[Seaside] Smalltalk/Squeak/Seaside newbie questions/comments..

Rick F. rickf at ca-flower.com
Fri Dec 23 20:51:04 CET 2005

Hi all.. I've not looked at Smalltalk in a good long time -- probably for
more than 15 years and only then as part of a college languages class so
I don't really remember anything.  Anyway, I managed to stumble across
Seaside by accident (it was mentioned on a PHP blog I was reading) and
it sounds like a really great system for doing web-apps.  I've currently
got a web-app in development using PHP + Mojavi (an MVC framework),
Apache and MySQL.  In doing my requisite homework on all things Seaside
and reading some comments you all had in the not-too-distant past, I see
a few hurdles that I'm not too sure how to get past -- perhaps you can
enlighten me or point me in the right direction:

1) I have my site running on a web hosting provider using Apache, but
   notice that most people seem to run the Smalltalk web servers instead
   of using Apache directly.. I'm not sure I can get my hosting provider
   to do that -- is there a write up somewhere that shows how to use
   Squeak/Seaside in an Apache environment -- does it require FastCGI
   or something else?  I ran across some sort of FastCGI Smalltalk
   conduit of sorts, but it came with no docs and leaves a newbie like me
   feeling less than enthused.

2) Memory usage -- I've read several comments about memory/performance
   issues with Squeak in the not too distant past -- had to do with
   garbage collection if I recall.. What's the chance that this will bite
   the average web-app on a regular basis and is it still an issue?

3) MySQL -- I've got a database consisting of about 15 tables worth of
   data that I currently need for my PHP web-app.. I see that a lot of
   Squeak/Smalltalk users seem to prefer PostgreSQL instead and that
   the MySQL stuff is a bit dated and perhaps not complete.. Is there
   any write up on how to use the MySQL driver with Squeak/Seaside
   and am I going to have license issues with this setup since I saw
   a note on the Squeak Map indicating some license issue.  In my case,
   my web-app will not be open-source and will be more commercial in

4) On the Web hosting side -- have any of you had problems with 
   hosting providers not being interested in having you run a Smalltalk
   based app on their servers since it's "different" than the standard?
   Has that required you to find a new provider?

5) Squeak vs. VisualWorks Smalltalk -- I've read a few comments here and
   there indicating that perhaps VisualWorks is faster than Squeak for
   some operations.. Is this correct and what is the overall thinking
   of one over the other?  

6) On the VisualWorks side -- If I want to write a commercial app that
   runs on a web-server on a hosting providers hardware, I gather I
   would need to install the VM + application on their box to run the
   app.  In this case, how does the licensing work, and what sort of
   $$ am I looking at for the cost?  I read through the license docs
   for VisualWorks and didn't get any warm fuzzies about what model
   my development goals fit into whether it's some sort of corporate
   plan or something else.  In my case, my site would be hosted on a
   single server, but would have potentially hundreds of people using
   it.. Too bad the makers of VisualWorks are somewhat mysterious about
   their pricing, etc.

7) Comparing Seaside to an MVC framework like Mojavi -- Mojavi has the
   logic separated out by display,business,etc.. I've yet to get too far
   into a Seaside tutorial, but is Seaside going to be similar in this
   regard or is it a new paradigm to learn (aside from learning 
   Smalltalk too)?

I think that's about all of the loaded questions I can think of for now..

Hopefully I'll get answers to some of the more pertinent ones at least.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

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