[Seaside] Newbie questions about Squeak and Seaside

tim Rowledge tim at rowledge.org
Thu Aug 24 16:33:48 UTC 2006

On 24-Aug-06, at 8:55 AM, Warren Henning wrote:

> 1. I have an idea for a web application that involves a lot of custom
> text processing logic.
You will probably want to look into one or the other regular  
expression handling packages then; I wouldn't worry about it while  
you're still getting used to the basic system but just be aware that  
you can do regexp stuff

> Is Squeak an acceptable environment for
> implementing a real full-blown application?
Depends a lot on what you mean by 'real'. Do you insist on 'host  
widgets and only host widgets'? If so, you may need to investigate  
wxSqueak or the Ariethfa Ffenestri package. If you are web-based then  
Seaside should definitely float your boat.

> How is its performance for
> common tasks compared to, say, Python, Ruby, and Common Lisp?
Similar; better for some, worse for others.

> Do I
> need to shell out for VisualWorks or something in order to get
> real-world work done?
Probably not but if you do VW is free for personal use anyway. And if  
you develop a product that is expected to make money there are  
assorted licensing deals that can be made. They seem to try quite  
hard to help.

> 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?
Well, it may be one method at a time in 'a' browser but you can have  
many browsers open.
I'll typically have a dozen or more in use - some open to methods/ 
classes that I need to refer to to check existing code, others where  
I'm part way through writing/extending a class, some senders-fo or  
implementors-of browsers and so on.
It's hugely more useful than a text editor. I may be biased of course  
since I've been doing it this way for 20 years.
> 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.
Nah, I find objects everywhere to be totally natural. It may be that  
having grown up as an engineer I just naturally find OOP to match my  
mental models of the universe. Loads of small methods are the way to  
factor things nicely; lots of well written, concisely commented,  
useful little bits of work that can be strung together to get stuff  

> 5. Is Squeak good for building things where functional languages do
> pretty well? Things like compilers and interpreters.
Well the Smalltalk compiler (and in fact several alternate ones under  
consideration) is written in Smalltalk, as is the Decompiler,  
debugger and all the other programming tools. Various AI interpretere/ 
compilers/inference engines/what have you have been written as well.  
So I imagine that makes a 'yes'.

tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim
Strange OpCodes: MC: Melt down Core

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