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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: [RT] Super Simple Site Generation Tool
Date Thu, 29 Dec 2005 21:01:29 GMT
Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> On Dec 29, 2005, at 9:58 AM, Ross Gardler wrote:
>> Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>>> On Dec 27, 2005, at 9:14 PM, David Crossley wrote:
>>>> Leo Simons wrote:
>>>>> Thomas Dudziak wrote:
>>>>>> since I'm rather new to this, I don't have a deep  understanding
>>>>>> of the
>>>>>> problems you're trying to solve.
>>>>> None is needed, the problem is very simple.
>>>> The problems are not simple, or they would have been solved
>>>> years ago. Follow the site-dev discussions from mid-2004.
>>>> It seems that the publishing step is the hardest. No matter
>>>> what the tool, that step trips people up. It seems that
>>>> committers just will not do it. It could perhaps be automated,
>>>> however the requirement to check the generated docs into
>>>> svn prevents that (need a committer's svn credentials).\
>>> I don't understand.  Publshing to me should be "svn commit" after  I  
>>> look at the site with my local browser as a QA step.  And yes,   
>>> committers should be the only ones able to do it.
>> That is exactly what it is, when using ForrestBot (in fact you  don't 
>> even have to type "svn commit" since the tool does it for  you). The 
>> problem is that it requries SVN passwords or user  interaction and so 
>> can't be part of an automated tool.
> What's the "ForrestBot"?  I just want to

The forrestbot is a tool runs Forrest for you it can be run from the 
command line, via a cron job or via a servlet (i.e. no need to install 
locally). It will do useful things like send emails on success/failure 
(useful for periodic staging builds).

> a) edit
> b) render
> c) examine.  if not right, GOTO a)
> d) commit
> e) deploy
> a,c are entirely my choice of tool, so it's easy.
> d,e use one standard common tool.  it's easy.
> b needs to be simple and easy

The ForrestBot does b, d and e of your, i.e. the three steps that you 
don't list as "entirely my choice of tool". Although e) can not be done 
on ASF harware until there is a way such a tool can push the content to 
the live servers (same problem for all tools). Of course, it can do the 
preparation work, such as put it in a relevant SVN server for periodic 
pull deployment to the servers.

The advantage of the forrestbot is that if you have users who edit docs 
but do not do b through e, then a cron job will reularly run the build 
and report any problems via email. This also means there is a regularly 
built staging area for people to independantly do c) without the need to 
do b).

Couple this with other validation tools that can be set to run on the 
staging area, e.g. link checkers, accessibility checkers erc. and you 
have a level of automated validation of your site (we have not yet 
integrated such tools in the ForrestBot).

It's here, it works now and it is in use in production environments. 
However, it is not a simple lightweight tool for local use, it still 
suffers from the "Forrest is too much for our simple site needs" issue. 
As you will see if you are a site-dev subscriber, I'm not objecting to 
Leo doing this work, my only concen is the misinformation that is in 
this thread conerning Forrest.


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