Writing stuff for/with Cocoon

I’ve been coding again lately. Boy, that feels good for a change, after a lot of time spent doing project management, offerings, backoffice and a LOT of travel. Sure, you earn free miles for vacation flights, but what’s the point when you don’t have any time off?

Anyway, back to coding: I’ve been using Cocoon again and I’m amazed at how far it went, how incredibly powerful CForms + continuations are, and how easy is to build a seemingly complex app with very few lines of code: I have sitting on my hard disk a full-fledged web file manager with inline XHTML editing, with full internationalization and skin support. with this little thingy you can manage almost everything: a local file system or a remote FTP/WebDAV server (we’re using it as a Subversion frontend). All this fits into less than 150K of overall code, and could definitely use more optimization. We’re using it as a poor man’s CMS and fits the job quite nicely. And yes, as soon as I manage to polish it a bit better, it will be Open Sourced. Hey, glad you asked! 🙂

There is quite a bit of room for optimization in Cocoon though, especially with regard to ease of configuration and deployment. There are very promising work in progress (Sylvain and Carsten rock!) about better componentization and modular configuration, but this is really, and badly, needed. It’s incredibly and overly painful to come up with a nice setup to integrate, deploy and distribute an application inside Cocoon. At best, there is a royal PITA in managing patch files for configuration, copying resources and libraries all around the place and figuring out the best way to make an application really portable (where “portable” to me means that it can be mounted anywhere inside a Cocoon installation: Application “foo” should work as /, /foo, /bar/foo and so on).

Howerer, no pain no gain, and using Cocoon indeed pays off in the end: big time. And I hope to have some time this year to help in this area.

(now, if only the Slide folks had not badly broken their client library I would be a much happier man…)