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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cocoon: Building XML Applications












Cocoon: Building XML Applications is a comprehensive hands-on guide to
the Apache open source project, Cocoon. Cocoon is an XML publishing
platform already being used by companies such as Hewlett Packard and
institutions such as NASA to build their next generation of Internet
architectures. Developers, administrators and managers will find this
detailed resource an invaluable tool whether you are looking for
introductory information on XML/XSL technologies, starting out with the
open source platform or seeking a guide to extending Cocoon with
additional components.

This book combines the knowledge of a key Cocoon developer with the
experience of someone who has been building and writing about Internet
applications since the early 1990’s. It begins by explaining the advantages
of XML, then guides the reader through the process of setting up Cocoon
and details the architecture from a user’s as well as a developer’s point of
view. The varied examples, from the typical Hello World program to a
complete news portal also help to provide an insight into applying open
source software to "real world" problems. A detailed reference section
documents the various components available in Cocoon and provides the
developer with the necessary API documentation.


Table of Content
Table of Content ............................................................................................................. 2
About the Authors........................................................................................................... 5
Acknowledgments........................................................................................................... 7
Tell Us What You Think................................................................................................. 8
Introduction.................................................................................................................... 9
Who Should Read This Book ..................................................................................... 9
Who This Book Is Not For.......................................................................................... 9
Overview..................................................................................................................... 9
Conventions Used in This Book ............................................................................... 10
Chapter 1. An Introduction to Internet Applications .................................................... 11
A Brief History of Internet Applications .................................................................. 11
Scripting Languages.................................................................................................. 16
Application Architectures ......................................................................................... 22
The Challenges of Building Internet Applications ................................................... 28
Using Cocoon to Meet the Challenges...................................................................... 31
Chapter 2. Building the Machine Web with XML ....................................................... 33
HTML Applications.................................................................................................. 33
XML Arrives on the Scene ....................................................................................... 36
Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) and XSL Transformations (XSLT)............ 43
Building XML Applications ..................................................................................... 50
Apache Cocoon......................................................................................................... 56
Summary................................................................................................................... 58
Chapter 3. Getting Started with Cocoon....................................................................... 59
Prerequisites for Installing Cocoon........................................................................... 59
Step-by-Step Instructions.......................................................................................... 60
Obtaining a Newer Version of Cocoon..................................................................... 67
On We Go ................................................................................................................. 69
Chapter 4. Putting Cocoon to Work.............................................................................. 70
Cocoon: The Big Picture........................................................................................... 70
A Closer Look at the Sitemap................................................................................... 78
Getting Practical........................................................................................................ 88
Advanced Components and Examples.................................................................... 119
Summary................................................................................................................. 134
Chapter 5. Cocoon News Portal: Entry Version ......................................................... 136
Which Data Sources?.............................................................................................. 136
Designing the Layout.............................................................................................. 138
The Application Architecture ................................................................................. 141
Putting It All Together ............................................................................................ 143
The Complete Entry Version .................................................................................. 147
Chapter 6. A User’s Look at the Cocoon Architecture............................................... 148
The Cocoon Architecture in Detail ......................................................................... 148
Advanced Sitemap Features.................................................................................... 163
Using the Command-Line Interface........................................................................ 182
Practical Examples and Tips................................................................................... 184
Wrapping Up the User Perspective......................................................................... 193
Chapter 7. Cocoon News Portal: Extended Version................................................... 195
Designing the Portal................................................................................................ 196
Integrating Data Sources into the Portal ................................................................. 199
Building the Portal’s Functionality......................................................................... 202
Closing the Portal.................................................................................................... 216
Chapter 8. A Developer’s Look at the Cocoon Architecture...................................... 217
The Avalon Component Model .............................................................................. 218
SAX Event Handling .............................................................................................. 234
Cocoon Internals ..................................................................................................... 239
Enough Theory........................................................................................................ 251
Chapter 9. Developing Components for Cocoon........................................................ 252
What Is Needed to Develop Cocoon Components ................................................. 252
Sitemap Components .............................................................................................. 253
Advanced Components ........................................................................................... 281
Wrapping Up the Developer Perspective................................................................ 302
Chapter 10. Cocoon News Portal: Advanced Version................................................ 303
Extensible Server Pages (XSP)............................................................................... 303
Extending the Extended Portal................................................................................ 311
Building the Portal with XSP.................................................................................. 314
Adding New Features ............................................................................................. 320
Running the Portal .................................................................................................. 323
Conceiving and Designing a Cocoon Application.................................................. 325
Chapter 11. Designing Cocoon Applications.............................................................. 326
The Application Concept ........................................................................................ 327
Different Types of Applications ............................................................................. 337
Summary................................................................................................................. 341
Chapter 12. Cocoon: Weaving the Future................................................................... 342
The Evolving Cocoon Architecture ........................................................................ 342
Cocoon Usage Scenarios......................................................................................... 346
Unraveling Cocoon ................................................................................................. 350
Appendix A. Cocoon Components ............................................................................. 351
Common Components in cocoon.xconf.................................................................. 359
Appendix B. Cocoon API Specifications.................................................................... 363
Avalon Framework and LogKit .............................................................................. 363
Cocoon .................................................................................................................... 383
SAX......................................................................................................................... 436
Appendix C. Links on the Web................................................................................... 453
Chapter 1, “An Introduction to Internet Applications”........................................... 453
Chapter 2, “Building the Machine Web with XML”.............................................. 454
Chapter 3, “Getting Started with Cocoon” ............................................................. 455
Chapter 4, “Putting Cocoon to Work” .................................................................... 456
Chapter 5, “Cocoon News Portal: Entry Version”.................................................. 456
Chapter 7, “Cocoon News Portal: Extended Version” ........................................... 457
Chapter 8, “A Developer’s Look at the Cocoon Architecture” .............................. 457
Chapter 9, “Developing Components for Cocoon” ................................................ 457
Chapter 11, “Designing Cocoon Applications” ...................................................... 458

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