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From John Austin <>
Subject Giving up! Cocoon too big, slow and confusing
Date Thu, 27 Jun 2002 02:41:14 GMT
I'm back from a short vacation in beautiful Chicago (it really is much 
nicer than Toronto or Montreal) and have waded back in to Cocoon for a 
couple of days.

After just a few hours of poking around I have decided that it will be 
much simpler for me to simply hand-code a whole hat-full of servlets 
than to try and pull any meaning out of Cocoon and it's documentation.
Fifteen hours on the Interstate wasn't as challenging as trying to 
figure out how one should check a Web Form this month but I didn't have 
that feeling of travelling backwards half of the time. I was also able 
to predict and achieve forward progress (for a change).

Thanks guys, but no thanks. 

Maybe I'm getting old, but I really don't understand the need for all 
of the complexity and the lack of documentation in this product.

On the other hand, I used to feel the same way about the mind-numbing 
complexity of a certain thirty-year-old mainframe operating system 
(MVS) produced by IBM back in the sixties and it's patching system 
(SMP4). So it can't just be my age. 

Anyway, Cocoon has cost me far morte (a typo that's better than the 
original word) time than it was worth. The chief problems appear to 
have been endlessly re-invented terminology for an overwhelming number 
of 'new concepts' and a complete lack of consistency between different 
components (i.e. functional code, non-functional examples, unbuildable 
documentation and a website that doesn't match up with any single 
released version of the project).

I have a lot of respect for the ability of the people who have built 
this project, but I want them to know that their project appears to be 
out-of-control and could become very difficult to manage. If 
experienced developers (like myself) can't figure out how to use enough 
features in the product to make it worth using, then penetration will 
be limited and all of your efforts will be wasted. There is more to 
this business than stuffing in features at the expense of documentation 
and testing. You have a lot of very good ideas, but the execution of 
the project as a whole seems to be suffering.

I know that I will often look at my JSP and servlet code and think 'XSP 
and Cocoon were sooo much better!' until I remember that I wasn't ever 
able to use enough of Cocoon to make a profit.

Oh, well, at least all of my test systems have bags of memory now!

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