I downloaded Cocoon 2.1.4 recently. I hadn’t looked at it in at least a year, maybe two. Tonight I got the chance to get it up and running. Man, has it come a long way! I don’t know enough about it yet but it seems very powerful. (I am easily impressed by the slick demos). I sort of got the same tingly feeling I got when I first installed Zope. Cocoon is much more XML-centric, though. It’s also got Apache Axis built-in so it is web services ready. There are many other built-in Apache projects that add to its power but they are too numerous to mention here.
Here are a couple of links…
— What is it: http://cocoon.apache.org/2.1/
— Features: http://cocoon.apache.org/2.1/features.html
— Lenya CMS: http://cocoon.apache.org/lenya/
and some of the OOTB samples I thought were cool…
— All of the form processing framework samples (JXForms, Woody)
— SVG, PDF, JPEG, and PNG on-the-fly generation (Batik, FOP)
— Web services (SOAP and Axis)
— Lucene search engine
— xMIDI (just for fun)
— Linotype blog example, although I had problems getting it to run
If you have the time or the inclination, download Cocoon and look through the samples. The build process is paineless. You don’t even need Tomcat to play with it because it embeds its own servlet container (Jetty).
In the early days of Cocoon I remember the install being sketchy and the samples library being pretty lame. You should see it now. Your head will start spinning.
Cocoon seems powerful but also complex. I’ve only scratched the surface but I’ve seen enough to want to learn more.