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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: [RT] Super Simple Site Generation Tool
Date Fri, 30 Dec 2005 14:38:04 GMT
Geir Magnusson Jr wrote:
>> Forrest is much more than the "simple site generation tool" that the 
>> subject says is wanted here, I recognise that Forrest may not be the 
>> right tool for this job. I happen to disagree, but I recognise the 
>> possibility.
> Well, if you believe Forrest could be, then do it :)  

I think we *are* doing it. Leo just sent a very useful mail to our user 
list and to myself (actually it is stuck in moderation since he is not 
subscribed). I've prepared my response there.

It seems that around 80% of the issues raised either have been addressed 
or are in the process of being addressed. The problem is not one of 
doing it, but accepting that we are doing it, and working with us to 
understand it.

Of course that remaining 20% is vital to us and very helpful feedback.

> Some basic things 
> that you've heard here -
> 1) Don't make us checkout some fixed branch of source and build it. I 
> was recently admonished for using the actual release from the project to 
>  build the Incubator site.   I used to want to build everything, 
> including my Linux Kernels.  I'm too old now.

I have no idea why you are using the release branch rather than the 
binary release. There are no bug fixes in that branch that I am aware 
of. If I am mistaken you could have asked us (via our dev list) to 
create a binary snapshot for you - I'd have been more than happy to do so.

I only just joined this list because I became aware of issues with 
Forrest, I don't know the history here.

> 2) Reduce the surprises.  Consider that many people here have become 
> accustomed - rightly or wrongly - to the way Anakia tries to render 
> everything in the doc tree, and see what you can do to fix that and 
> mimic that workflow and the user expectations that arise from knowing it.

There are good reasons why we do not render everything in the document 
tree, and we will never do so by default.

If this ever becomes my own itch, I'll add a config property to 
optionally include everything in the doc tree for users like yourself. 
In the meantime, how to do it is explained in our FAQ, so should you 
ever use Forrest again and you need this feature we'd welcome a patch.

As for workflow, I think I covered this in earlier messages, Forrest 
does support the workflow outlined by Leo and yourself.

> 3) When I touch something via browser in 'forrest run' mode, WRITE THE 
> CHANGE TO DISK.  I (as the user) think that I'm looking at the site as 
> rendered, and was really stumped when no such change really happened.

This is a new feature request I've never heard before. It actually makes 
alot of sense, and like all good ideas is really obvious to anyone but a 
developer who is too comfortable with the tool.

It would address a common concern (have to render the whole site even if 
a single page has changed). I'll look into this one on the Forrest dev list.

> 3) Don't expect that I'm going to go and read Forrest docs to do what I 
> (as the user) think of as basic things.  I won't.   I did read the 
> 5-step on the Forrest site that fateful saturday when I was trying to 
> fix that orphan page, and I thought I did all the right things.  I 
> supposed I did from your POV - it's just that my "right things" and your 
> "right things" are different, and hence the gap.

Yes, I can accept that that our "right things" are different. But I'm 
still disappointed that when your "right thing" didn't work as expected 
you "banged your head against a wall" for hours rather than spend just 
five minutes sending a mail to our lists to get the answer that is now 
in our FAQ.

If you had you would probably be saying "well it confused the hell out 
of me, but the Forrest guys explained what was going on and showed me 
how to fix it pretty quickly". Then I wouldn't need to defend what we do 
in public forums like this.

> Thanks for sticking with us here on this.  I know what it's like to be 
> piled on in a public forum, and none of us meant to do that.  It's just 
> that there is legitimate frustration.

It does seem to have finally boiled down to a few legitimate 
frutstrations. Thank you for being patient enough to get to the bottom 
of these concerns.

(wow I think we reached a mutual consensus here :-))


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