[Seaside] OSCON report

stephane ducasse stephane.ducasse at free.fr
Sun Jul 30 18:05:50 UTC 2006

Thanks avi this is really really interesting.
I think that we should join forces with Wilkes because the videos are  
there but totally buried (at least mine).
I should try to get some time (argh) and produce more videos.

> 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.


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