Saturday, November 02, 2002

Cocoon - a top level Apache Project

After more than 4 yers in existance, 50 commiters and code base
bigger than most Apache sub-projects,
Cocoon is on its way to become a top level Apache project.
Voting procedure started a few days ago.
So far there have been over 20 positive votes and no negative ones.

If you are an Apache commiter, cast your vote on the community mailing list.

Thursday, October 17, 2002 embedded in the portal

OpenWiki has exactly the architecture which allows it to be plugged in the portal.
Each of its web pages can be served in a rich, presentation neutral XML format.
To make life even easier, OpenWiki conveniently provides XSLT stylesheets.
I have slightly modified the origninals to align them with the portal look and feel.
Some more work has to be done for the templates which handle editing a wiki page.
Thanks to Michael Cote for pointing out OpenWiki.
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Amazon Functionality Syndication Demo Is Here

The initial portal demonstrating syndication of functionality is available.
Source code is also provided. I think its value is the simplicity.
Using Cocoon's powerful sitemap and refactoring Amazon's sample stylesheets
anyone can build a personalized in hours.
0 lines of programming language code (Java,PHP,Perl,Pyhon, etc.)!
Only styling (XSLT)!

Here is the demo:

Monday, October 07, 2002

Apache Axis 1.0 Released

Axis (previously known as Apache SOAP) has been in active development over a year.
It has finally reached a stable state which passes Sun's JAX-RPC and JAAS tests.
Although work remains to be done for full compiance with SOAP 1.2,
Java Web Services developers can now start working with something quite reliable.

See the article here:

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Starting work on an functionality Syndication demo

Based on recent research and work in the Portal Syndication area,
I have decided to step up to the next challange.
I will be implementing a syndication demo which will allow anyone to embed search, navigation and purchase transactions within a web site,
by utilizing the Web Service Proxy component.
Check back in a week or so for more news.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

The Web Syndication article got acknowledged by another tech news site published the web syndication article, which was originally presented

Available here

Thursday, August 29, 2002 published a new article on Web Syndication with Cocoon

This article is an interesting piece showing how complete web syndication is possible for both content and functionality
by utilizing components in Cocoon 2.1.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

A new Staging Sandbox for Cocoon documentation has been established

Steven Noels started a Wiki site which will stimulate contributions to the Cocoon documentation project.
Providing a fast and easy access for editing existing documents and adding new ones, the site has attracted a dozen
contributors and has been very active recently.

Documents which are considered stable and of good quality, will be ported to the main Cocoon documentation pages.

The Wiki site is located here

Andrew Oliver published a complex Cocoon demo application

This application is a "Reverse Auction" site which shows the use of
many Cocoon components in practice.

It is
Hosted here.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Getting Started with Cocoon 2

Introductory article
published on by Steve Punte

Building XML Portals with Cocoon

New article
on by Carsten Ziegeler and Matthew Langham.
Introduces the Authentication and Portal frameworks, recently contributed to Apache Cocoon.

Friday, July 12, 2002

RSS Best Practices

If you are publishing content and consider syndication, then you may want to look at

Steve Jenson's recommendations


REST Tutorial


piece of work

by Roger Costello.

REST programming best practices


of the suggestions for aesthetic REST programming, which were suggested on the rest-discuss mailing list.
By Kendall Grant Clark.

XSLT -> HTML best practices

David Jacobs

published a valuable article

on common misconcept and pitfalls web designers fall in when using XSLT to convert XML to HTML.

Eclipse 2.0 is the first Java IDE (I am aware of) to support HotSwap

Using a new feature in JPDA implemented in JVM 1.4, Eclipse 2.0 allows classes to be recompiled and replaced without restarting the target application.
Pretty Cool. Read more about it

Friday, July 05, 2002

Embedding One Web Site Functionality in Another with Cocoon 2

For quite some time web sites are exchanging news feeds and other one way
content via RSS. Some portals are even outsourcing and co-branding web
As appealing and feasible as this may seem, most of today's implementations
are quite rugged.

Let's follow a typical scenario:
User logs in to a familiar portal and happily browses around.
At some point the user clicks on a link which leads to a strange page.
It has the portal logo, might even show the user login id but looks very
different and unfamiliar... After some time and frustration the user gets
used to switching back and forth between the two faces of the portal...
while looking for another provider which offers both services in a coherent
graphical interface.

This story is not uncommon and is an inherent problem with the traditional
HTML based publishing.

Outsourcing interactive components to a third party site, while preserving
the look & feel of the original portal is still possible when done right.
Cocoon has a solution.

The new Web Service Proxy component is built to help with this very problem.
Once plugged in the sitemap, it transparently pipes browser requests to a
remote web app and returns the response back to the sitemap.

Remote Web Site Integration is an easy task with Cocoon.
The WebServiceProxyGenerator sitemap component,
combined with the XMLForm framework and XSLT, allows
vendors to share interactive content with little effort.

The Web Service Proxy takes advantage of the fact that
a Cocoon web application produces XML content
which is later translated into multiple presentation formats, like HTML or WML.

Having a client independent XML format, allows the containing site to
pull the content and style it with XSLT in a desired the Look & Feel.

Ok, styling presentation is easy to understand, but how is a form submitted to the original site?

Since the form markup in the XML content of an embedded page uses relative URL
address for the target, once the end user submits, the form data is sent to the
containing site, which captures the form data and the relative URL.
The Web Service Proxy then takes this information and re-submits it to the
original site. It then reads the XML response and makes it available to the
sitemap for styling again.

Hm, but a typical web application maintains a session while going through
multiple pages. So, how is the containing site propagating the end user session to the
to the embedded site?

The answer is simple. The Web Service Proxy simply hooks to the end user session,
and automatically starts its own session with the remote site.
If the remote site does not require authentication, then everything is transparent
to the developer of the containing web site. Otherwise the WebServiceProxyGenerator
has to be extended to override the procedure for initating session with the remote site.

What transport protocols are supported?

HTTP 1.0, HTTP 1.1, HTTPS.

Have more questions? Look at the code, it is really simple.
If you need advise, search through the Cocoon mailing lists archives.
If you can't find the answer, email your question to the Cocoon mailing lists.
Finally, if you need to contact me, send email to Ivelin Ivanov,

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Introduction to Cocoon: How to publish XML documents in HTML and PDF

Without requiring any prior knowledge of Cocoon, XSLT or XSL-FO, this How-To shows you how to publish XML documents in HTML and PDF using Cocoon.
by Bertrand Delacrétaz

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Finally, the REST blizzard got through the W3C roof. BEA proposed HTTP GET Binding for SOAP.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Leigh Dodds, published an authoritative roundup on the REST vs SOAP virtual warfare. I don't think this is the end of it, but at least by now a few things are clear: 1) Web applications as we know them are here to stay. 2) Web services will not magicly overtake the Internet unless they take into account 1)

REST roundup

Monday, June 03, 2002

XMLForm, a servers side implementation of XForms has been contributed to Apache Cocoon.
Documentation is publicly available at

Cocoon's web site

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Hello, is a supporting site for the Apache Cocoon project. provides quality information about XML Publishing with Cocoon by maintaining a catalog of articles on Best Practices, Use Cases and Success Stories.

The site is currently being built. Please visit again after June 10, 2002