[Seaside] Newbie questions about Squeak and Seaside

stephane ducasse stephane.ducasse at free.fr
Thu Aug 24 17:05:58 UTC 2006

>> 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.

Can you tell us more?
Is the application visible on the web?

> 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).

Indeed you were making money apparently or the sales were doing  
something wrong.
you have also dolphin smalltalk :)

>  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?
> http://www.mindspring.com/~dway/smalltalk/whisker.html
> 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 chance.
>> 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.
> Will
>> Warren
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