[Seaside] Rails and Seaside

Cees De Groot cdegroot at gmail.com
Sat Jan 7 01:06:42 CET 2006

Wow, what a thread.

On the blog: the guy is right, of course. He notes that Seaside has a
higher S/N ratio but he also notes that most programmers out there are
a bit rusty, inflexible, and unlikely to make easy shifts.

That's the very reason I haven't learned Lisp yet :-).

On CSS: I agree 100% with Avi. It's a pity that I'm still developing
my latest in CSS, but it's a typical example (url's in a couple of
weeks when the site is live).

I generate ugly HTML (with VAST WebConnect, there really is no choice
there ;-)), with at best validation javascript. The site is accessed
through a CGI forwarder. Which means that I hand the designers:
- the contents of /cgi-bin
- the url in /cgi-bin that starts the app
- a promise to include /style/global.css in every page
- a promise to  include /style/<pagename>.css in every page
- a promise to  include /js/<pagename>.js in every page
The latter two files are optional, it's a bit ugly but browsers don't
complain about missing files Of course, a round of 'touch' commands
could be used as well. In any case, I don't bother with any static
files, they can set it up and even use whatever webserver they want
(this particular bunch seems to insist on IIS).

The idea is that my adorned (classes and ids all over the place) HTML
can be layed out by default by a global css script. It was a first for
them, but I handed them a sample script based on a static html design
(created in, err, 2.5 hours - and that's mostly because I'm lousy at
CSS) and they worked from there, producing two completely differently
looking sites in a couple of days (the idea is that this site is
marketed to various demographic segments, each gets its own
look&feel). If they want to get groovy, they can override stuff on a
per-page basis by providing a page-specific css file (used to do
button image replacement - in a wizard-style screen, when the "next"
button needs to be labeled, say, "order now" in the last screen, for

And today they found out why I insisted on offering them javascript
hooks as well, they got the idea to replace some header stuff with
flash using javascript :-)

The designers have near total freedom (granted, css can be a bit
harder than old school webdesign, but only a bit), and I can purely
concentrate on business logic. This really works, and to an extent
that goes beyond anything that I've ever accomplished or seen with
templates. That's a very real advantage, both technical and
business-wise, and should not be ignored.

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