[Seaside] Newbie questions about Squeak and Seaside

William Harford seaside at harford.org
Thu Aug 24 16:33:58 UTC 2006

On Aug 24, 2006, at 11:55 AM, Warren Henning wrote:

> Hi,
> 1. I have an idea for a web application that involves a lot of custom
> text processing logic. Is Squeak an acceptable environment for
> implementing a real full-blown application? How is its performance for
> common tasks compared to, say, Python, Ruby, and Common Lisp? Do I
> need to shell out for VisualWorks or something in order to get
> real-world work done?

Well yes , for us at least.

We use Squeak/Seaside in a commercial setting and the speed is  
adequate. At one point I did port my application to VisualWorks and  
the speed was much improved but the price we were quoted was  
unacceptable ($130,000/year).

  You will have to try it out for your situation and see how it  
performs. The biggest performance problem we have come across is the  
speed of WeakArrays. We ended up working around the problem but  
depending on your Seaside application you may not run into the  
problem at all.

> 2. Do you always just edit one method at a time? Isn't that annoying
> to have to click around so much? Do you always edit new stuff by
> working on one method at a time in the debugger/browser?

I , personally,  like the default Squeak browser but there are  
others. Have you looked at Whisker?

The "one method at a time" approach makes it easier for me to find  
what I need with minimal effort.

> 3. I was playing with the counter example in Seaside and it appears
> that continuation expiration is 600 seconds by default. Is the only
> way to have user sessions last longer to simply increase the
> expiration time? How do you do this for a real-world application?

You session will expire after 600 sec of inactivity. Not simply after  
600 seconds. You are not this first person to have this  
misconception. Maybe that config field should have a more descriptive  
label ?

> 4. Do you people ever find forcing everything to be object-oriented to
> be restrictive? I think sometimes it would be as annoying as not
> having any OO functionality in the language at all. I also think
> having tons of 7-line methods is weird and unwieldy.

Again I like it. It was one of the big draws for me. Breaking things  
into least common denominator bits allows for maxim reuse and in the  
long term you will end up doing less work and not reimplementing the  
same ting over and over.

If you need something that feels more like a function you can use the  
class side of the appropriate class (click on Class in the object.  
Then you can ...

     result := SomeObject doSomethingWith: anotherSometing

Although in most cases you would most likely be better off doing

	result := anotherSometing withSomething: SomeObject.

In either case I would suggest you give the OO nature of Smalltalk a  

> 5. Is Squeak good for building things where functional languages do
> pretty well? Things like compilers and interpreters.

I have not experience with building compilers and interpreters in  
Smalltalk so someone else might be better suited to answer this  
questions but I will give it a shot.

I am not sure you would want to build a compiler in Smalltalk/Squeak  
unless you were targeting the Squeak VM. As far as interpreters go I  
would see no reason why Squeak would do a fine job.

> I think the debugging and browsing tools are totally amazing (they
> blow away everything else I've used, including SLIME for Common
> Lisp/Emacs) but the actual editing itself sucks: I miss my Emacs
> keyboard shortcuts terribly . The reason I'm learning Squeak is
> because of Seaside, not the goofy "it's for
> children"/games/multimedia/mouse gunk.

I personally feel the games/multimedia/mouse "gunk" works to Squeak  
detriment in the business world. I know the immediate visceral  
reaction to Squeak by my colleges has been "you can't do anything  
serious with that" and while I think I have proven them wrong the  
initial hurtle took some time to overcome.

I think Seaside it Squeak's chance to make it into the mainstream but  
the interface could be a little more professional looking.


> Warren
> _______________________________________________
> Seaside mailing list
> Seaside at lists.squeakfoundation.org
> http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/seaside

More information about the Seaside mailing list