> PIWI is a transformation framework written in PHP. It uses lots of
> ideas and concepts from Cocoon and esspecially Forrest. Its current
> project site can be found here:
> Project: http://code.google.com/p/piwi/
> Docs and Demo: http://www.piwiframework.de/
>
> Its completly implemented under the Apache License.
>
> Current features are:
>
> - Crawler for static content generation
> - Forms (easy create web forms and assistants) & Form Validation

How do you justify the decision to implement forms support *and*  
static generation. We've always been of the opinion that they are  
mutually exclusive. Forrest does support forms, but not out of the box.

What happens when forms are submitted? Where does the data go?

I did look at the site and found a demo, but no explanation of what is  
actually happening.

What validation mechanism do you use? that is how do you define  
validation rules?

>
> - Internal PIWI-Format has been changed to a subset of XHTML

Cool - that was the big problem with your previous implementation (for  
me at least). A move to XHTML means that the XSL in our existing  
plugins can be more easily reused.

> - Generators and Connectors (Generate XML from within other
> XML-Structures; Connect a Generator to Databases)

I'm a little confused by your choice of names here. Looking at the  
demo the generator page displays data formatted in a particular way  
(i.e. a data table), there is no indication of what is actually  
happening. Is a generator the same as what we call a generator  
(something that creates XML for further processing, or is it a  
serializer (something that generates an output).

> - Authentification

Again, how do you justify this alongside static generation?

>
> You can see most features in action at http://www.piwiframework.de/.
>
> Several things have to be done, but at the moment we consider the
> project as feature complete. We plan to wait a while and fix occuring
> bugs or feature requests and then walk towards a version 1.0. We also
> would like to write some more user docs.

> It would be great to get some feedback of you guys. I think PIWI would
> perfectly fit to the Forrest project and we might be interested in
> this. I strongly believe that Apache needs a web framework in PHP.  If
> you guys think so, let us know. Any help or ideas here are highly
> appreciated.

I'm really not sure. Forrest is *not* a web framework, it is an XML  
publishing framework. Cocoon is a web framework.

I'm confused by what Piwi is. Is it a web framework or a publishing  
framework. If it is a web framework what does it give over the many  
other web frameworks out there and why would Forrest (a publishing  
framework) be interested?

If it is a publishing framework then why does it have some web  
framework features?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm genuinely  
trying to understand the objectives of Piwi and why you believe they  
align nicely with Forrest. Suffice it to say, it looks like you've  
done great job with Piwi.

Ross

Ross

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