Cocoon

That was the Cocoon GetTogether 2007 Rome

After two interesting Hackathon days, Friday was reserved for the ‘official’ program. After doing my keynoteCocoon 2.2 – A long Journey“, Francesco Chicchiriccò did a presentation “Hands on Cocoon“. He was talking about a lot of projects that he implemented based on Cocoon. Quite impressive and showed me again how powerful Cocoon is.

Jasha Joachimsthal continued with “Create your website in 5 minutes with the Cocoon Project Wizard“. Since he was talking about Cocoon 2.1, it was interessting to listen to his analysis of what needs to be improved and compare it with that what Cocoon 2.2 offers. I’m happy to say that he will find a lot of cool stuff and that we have established contracts on things that have been unspecified yet.

The next one was Bertrand Delacretaz with “XSLT and XPath – without the pain!“. Since XSLT is heavily used in Cocoon applications I don’t think that people heard a lot of new things. Though the interesting thing was how Bertrand structured his presentation. I’m sure that this will help many of us who do trainings on XSLT to get ideas how to make it easier for newbies to understand this different programming language.

Lars Trieloff was talking about “DAX – Where flowscript and XSLT meet“. DAX stands for Declarative API for XML. The idea is to make it easy for others to write transformations in more familiar languages like Java or Javascript. Since I’m fluent in XSLT this wouldn’t be that appealing for me. The interesting point for me is that you can get access to the outside world (e.g. a Spring bean) very easily which I was missing once and then before. Obviously there is a Cocoon integration in the form of a transformer. After thinking about it for a while I’m not sure if I recommend the usage of DAX because it is too easy to implement side effects. Hmmmm.

Vadim Gritsenko showed how you can use Cocoon 2.2 the classic way.  Of course that’s not recommended for new projects, but if you have  an already existing Cocoon 2.1 application and want to migrate to the latest and greatest stuff, then his guide is more than helpful. I hope that he finds some time to start off writing a migration guide.

After having a great meal next to the hippos and elephants (the GT took place in a Zoo!), Carsten Ziegeler and Bertrand Delacretaz gave a presentation titled “Bye bye Avalon: an introduction to OSGi“. They explained the motivation behind component based applications and how they devloped over time. Finally the closed the session with a simple OSGi example.

For some of us a deja vu, Daniel Fagerstrom was talking (again) about Cocoon OSGi. After a first attempt two years ago he is working again on this stuff. Thanks to Apache Felix and the Spring-OSGi subproject he has already come rather far. The way things are going his work can be merged into trunk by the end of the year. But don’t be worried about having to learn all this new stuff when you want to work with Cocoon 2.2. We will still fully support the conventional way of using only Spring as sole container too.

The next speaker was Lars Trieloff talking about “Mindquarry Collaboration Software“. Mindquarry uses a huge stack of technologies (SVN, Jackrabitt, Dojo, Jackrabitt, SubethaSMTP, etc.) and Cocoon is playing the role of clueing all the things together. The most interesting parts of his presentations were his lessons learned. As it shows the devil is very often in the details. When working on an architecture it really pays off if you are well acquainted with the technologies that you pull together.

Jeremy Quinn did the last presentation of the day talking titled “Break my site: Practical Stress Testing and Tuning of Cocoon Applications“. The information he gave wasn’t in particular Cocoon specific though useful for everybody who builds web applications.

Find most of the presentations available as downloads at the Cocoon Wiki.

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