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From "Steve Brewin" <sbre...@synsys.com>
Subject RE: site process
Date Thu, 16 Dec 2004 15:41:40 GMT
We seem to have at least four distinct issues here...

1) The document source format which is difficult to develop and maintain
without a WSIWYG editor that natively supports the chosen format.

2) The task(s) used to transform each document from source format to
presentation format.

3) The organisation of the content.

4) The build tool used to drive the task(s) in (2).

I took a quick look at Apache Forrest and a number of the sites produced by
it (http://forrest.apache.org/live-sites.html). Here is how I rate it
against the above issues...

1) By default, Forrest uses xdoc just as we do now, though it can be
configured to use other source formats. One example alternative source
format is OpenOffice, there is also "partial" support for Wiki formats.

Multiple source formats are supported, so we could retain what we have in
xdoc and develop new documents in an alternative supported format if we

2) Forrest can be invoked from the command line or via an Ant task. A site
can be published in a number of presentation formats, HTML and PDF being the
most common. 'Skins' can be applied to give a site a custom look and feel.

3) Supports any layout we decide on.

4) Forrest's Ant task can be invoked via an Ant or a Maven build script. Or,
"Forrestbot lets you automate building & deploying websites". The build tool
does not have to change unless we want it to.

The documentation says that if you already have a site, you can point
Forrest at the xdocs and see what you get. I haven't had time, but it could
be worth a shot!

There may be enough attractive features here to make a change worthwhile.


-- Steve

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