[Seaside] My Introduction to Seaside

Ken Treis ken at miriamtech.com
Thu Nov 13 06:47:36 CET 2003


I'm Ken Treis, and I was one of the original developers of Swazoo (and 
of WikiWorks before that, together with Travis Griggs). So I've been 
doing Smalltalk web stuff for a while. But I became somewhat 
disillusioned of it, and I haven't done any new Smalltalk web 
development for quite a while.

But I've recently discovered Seaside, and I'm already hooked. Most of my 
recent work has been in the "content" (as opposed to "web app") area, 
and so PHP+PostgreSQL has been good enough. But when I have tried to 
push into the web app area, I've quickly discovered the shortcomings of 
Ptth development. I found that I ended up designing very content-centric 
applications wherein the user navigates large related data sets; he 
primarily adds, removes, or changes data items. It's a far cry from what 
I was used to do in Smalltalk for regular desktop applications.

After discovering Seaside, I tried the "walk on the seaside" tutorial 
and was blown away. My thoughts were:

* This is what Swazoo wanted to be, in the end. But we never got there;
   we didn't make the paradigm shift.

* The tutorial is beautifully done, from a pedagogical perspective.
   There are several "ah-ha" moments as you work through it, but the best
   is the retroactive one when you realize that the browser, inspector,
   etc. are all done using #call: from the main counter.

* Why did they name this framework after an eggplant (aubergine)?

Travis Griggs and I are going to do a Seaside project together, just for 
grins. And I want to use Seaside in my next major project. But I have a 
few questions:

* What's the best way to tie into a database? I'm not too keen on
   object-relational mappers; I'd almost rather have something more like
   a PERL prepare/execute.

* How are people deploying Seaside? Is it generally being launched with
   Comanche handling everything, or is it somehow made subservient to
   Apache? Could mod_proxy be used for this?

* Is this stable enough to be used 24x7? After a while, Swazoo (at least
   on VisualWorks) would clog up with unreleased socket handles and have
   to be restarted.

I look forward to re-joining the Smalltalk web community. Thanks for 
making it worthwhile.

Ken Treis
Miriam Technologies, Inc.

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