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From Thorsten Scherler <>
Subject Re: [Important] Status and future direction
Date Fri, 09 Oct 2009 12:29:50 GMT

On 08/10/2009, at 21:07, Ross Gardler wrote:

> I agree with Tim here, especially the bit where he can't agree with  
> me more ;-)
> I don't know a great deal about Cocoon 3, but I have no personal  
> interest in using it here - sledgehammer to crack a nut. Since I'm  
> not active here my opinion doesn't count for much in that respect  
> though.

I am still developing mostly with cocoon in different versions. Just a  
couple of days back I had a chance to use cocoon 3 within droids and I  
have to say it is not sledgehammer anymore. You can use it without any  
sitemap if you want. ...

more inline

> If someone wanted to look at and validate my evening hacks on  
> Forrest 2 I might be drawn back in, I do have a need for such a  
> lightweight and embeddable solution. However, I don't have the time  
> or resources to drive forward alone on thIs.
> David, thank you for raising this issue.
> Sorry about top posting...
> Sent from my mobile device.
> On 8 Oct 2009, at 13:35, Tim Williams <> wrote:
>> Thanks David, this is a tough, but necessary, conversation.
>> I snipped A and B because I don't consider them fruitful options at  
>> all.

IMO A should be the way to wrap up current development. Like pointed  
out by David we need to have a release that  contains the work of the  
last years since the release.

I talked about trying to do the release but this task got moved down  
my priority list again due to workload. Actually in my work we ATM  
only use the cocoon 2.2 blocks from forrest and they are working fine.  
To move to cocoon 2.2 at whole is IMO as well not worth the while  
since we will find quite a bunch of problems which are not easily  

>>> C) Try to upgrade to Cocoon-3 version.
>>> I don't know whether Cocoon-3 is ready or
>>> possible for Forrest. Would someone else comment.
>> Cocoon-3 seems ready from what I can tell, though it is already
>> suffering from the same things that drove me away from enjoying
>> regular Cocoon.  It's overly complex.

Hmm, I am not sure whether I can sign that. Cocoon 3 is quite straight  
forward and flexible to integrate in what ever underlying framework  
you like to use.

>> There was a time when the
>> return on the steep Cocoon learning curve was worth it but that time,
>> for me, has passed.  I now have minimum amount of spare time to hack
>> at Forrest and when I've tried lately, it's no longer a pleasure
>> primarily because I spend much of that time re-learning Cocoon
>> complexity instead of being productive.  I must admit that when I was
>> at the height of my Cocoon knowledge I was unempathetic to Ross'
>> pleas, but now, I probably couldn't agree with his sentiments more.
>> Anyway, I think this is a long way of saying that i honestly don't  
>> see
>> there being a future in a Cocoon-based Forrest.

I have to admit that I am not sure about whole discussion about the  
future of forrest. We have a working product with a small committer  
community behind it. Our user base however is I guess larger then we  
imagine however we do not know them since forrest seems to just work.  
So no problems = no mails = no traffic.

Regarding the traffic on our commit lists is similar, we do not add  
any new functionality to forrest for a while now and more or less  
maintain the code we have with the feedback from the list and  
individual test cases.

>>> D) Develop some other core.
>>> See past discussion in our dev mail archives.
>> I think it's ultimately going to be this or the Attic.  Implementing
>> something that's intuitive, prefers convention, and doesn't attempt  
>> to
>> solve all problems could very well bring the fun back.  I think we'd
>> have a much easier time attracting new devs too since we wouldn't  
>> have
>> the problem of "yeah, forrest is easy to understand.... *after* you
>> understand this other ridiculously complex beast over there".

The fear that I have that we will replace one complex beast with  
another. However I agree that the shinny new thing phenomenon can  
attract new devs, the only question is whether our focus will attract  
them. What can forrest do for me that xyz cannot do? Does our  
framework of input, internal and output plugins can be slimed down to  
a jar that I can add to my standard project where I need SOME of the  
functionality but not all? In which programming language do we want to  
develop to start with? ....

>>> E) Cease Forrest and move to the Apache Attic.
>> I think there is a niche out there for Forrest.  I've got a need now,
>> for example, for a simple documentation site but, unfortunately,
>> forrest is too much of a burden to use for it - documentation is a
>> side-show that people don't want to have to spend hours/days "coming
>> up to speed".  So I sincerely hope this option isn't where we end up.

I do not see forrest in the attic neither. There are still quite a  
bunch of code in our rep that attracts people with certain usecase. We  
know that people are using our software, we still have people  
answering mails and moving forrest to the Attic seems to be to early.

>>> ---oOo---
>>> Whatever happens, we still need to make a release.
>> Agreed, I've been poking around at JIRA lately seeing what I can
>> tackle - as i mentioned the Cocoon (re)-learning curve has kept me
>> pretty unproductive though.

To be honest I have not tackle the release because seeing the process  
I feel overwhelmed of the steps involved. I saw other project  
releasing their software in a more straight forward manner.

I totally agree that we should release ASAP.

>>> Whatever happens, more people need to assist with
>>> the project management tasks.
>> Agreed, since I haven't contributed much lately to the coding, I
>> haven't been compelled to contribute at all.  That's not good, I  
>> know.
>>> ---oOo---
>>> My opinion is that Forrest needs to make a decision
>>> about which direction, and stick with it, developers
>>> get involved to start Forrest moving again, and build
>>> the community.
>>> Options A to D have previous discussion in the
>>> dev mail archives.
>> Again, I think D or E are the only viable long-term options.

Personally I would more go for cocoon3 (C) but that is my personal  


>> --tim

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