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From Paul Hammant <>
Subject Re: Official direction for xdocs
Date Tue, 19 Feb 2002 10:56:46 GMT
Thanks Stefan, Erik & Bill,

>On Sat, 16 Feb 2002, Paul Hammant <> wrote:
>>Question : What is the official direction for xdocs?
>There is none.
>Most Jakarta projects (including Ant) use Anakia to transform XML
>documents into HTML pages - the xdocs use a different DTD from
>stylebook.  Anakia is available from the Velocity project and it is
>linked from Ant's External Tools and Tasks page.
>Then there is an optional <stylebook> task, but AFAIK stylebook is
>more or less unmaintained.  jakarta-cactus uses <stylebook>.  What
>have been the missing parts that made you build a special
I'm talking of a position a year ago, when the doanloadable ant could 
not use <stylebook>, jars had to be downloaded and a 
recompile or optional.jar issued.  If <stylebook> is as good as dead, 
then the it does not matter any more.

>I've seen people use <style> directly instead of <stylebook>,
>jakarta-avalon does so for example.
I think it <java> invokes Cocoon now (Cocoon being an excellent Avalon 

>And then there are the examples of using <java> to invoke cocoon,
>namely Cocoon itself, but I'd expect xml-forrest to do the same.
>I wouldn't be surprised if a <cocoon> task would be shipped as part of
>Cocoon in the future.
>So my basic answer is that there is no "official direction for xdocs",
>every project uses whatever the developers prefer to use.  In no case
>there is a single download as Ant doesn't want to include all the
>required libraries - well, if you use JDK 1.4, then you have a single
>download in Ant when you use <style> directly as JDK 1.4 ships with a
>(buggy) TraX compliant XSLT processor.
It seems odd to me that many of the major projects at Apache have xdocs, 
but there is no way of using the downloaded ant via ANT_HOME to 
completely build the project.  Avalon "solves" the issue by keeping in 
its tree its own version of Ant. In that ant we have stuffed many other 
jars.  It kinda diminishes the experience of the newbie.  Nikola Barrozi 
has an excellent Ant using "starter project" for third parties called 
Centipede.  Like Cocoon's build files it is well separated, but building 
in a custom version of Ant with Cocoon in it.  The download size (IMHO) 
will put off prospective newbies as people automatically fear something 
that appears to have a custom any in it.

In one line : I find it odd that Ant has no default way of building 
xdocs in its downloadable form.

We are all involved in projects that have a solution already.  Newbies 
don' - they end up using the Ant download but not with xdocs...

- Paul

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