Sunday, January 06, 2008

Decisions decisions.. choosing technologies

Ah but it is so difficult sometimes to choose one technology over another. I have been a big fan of Cocoon for several years now, and know how to use it in some scenarios but not in others, I don't know of a better publishing platform, but what about when you need to work with dynamic input, and databases, what patterns are in place for that side of things?

I have yet to find a better templating system than XSLT, but then when you are getting your data dynamically from a database you don't necessarily want to be working with it in XML. What I really need is a pattern where we can splice seamlessly data from XML, database, and other backend sources, without adding the overhead of squeezing the database results into XML format. Oh and to confuse things further, I'd like to do it with Cocoon 2.2, for which there is nowhere near enough documentation yet.

On recent projects for my new company, in an effort to build componentised platforms for working in a modular way with dynamic data from a database backend, I have worked with JSF and Facelets, and while it is a big improvement over JSF with JSP, there is something that still does not feel natural about it. I get no warm glow like I do when I revisit similar past projects written in Cocoon.... perhaps I am not adapting to change very well, I don't know.. perhaps there was a more domain based language approach using Cocoon and custom templating / component systems?

If anyone has any advice on working with multiple backend stores in a fluid way with Cocoon 2.2, I'd love them to point the way.

On the same subject are there any profiling results out for Cocoon 2.2 benchmarks, without caching, information on the reduction in bloat? It would be interesting reading.