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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [RT] Super Simple Site Generation Tool
Date Wed, 28 Dec 2005 11:32:26 GMT
David Crossley wrote:
> If people have issues with Forrest, then please take them
> to the user@forrest mailing list. It is totally unfair
> to a new project to just criticise it from afar. We get
> very few emails to the user mailing list about any issues
> with Forrest. This seems to be especially the case with
> committers from Apache projects that decided to use Forrest.

This is *very* important. In cal my time on the Forrest project I do not 
recall a single question from an Incubator volunteer on our user lists.

In this thread one person encouraged people to visit the archives of the 
Forrest lists because they were fed up of working with Forrest to get it 
to where they want. I checked, last post with that name on the dev list 
was March 2004 and there were no posts to the user list.

How is that working with us? Why is it that I find myself joining yet 
another list because I hear grumbles in a completely unrelated list 
saying that Incubator has some issues with Forrest? Why should I, as a 
Forrest dev, have to join your list?

Even having joined this list, I see almost no contributions to Davids 
repeated attempts to try and understand what incubator need, so I am 
still unaware of the problems.

In my opinion the problem is not the tool, it is the number of 
volunteers wanting to work with whatever tool is in use. This is the 
issue that needs addressing regardless of whether you use 
Forrest/Maven/Anakia or some Python tool created specifically for the 
purpose.

That being said, as people will see from my replies on the site-dev 
list, I have some sympathy with Leo, and I do agree that Forrest is 
large and cumbersome for building a simple site. However, I am annoyed 
at various statements in this thread that claim to represent Forrest as 
it stands today but in fact illustrate a lack of understanding of the 
capabilities of Forrest head which is an increasingly stable platform 
that has been working towards the goals of the site-build project [1] 
(despite claims to the contrary in this thread).

Current SVN head of Forrest, coupled with Davids implementation of the 
ForrestBot means Forrest can do steps one through seven of Leo's 
workflow (with a local install of Forrest being optional). Of course, we 
are a 0.8-dev project, not a 1.0 project. The solution is not perfect, 
it is still a 0.8-dev project, and the claimed support needs to be 
tested and validated in a wider range of projects (currently we only 
have private dev projects, Forrest test sites and Cocoon-docs)

Step 8 (publishing) cannot currently be done by any tool due to the fact 
that infra require that the live server to be updated by a pull rather 
than a push process (for security reasons).

It'd be great to work with the incubator to help validate things, but 
that requries more than David (and now myself) to support the incubator 
site, it requires at least a willingness to provide feedback to the 
Forrest community about what is good and what is bad. I don't see that 
happening so maybe Leo's Python scripts are the solution (at least they 
will allow me to not worry about the incubator site).

Ross

[1] http://people.apache.org/~rgardler/site-dev/Site-Build.html

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