[Seaside] Re: OSCON report

German Arduino gsa at arsol.net
Sun Jul 30 18:59:42 UTC 2006

Avi Bryant wrote:
> Since this StOR thread seems to be about reaching an audience we  
> haven't had before, it's probably worth mentioning what I've been up  to 
> for the last week.
> I've just returned from the O'Reilly's open source OSCON conference.   I 
> gave a talk on Seaside very intentionally angled not towards  convincing 
> people to jump ship from Python/Perl/Rails etc, but rather  towards 
> getting them to consider some of the basic technologies -  like the the 
> Canvas, Component, Callback and Continuation model (hm,  never noticed 
> all those C's before) - for use in their environment of  choice.  
> However, interest was high enough that:
> - I gave a 45 minute talk to a packed room (some good photos at  
> http://flickr.com/photos/jacobian/)
> - followed by about 30 minutes of Q&A with most people still in the room
> - followed by 3 hours of conversation with a large group at dinner  
> about Seaside and Smalltalk
> - followed by a subset of that group tracking me down first thing the  
> next morning and making me spend another couple of hours doing a  Squeak 
> demo
> What I found is that a) a huge number of these people have tried  Squeak 
> before, and that b) they were all very excited by what they  saw in my 
> (very simple) demo, but none of them had been able to make  the journey 
> themselves from the one to the other - that is, it was  impossible for 
> them to just download a Squeak image and, with no  prior Smalltalk 
> experience, find their way through a Hello World  Seaside app.  So they 
> decided Squeak wasn't for them.  There's also a  huge amount of 
> confusion and disinformation about the state of things  like version 
> control: essentially everyone seems to believe that the  image is the 
> only way to distribute Smalltalk code, and is  understandably leery of 
> this.
> I sensed enough goodwill, and got enough concrete offers to publish  
> articles/books/etc, to think that the opportunity is there to get a  
> mainstream audience for Seaside *if* (and this is a fairly large if)  we 
> want it and have the resources to put into it.  What it would  take, I 
> think, is a custom Squeak distribution and tutorial/ screencast that was 
> aimed at a non-Smalltalk audience.  It would need  to cover:
> - The browser
> - The workspace
> - Saving, loading, and merging in Monticello
> - The basics of Seaside (a revamped "Walk on the Seaside" tutorial  
> would be fine)
> An ActiveRecord-like simple O/R framework would certainly help too,  but 
> I think the above is a higher priority.
> Incidentally, I was asked by a few people at the conference how big  the 
> Seaside community was, and I was very pleased to be able to say  "well, 
> I almost never post to the list anymore, because other people  are doing 
> all the question answering, discussing, and committing".   That's pretty 
> cool, and an important threshold to cross, I think.
> Avi

Thanks by the good news Avi.

Pointing to the same, I've started some time ago a sort of workshops 
with 3 co-workers that don't know Smalltalk. The goal is teaching the 
main Smalltalk basic needed to use then Seaside.

The experience is going really good, making corrections by the way.

Using such experience I'm preparing now a sort of "course" to sell here 
(locally) with me as instructor (may be the next year) that cover the 2 
main steps:

1) Teach the basics of Squeak/Smalltalk (The course assume no Smalltalk 

2) Teach about web development using, of course, Seaside, Scriptaculous, 
ShoreComponents, etc.

By now, I'm only preparing such material (and in Spanish) but I agree 
with your idea of make some effort to get a bigger audience to Seaside.

Then, may be we can get also a bigger attention between the hosting 
sellers that are not offering Squeak right now. :)


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