This page is intended to summarize and define Lenya terminology, to point out usage inconsistencies and synonymous terms, and to collect pointers to more detailed information either in the official Lenya documentation or other pages in this wiki.

It is aimed at new Lenya users looking for a short primer, at proficient users in need of a handy reference and at developers and documentation writers who need a quick refresher in order to maintain consistent usage of technical terms in their code comments and docs.

For a comparison of Lenya's terminology with that of other Content Management Systems see CMSTerminologyComparison.

A more concise top-down overview of those key terms concerning Lenya content structure can be found at GlossaryStructure.

This page is meant to apply to all versions of Lenya, although it currently concentrates on Lenya 2.0. Where Lenya 1.2.X usage differs, please mark it with [Lenya 1.2.X].

access control

<p> The functionality needed to restrict and control who may edit, publish or visit the content of a Lenya publication.</p>

(see also OverviewAuthenticationAndAuthorization)


<p> An access control object which can have certain <strong>=&gt;roles</strong> on URLs. See also <strong>=&gt;policies</strong>. Currently used accreditables are:</p>
  • =>user
  • =>group
  • =>IP range
  • =>world
    <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> (1) n: An <strong>=&gt;area</strong>. (2) v: The act of moving a deactivated document to the archive area for later reference or re-use (as opposed to deleting it). <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

    <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> In Lenya, the content can exist in different versions at the same time. The "storage containers" of the content version sets are called areas. At the moment, the following areas are supported: <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

  • authoring - edit pages
  • live - the published pages, visible to site visitors
  • archive - archived pages, can be restored
  • trash - deleted pages, can be restored until trash is emptied.
  • admin - administration area (not really a content area, just a tab for administrative tasks).
  • staging - review edited pages (this is not supported in Lenya 2.0)

In Lenya 1.2, the prefix "info-" can be added to the authoring, staging, archive, and trash areas. This is used to display the sitetree and page information (commonly refered to as "info area").

The areas share many properties (notably the presentation of the content), but can have additional properties of their own (an obvious example are the editing menus in the authoring area). Live and authoring can have different content.
A page moves from authoring to live and back according to *=>workflow*s.

In the docs you will sometimes find term mode instead of "area" to describe the same concept.

(see also

[The area concept is currently debated and will probably be scrapped for the next major release.]


<p> A generic term for image and other media files embedded in an XML document. In Lenya 1.2, assets belong to single pages. They are not versioned. In Lenya 2.0, assets are ordinary documents of type "resource", and they are included as links.</p>


<p> see <strong>=&gt;area</strong></p>


<p> An web development framework under the hood of the Apache Software Foundation, built around the concepts of separation of concerns and component-based web development. Lenya is based on Cocoon, and basic Cocoon knowledge is essential to customize a Lenya-driven website.</p>

(see also: OverviewCocoonKnowledge and


<p> The entirety of information provided by a <strong>=&gt;publication</strong>.</p>

content item

<p> A generic term including XML content (language versions) and assets.</p>

[This is awkward. "document" seems to be the preferred term on the mailing lists.]

content type

<p> A synonym for <strong>=&gt;resource type</strong> (Lenya 2.0) or <strong>=&gt;document type</strong> (Lenya 1.2).</p>


<p> Sometimes called the "servlet context", this refers to a URI prefix that may be required to distinguish the Lenya application from other web applications on the same server. Typically this is absent when running Lenya under the bundled Jetty application server, or "/lenya" when running under Tomcat, <span class="error">&#91;WebLogic&#93;</span> or others. The context used to be a source of many bugs before Lenya 2.0, because it's easy to forget to include it when you are running in root context, causing your code to break when deployed in Tomcat. In Lenya 2.0, the <span class="error">&#91;ProxyTransformer&#93;</span> takes care of prepending the context to all URLs before a page is delivered.</p>


<p> The act of removing a document from the <strong>=&gt;live</strong> <strong>=&gt;area</strong>. See also: <strong>=&gt;workflow</strong>.</p>


<p> The set of <strong>=&gt;language versions</strong> of a piece of information grouped under a common <strong>document id</strong>, including its <strong>=&gt;metadata</strong>. In Lenya 1.2, the term document refers to a single language version.</p>


<p> The act of moving a <strong>=&gt;deactivated</strong> document into the <strong>=&gt;trash</strong>.</p>


<p> To open a file in one of the editors, make changes, and save those changes. See also: <strong>=&gt;workflow</strong>.</p>

fallback mechanism

<p> A key concept for <strong>=&gt;publication templating</strong>. Resources requested using the fallback <strong>=&gt;protocol</strong> are first searched in the current publication; if not found, the template is searched, then the template's template, etc. If all sitemaps etc. of a publication (including used modules) use the fallback protocol consistently, the publication will completely support templating. The fallback mechanism is also used in modules, where it allows module resources such as stylesheets to be overridden by the publication.</p>


<p> see <strong>=&gt;access control</strong></p>


<p> An object storing information about a client that accesses a Lenya server. The identity contains a reference to the <strong>user</strong>, to the <strong>machine</strong> and to the <strong>world</strong>. If you don't log in, the identity only contains your machine IP address and the world.</p>


<p> see <strong>=&gt;area</strong></p>


<p> The act of abstracting a document from a specific language. In addition to providing translations of entire documents, you can replace often-used strings by special keys which will then be translated ("localized") with a catalogue file. This is handled by Cocoon.</p>

see also: (Lenya 1.2 specific, but gives a good overview)

see also: (the cocoon I18nTransformer that governs i18n in Lenya)


<p> see <strong>=&gt;internationalization</strong></p>


<p> see <strong>=&gt;area</strong></p>


<p> The act of translating the contents of a document that has been internationalized (<strong>=&gt;internationalization</strong>) into a target language. This can also include re-formatting date/time fields and currency according to local usage.</p>


<p> see <strong>=&gt;localization</strong></p>


<p> The set of additional information belonging to a document that is not part of the data itself (e.g. data about the data). Lenya 2.0 uses Dublin-Core metadata by default and allows for arbitrary custom metadata as well.</p>

see also:


<p> Currently a synonym for <strong>=&gt;area</strong>, will be used exclusively when the area concept is given up in later revisions.</p>


<p> Packages providing a certain set of resources or functionality, such as</p>
  • a resource type (e.g., docbook module)
  • a repository implementation (e.g., jdbc module)
  • a collection of XSLTs (e.g., content2svg module)
    (see also
    <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A policy assigns a set of <strong>=&gt;roles</strong> to an <strong>=&gt;accreditable</strong> on a specific URL. The resulting role set of an identity is the union set of the roles of the accreditables belonging to the identity. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

  • policy 1: user John has the role "edit" on the URL "/news"
  • policy 2: IP range has the role "review" on the URL "/news"
    If John logs in from a machine in this IP range, he has the roles "edit" and "review" on the URL "/news".
    <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A specifier used in URIs to define where the content comes from and in which format. The most famous is likely <strong><code>http://</code></strong>. In Lenya publication sitemaps, you will find the following protocols: <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>
    • from Cocoon:
      • file:// - read a file from disk, using the operating system's path as the URI
      • cocoon:// - request a resource from the cocoon servlet (handled by the sitemap pipelines, so this need not exist as an actual file)
      • context:// - request a file from disk, using the webapp context directory as root
    • Lenya-specific:
      • lenya-document:// - request a document from the Lenya storage by its =>UUID and optionally language and revision (i.e. independent of its current location in the site tree)
      • site:// - request a document based on its sitetree path
      • fallback:// - request a file using the =>fallback mechanism
      • fallback-template:// - dito, but skip the current publication and start looking in its template instead
      • aggregate-fallback:// - concatenate the content of a file in this publication with the contents in all ancestors
        Protocols are implemented using =>source factories.
      • lenya:// - request a file from disk (same as context:/, but the returned source is a [RepositorySource] with additional features) FIXME: is that correct?
        _(see also
        [Needs proofreading and completion. Lenya-Metadata factory is missing.]

        <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A website created with Lenya. A Lenya installation can contain more than one publication. Publications can either be fully independent, or they can share common properties via <strong>=&gt;publication templating</strong>. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

        (see also
        [Some people feel this term is unfortunate (why not just call it a "site"?), but for now we're stuck with it.]
        publication templating

        <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A mechanism for sharing properties between publications. Every publication can be used as a <strong>template</strong> for new publications, producing <strong>derived publications</strong> or <strong>child publications</strong>. Provided you use the "New Publication" usecase, all publications will ultimately be based on the <strong>default publication</strong> that comes with Lenya. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

        Templating is implemented using the fallback mechanism, a lenya-specific uri resolver that can be applied to any uri reference in xml files by using fallback:// as a protocol specifier. If this is done consistently, publications can share arbitrary properties (i.e. xslt files, configuration files, user/group account files, sample pages, resource types etc.) from their template or from the default publication.
        The fallback mechanism operates on a file level. Thus it can only be applied to whole files (not parts thereof), and only if those files are referenced by URIs in configuration files.
        The creation of a new child publication from a template is called instantiation. Therefore, you will sometimes find the term "instance of template X" instead of "child of X".
        Child publications can use features of their template(s) in two ways: by copying files from the template during instantiation, or by referencing those files.
        Copying severs the link between child and template - later changes to the template will not affect the child. Referencing implies that all changes to the template will immediately affect the child as well, since the child uses the template's property.
        (see also
        <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> see <strong>=&gt;workflow</strong> <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

        <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A generic term in need of clarification that can mean almost anything. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

        resource type
        <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> An XML source format for Lenya <strong>=&gt;documents</strong>, together with processing options. It typically consists of <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>
    • an XML structure definition (e.g., Relax NG)
    • some presentation pipelines,
    • some presentation XSLT stylesheets,
    • usecases to manipulate documents.
      The default publication contains the resource types xhtml, homepage, OpenDocument, CForms and links.
      (see also
      <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> The act of proof-reading a <strong>=&gt;submit*ted document and deciding whether to *=&gt;publish</strong> or to <strong>=&gt;reject</strong> it. See also: <strong>=&gt;workflow</strong>. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

      revision control
      <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> The ability to preserve past states of documents, roll back to them as needed and show the differences between revisions. Lenya currently has a file-based revision control mechanism and an experimental new one based on the <span class="error">&#91;JackRabbit&#93;</span> implementation of the JCR (or Java Content Repository) API (JCR development is currently stalled, though). <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

      (see also JcrConfiguration)
      <p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> The capabilities and privileges of an <strong>=&gt;identity</strong>. <strong>Policies</strong> are used to determine the roles of an identity for acertain URL. Roles are used to define conditions for <strong>=&gt;workflow</strong> transitions, and to restrict access to <strong>=&gt;usecases</strong>. The default publication defines four basic roles that a lenya user can have. An <strong>admin</strong> can control all aspects of a publication and create, delete or modify users and groups. An <strong>editor</strong> can modify and create new content, but cannot publish it; for this, s/he hands the work to a <strong>reviewer</strong>, who does the final check and decides whether the page can go live. The <strong>visitor</strong> is just allowed to view pages. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>
      You can define custom roles and workflows.
      Roles are frequently assigned via =>group membership, but do not confuse roles and groups. OverviewAccessControl has a good explanation of how different they are.


<p> A synonym for <strong>=&gt;publication</strong>.</p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A concept from Apache Cocoon; an XML file that governs how page requests are handled, i.e. where the data comes from and how it has to be transformed and presented to the user. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

(see also OverviewSitemapStructure and
site tree

<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> The tree-representation of the hierarchical relationship of documents within a site. Currently implemented as an XML file under <code>&lt;pubname&gt;/content/sitetree.xml</code>. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

site tree node

<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A particular document entry within the site tree. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

source factory

<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A piece of Java code implementing a <strong>=&gt;protocol</strong>. Used in sitemaps. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> The act of passing on an <strong>=&gt;edit*ed document to *=&gt;review</strong>. See also: <strong>=&gt;workflow</strong>. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> Version of a document in a specific language. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> An intermediate storage space to hold deleted documents. They can be un-deleted until the trash is emptied by the site administrator. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> (1) A user-triggered action. (2) The corresponding code to implement it. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

(see also
usecase handler

<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> Java class which is used to implement the functionality provided by a <strong>=&gt;usecase</strong>. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> see <strong>=&gt;access control</strong> <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> As of Lenya 2.0, documents are stored based on a universally unique ID (UUID), not on their location. All internal links now use UUIDs as well. This means that links don't break when documents are moved around, and moving documents does not entail data shuffling in the repository. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A particular state of a document with a time stamp, used in <strong>=&gt;revision control</strong>. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>


<p><br class="atl-forced-newline" /> A sequence of actions necessary to accomplish a task. For instance, in order to move a page from the authoring to the live area, an editor must <strong>submit</strong> it. A reviewer can then <strong>reject</strong> it (it gets sent back to the editor for some more polishing) or <strong>publish</strong> it, in which case the page moves to the live area. <br class="atl-forced-newline" /></p>

To move a page back from live to authoring, a reviewer must deactivate it. Afterwards, it can either be re-published or deleted.
Workflow transitions are typically invoked when a =>usecase is executed. Moreover, in a workflow context, "usecase" is sometimes used as a synonym for "workflow transition".

In Lenya, the workflow of a document is controlled by a finite state machine with arbitrary states, transitions, and events, which is expressed using XML. Each resource type can use its own workflow schema. You can implement custom conditions to be checked before a transition can fire, this requires custom java code.


<p> The Lenya staging server under <span class="nobr"><a href="" class="external-link" rel="nofollow"><sup><img class="rendericon" src="/confluence/images/icons/linkext7.gif" height="7" width="7" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0"/></sup></a></span>. It hosts the Lenya demos and the latest auto-generated docs from SVN.</p>

To do

  • cross-reference each term to the appropriate docs
  • keep each definition short and sweet. perhaps the more verbose explanations can be merged into the docs if it makes them easier to understand?
  • maintain alphabetic order

New terms coined for this section

  • property (any file within a publication)
  • child publication (we have instance, but i think that's too OOP)

Are there better, already established terms for these concepts? If so, let's use them instead and get rid of these new ones.

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