[Seaside] Re: Application/Session Objects

Richard Huxton dev at archonet.com
Thu Feb 23 10:45:41 UTC 2006

stephane ducasse wrote:
> On 22 févr. 06, at 18:46, Richard Huxton wrote:
>> Seaside looks very interesting, and I like the interactive debugging, 
>> closures continuations etc. Hate the Smalltalk syntax,
> I do not want to open a can of worms or a language war but help you.

Don't worry about me not liking Smalltalk syntax - I'm a Perl programmer 

> Here are a bunch of tricks I used to explain the syntax
> Just a trick you put [ ] around expressions when you do not know in 
> advance the number of times it will be executed.
>     (jj isNil)
>         ifTrue: [ ]
>     4 timesRepeat: [ ]

It's these two I don't like - less because of [ ]  for a closure (good 
as anything else - simple so it encourages their use) but the <small 
object> <selection-message> <code> pattern. It grates every time I 
see/use it.

>     #(1 2 3) do: [:each | ...] separatedBy: [ ]

Whereas this doesn't bother me in the slightest. I think it's the 
"complexity" of the object you're dealing with. It feels reasonable to 
me to ask a collection to do something for each of its members, less so 
for a boolean.

I'm clearly out-voted on this one, since I've been exposed to it for 
almost 20 years, haven't changed my mind but am now outnumbered by 
generations of object-oriented programmers who came after me.

> Then you only put parenthese to distinguish between messages having the 
> same priority:
>     kkk isNil
>         ifTrue: []
>     (kkk includes: #a)
>         ifTrue: []
> In fact I kind of really like the syntax.
>     aDict at: #stef put: #fun

Ah, now here I think it's too verbose for such a common activity. 
Lists/hashes should be as basic as strings/numbers, but like I said, I'm 
from a Perl background.

Many of my problems are down to the consistent nature of Smalltalk. I 
can see how it's easy to port to a new platform, and it's easy to break 
apart someone else's code too. It's just not "elegant" as a language. 
The easy access to closures/continuations and the development 
environment outweigh that though.

>> the way underscore has been stolen and I'm worried about 
>> deployment/management and performance issues. It's early days though, 
>> so this is still very much first impressions for me.
> In Squeak 3.9 the _ is given back to you :).

Ah, now that is good news. I've gone through and changed my system fonts 
already, since I'm referring to external identifiers with underscores 
and my eyes keep picking them up as assignments.

> For deployment and management, the gurus around me (lukas and adrian) 
> are really enjoying the online, on the fly
> update of code while the system is running....

I'll have to finish my first application and deploy before I can 
comment, but it's not quite as command-line friendly as some.

> Now do not hesitate to give feedback and code to the community, we will 
> pay attention that it is not lost

It's certainly a friendly and helpful community, which is always 

   Richard Huxton
   Archonet Ltd

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