This is the philosophy behind Communique. Everything is content. Templates are content, user data are content, user ACLs are content and — of course — content is content. Interstingly the compiled JSPs are also content, so you can remove them easily with the installation of a single package and force the JVM to recompile them again.
If all these elements can be handled the same way, you can use a single mechanism to install, update and also remove these elements. The CQ package tool is a great thing to deploy new template code (java code) plus the additional ESP files and the other static image snippets. You can access parts of the system which are not reachable by the authoring GUI. But behind the scenes it looks quite different:
- Content (the things you have Communique for) is versioned and can be added and removed online.
- Code isn’t versioned. If the installation of a package were an atomic operation, one could easily switch between different template version. Going back to an older template version would be quite easy, just undo the template installation and restore the version which is live then. Sadly not possible, one solves this be cleaning all template places and re-installing the older template version.
- Day hotfixes and services: a weird construct. Because you cannot exchange them at runtime, these are extrated into a directory system/bin.new; when restarting the content of system/bin is zipped into a file system/bin.$TIMESTAMP.zip and then the content of system/bin.new is copied over to system/bin. A stable mechanism (updates are performed before the CQ core and the services actually start), but it’s really hard to undo hotfixes. No GUI anymore; you need to find the right zip files and manually unzip it to system/bin.
Oh, another thing: older versions of a handle are not content. No possibility to create a package of handles including its history (aka the versions). Only the most recent versions are included.