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From Marc <kli...@saphor.de>
Subject Lenya -- questions and observations
Date Mon, 26 May 2003 16:21:17 GMT
Hi!

For some days I've been looking into Lenya, being intrigued by its
building on Cocoon. I downloaded the CVS version of 2002-05-22 as well
as all the recommended components as defined in the prerequisites
document to establish a clean testing system separate from our normal
Cocoon development and production environments. I compiled the
application successfully installed it, and started up. From what I can
gather from the sparse information available online and in the
sources, the project has a lot of potential -- but that didn't keep me
from running straight into a number of frustrating issues:

What is Lenya meant to do?

 My first issue is an extremely generic one: What is Lenya meant to achieve
 in the first place? The site itself defines it as a "Lenya CMS is an
 Open-Source Content Management and Publishing System written in 100%
 pure Java. It is based on open standards such as XML and XSLT. One of
 its core components is Cocoon from the Apache Software
 Foundation". However, is that really so or is it more of an CMS
 construction framework? What are its specific strengths that
 distinguish it from the literally hundreds of competitors on the CMS
 market?

 As far as the presentation on Lenya's start page is concerned, the
 implementation details are from a user's perspective far less
 important than the functionality the tool offers -- and the second
 paragraph which supposedly answers the functionality question, is far
 too technical in nature to be very useful. Unfortunately, I'm not yet
 involved enough with Lenya to suggest a replacement text.

 I can comment on the documentation separately, if desired.


Reference implementations?

 Of course, I'm highly interested to hear about reference
 implementations. Under Demo -> Apache Lenya Introduction (BTW, why is
 this important page not linked from documentation? And its online
 version doesn't work right now) I read about the NZZ and also about
 Computerworld, Forum, Oscom and Unipublic. Are all of these also
 reference implementations or just examples?


Database support?

 The CVS version seems to rely exclusively on filesystem based data
 storage. It is possible to use Lenya-managed database-based storage?
 Has anybody right now any experience with XIndice or another
 XML-database as data storage in Lenya?

Demo applications in the CVS version?

 None of the demo publications works out of the box. It is necessary
 to copy around DTDs, entity files etc. into the given directories to
 stop Cocoon from throwing FileNotFound-Exceptions in their various
 forms. Are there plans to move towards a catalog-based handling of
 DTDs?

 Some files such as xopus2-xhtml.xsl don't exist at all.

So much for today -- sorry for writing a first mail to the Lenya list that
seems so negative and is so long. However, it's indeed crucial what you
write yourself in the preamble -- "we made two crucial mistakes: Bad
Documentation and a bad installer. We hopefully do a better job this
time."


Best regards,

Marc

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