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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: [RT] Super Simple Site Generation Tool
Date Sun, 01 Jan 2006 22:54:40 GMT
Noel J. Bergman wrote:
> Ross Gardler wrote:

> As I understood your recent comments, you (Forrest) are actively working to
> make the workflow simpler, such than anyone should be able to download a
> binary, grab our site from SVN, build and publish.  Correct?

Yes that is correct. As an example, see the simple instructions for 
building and deploying the Forrest site (very small file):

We are also removing the need to have Forrest installed locally. In this 
instance just get Incubator SVN, make edits, commit, log in to a webapp 
and a click on a button to build the site for QA. OK, this is not a 
great idea for major edits or structural changes but, for very simple 
edits (spelling for example) this is great.

In other words you can get your community much more involved by removing 
the need to install/learn *any* software locally other than SVN and 
their chosen editor. Edit, commit, login, click.

Forrest does not enforce the same workflow on everyone (Cocoon, for 
example, use a CMS, thus removing the need to checkout SVN as well)

I find it strange that this thread claims the workflow is not supported, 
we support *many* workflows, including the one outlined in the very 
first mail of this thread.

>>Will it be timeley? I don't know we are all volunteers. It will take as
>>long as it takes.
> Best guess?

The one line build and commit works now.

The webapp described above works now (not yet working on the Forrest 
Zone, but I use it in a production).

Improve the local edit/build workflow? I intend to have a prototype 
within a week, it is holidays after all. However, no promises, I am a 
volunteer ;-)

What will this do? It will implement a new "forrest run" feature that 
will allow you to save a file to the built site from within the browser, 
as suggested by Geir in this thread.

Of course, the above build and deploy options will also be available 
from within the browser as part of this prototype.

> just run the ant build, optionally with a site target.  How
> hard would that be?  That seems to be the level of ease-of-use that people
> expect, and would welcome.

I don't think this is a problem, the "forrest" command is only a wrapper 
for Ant. We need a specific version of ANT but I don't think there are 
any remaining issues with using a version not supplied with Forrest 
itself. I'd need to confirm that with Forrest devs though.

> what if we were to put the correct
> version of Forrest as a binary in our site build structure, along with a
> build script?  That would ensure that the correct version is being used, and
> support better ease of use, no?

This is certainly possible. The problem is that Forrest is, as has been 
observed, a large download - too large (not 60Mb as someone claimed in 
this thread, more like around 20Mb, but still large).

I would actually recommend using a snapshot of SVN head instead. The 
reason being that we (Forrest) could add the incubator site to our 
integration tests on the Forrest zone. I like the idea of this because 
the Incubator use is not "typical" of Forrest users (for example, you 
use html sources).

Incubator wouldn't be using Forrest SVN head exactly, rather a "last 
known working version" packaged as a binary. We would store this in the 
Forrest SVN, and the incubator could include it in your checkout with an 
svn:external. Thus you would be protected from the occasional breaks in 
our codebase.

Downside? Periodic upgrades of this snapshot, which would be more 
frequent than Forrest releases would result in a large svn update.

NOTE: this would require the agreement of the Forrest community as 
someone would have to build this snapshot. I'm willing to volunteer to 
do that, but nevertheless, I don't represent the whole community and 
there may be objections. I will discuss on the Forrest list and report 
back here if there is interest.

I also volunteer to ensure the incubator site was kept up to date with 
changes in Forrest so that it will always build with the latest binary 
snapshot. Of course, there is always the risk that i disappear. We know 
the dangers of relying on a single person.

This could be avoided by sticking with a specific version of Forrest, 
again we could provide such a snapshot.


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