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Looking back at the Cocoon GetTogether

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When I look to the right I see the lights of Rome. The plane just left Fiumicino and is flying back to Amsterdam. From chaos and last minute crisis management back to the over-organized northern Europe. From pizza and pasta back to a cheese sandwich. However I wasn’t in Rome just for fun, although we had a very good time. The first two days I spent most of the time preparing my talk, meet other Cocoonistas, walk through the zoo where the GetTogether was held and have very strong espresso to keep me awake.

The hackaton was completely different to me than last year. The 2006 edition was about fixing issues for Cocoon 2.1 and Cocoon 2.2 was still unknown to most of the attendees. This year 2.1 seemed almost dead although it is certainly not. Maybe little or nothing is committed into the 2.1 branch, people are still using it to develop web applications. If you follow the user mailing list you still read mails from people who just upgraded from an early 2.1 version to 2.1.10, although it’s time I should do more with 2.2. Not doing anything with it in the near future is the same as sticking to Windows 2000. It works fine, runs stable but the world is moving on.

Today was the conference day which started a bit later because most attendees rather spent their time in bed than at the conference (which I can imagine since we went for a drink around midnight). The facts-and-figures talk from Arjé Cahn was a lot shorter to save some time. After another two talks it was my turn to hold the microphone and tell something about the Cocoon project wizard we had developed at Hippo. With this project wizard you can get a new website project up and running in just 5 minutes. For my feeling I was in a constant fight with alt-tab and Powerpoint made it worse to display two icons. One for the full screen version and one for the editable version. Guess which I kept choosing… The live demo worked which it should because we’ve used it many times but Murphy’s law is always nearby. My colleagues said it went well so I try to trust them 🙂 After the talk two attendees said they are going to try the Cocoon project wizard themselves which made me happy.

Lars Trieloff came with a very interesitng talk about Dax. I may have read something about it before but a good presentation stays in my head better than letters on the screen. I tried DOM parsing in Flowscript once and to be honest, it’s a PITA. Bertrand did the same XSLT/Xpath talk as at the ApacheCon so I had some time to do red eye removal for the pictures of thursday evening and upload them to Flickr.

Lunch came a bit later (hey it’s Italy) so we had an hour to see parts of the zoo we hadn’t seen. However the lunch was really worth waiting for. We had pasta, lasagne, sausage, cheese, bread, wine and I probably forgot to mention other delicious things. The disadvantage of such a nice lunch and wine is that you need to take a nap after it. It took some time until the blood went back into my brain to pay attention to the talks. Especially Jeremy Quinn’s talk about stress testing Cocoon application and tuning for performance was interesting. It wasn’t even something that applied to Cocoon. It was a good reminder that you have to keep stress testing and find bottlenecks way before the application is going into production.

After Gianugo Rabellino thanked the people who organized the GT it was time to clean up and leave. I’ve had a great time in Rome.