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From Michael Wechner <>
Subject Proposal for Lenya
Date Wed, 19 Feb 2003 15:01:16 GMT
Dear Incubator List

Here's our proposal for _Lenya_ (plz see below), a Content Management 
System based on Cocoon. The proposal can also be viewed as HTML at:

Relevant Links are also:




Proposal for Lenya, A Cocoon Subproject (via Incubator)


14 February 2003


Gregor J. Rothfuss

Michael H. Wechner



Lenya is a content management system built around open standards
like XML and XSLT. It is currently based on the XML publishing and 
application framework Cocoon.

One of the core philosophies is to avoid lock-in.
You should be able to switch the CMS at any time.
Lenya, unlike other Content Management Systems, goes the extra mile to make
sure that its contents and functionalities can easily be migrated (or 
exchanged with) to and from other
This means that all components (access controller, revision controller, 
scheduler, etc.) are also based on XML.

Another core philosophy is to make the CMS as user-friendly as possible.
This has already been achieved quite well by the Lenya menubar, which
allows the user/editor to navigate within the original publication.
The menubar is the only UI element to learn by a human editor.
Through the implementation of the WYSIWYG editor software Xopus (and 
Bitflux), Lenya makes editing
XML documents effortless even for non-technical users.

Lenya fits nicely into a multi-tier architecture made up of various ASF 

Xopus <--> Lenya <--> Cocoon <--> Slide <-->  Xindice


Xopus:   WYSIWYG Editor (subject to another incubator proposal)
Lenya:   Content Management System
Cocoon:  XML Publishing and Application Framework
Slide:   Content Management Framework (WebDAV and Content Repository API)
Xindice: XML Content Store

Lenya leverages existing Apache projects as parts of its multi-tier 
whereas the editor (e.g. Xopus) and the content store (e.g. Xindice) are 
by any other interface compliant editor resp. content store. Lenya 
already supports
more than one editor (Xopus, Bitflux and HTML-Form-Editor). More 
information on
the architecture is available at

Lenya was formerly known as Wyona CMS, but out of respect and to avoid 
branding collisions with the commercial entity Wyona 
(, the CMS project  will be renamed to Lenya.
More information on the Wyona CMS project is available at


Design decisions are discussed on the Lenya developers mailing
list, and are taken with an eye towards easy integration with
underlying technologies such as Cocoon and Slide in mind. Input
from the community is regularly explicitly requested and is
incorporated into the roadmap.

Current Community:
The Lenya community consists of the employees of Wyona AG,
its customers, third-party developers and interested
individuals. At this time, there are 78 individuals on the
Lenya developers mailing list and 149 individuals on the Lenya users 
mailing list.

-NZZ (the most prestigious newspaper of Switzerland,
-University of Zurich (
-Computerworld (
-OSCOM (Open Source Content Management,

Core Developers:
Michael Wechner developed the first version of Lenya in 1999.
By the end of 2001 Michael Wechner ported Lenya on top of Cocoon with
the help of Giacomo Pati and Memo Birgi.
5 developers at Wyona AG contribute to the Wyona project on a regular 
basis, and there
are also external committers.

Lenya is based on and built around several Apache projects,
and is licensed under the Apache Software License.

Develop Lenya as (a currently missing) part of a multi-tier architecture for
content management, made up of various ASF projects.

Warning Signs

Orphaned code:
Lenya has some dead code predating its port to Cocoon, but we are
refactoring it as we speak.
We aim to use even more
Apache software in the future, gradually ripping out our
home-brewed code.

The orginal creator/author of Lenya, Michael Wechner, has been working
with XML technologies and Java for over 5 years. The first
version of Lenya predated Coccon, and he actually wrote his own
XML pipeline processor before he gladly left that part to Cocoon.
Other core contributors have years of experience in writing web
applications in various languages and environments
(Java, PHP, Perl, ASP *GASP* and other, forgotten languages)
and are very active in the open source community (cocooncenter, 
Postnuke/Xaraya, OSCOM, etc.).

Homogeneous Developers:
Our developers have very diverse backgrounds, bringing very
different opinions about "the right way to do it" to the project.
This results in lively discussions as more options are evaluated.

Reliance on Salaried Developers:
While the most part of developement activities originates from
Wyona AG, there are also external contributors. The aim
is thus to strenghten and diversify the developer base.

No ties to other Apache Products:
See above, Lenya makes extensive use of Apache technologies.

Fascination with Apache Brand:
We at Lenya both marvel at the technical skills of the Apache
projects, and its love for standards.
Being proponents of Java and XML technologies, and due to our
own  experiences working in various open source projects,
we feel that we see eye to eye with Apache.


The aim of the Lenya project is to produce a content management
system that is clearly superior to alternatives in the areas
where we want to focus. Our roadmap explains it in more detail 
We understand that a CMS cannot be a thing to all people, and we
are aware of both our strengths and weaknesses.

We believe that it is possible to create an XML(-Java)-based CMS that
has both excellent technological foundations, yet is easy to use.
Current efforts fall short in various ways.
A closer cooperation with other Apache projects
will allow us to concentrate even more on our strengths and will
help us to overcome current pitfalls.

Initial Source

The initial source from which the subproject is to be populated is 
located at

ASF Resources

Mailing Lists





Currently, there are mailing lists at



Currently, there is a CVS at


Currently, there is a bugzilla at

Inital Committers

Jürgen Bigalke

Memo Birgi

Edith Chevrier

Christian Egli

Andreas Hartmann

Marc Liyanage

Felix Mäder

Giacomo Pati

Gregor J. Rothfuss

Thorsten Scherler

Michael Wechner

Apache Sponsors

Stefano Mazzocchi

Nicola Ken Barozzi

Open Issues

Clarify the multi-tier architecture.

Refine scope with regard to other Apache projects.


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