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persist with Cocoon or start with something else?

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We have a web application that allows our users to search for news stories by date, time, story text etc. It works by doing binary searching over specially formatted text files that live on the server.

This application is written in Java on top of Cocoon and is delivered with Tomcat. I came into the job about 6 months ago and am now in a position to do something with this code.

However, the code is so badly written (huge class files, lots of coupling, un-helpful variable names, redundant abandoned code everywhere etc) that a rewrite is a definite candidate.

Does anyone have any recommendations of an alternative framework to use? I don't really see much cocoon activity on these forums (and never hear about it in Job ads) so was wondering if it has been abandoned by the community in favour of other things. I have also not ruled out using perl or PHP or others to do the job too.

So if people had their time over and could start from scratch, what would they choose to do this job? I am excited at the prospect of learning some new server-side Java programming as it has all been Swing/Client side up until now.

Cheers, Jared.
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