[Seaside] XHTML is a tree, not a stream

Mariano Montone marianomontone at gmail.com
Wed Nov 8 23:06:16 UTC 2006

At PHPWebBuilder (http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpwebbuilder), we model
the view as a tree. The tree is accessed through DOM messages. Changes to
the tree from one request to the other are tracked. That lets us have AJAX
transparently (sending only the modifications made to to the tree between
each request through AJAX). The decision to use AJAX or not is just a change
in the config file.

The project is being actively developed as we are using it for some projects
in our company, although we are not being able to make releases, write
thorough documentation or mantain the website because we don't have time at
the moment.

PWB is similar to Seaside in that it is component-based and interaction is
achieved through callbacks. It defers (among lots of other things) in that
there is a declarative template mechanism (don't have an embedded html
generation language, we use templates + DOM messages over the tree),  the
view is maintained in memory, there are no continuations (back button
support has to be taken care of manually), etc.

We chose PHP because we needed our applications running anywhere, but we see
the limitations of PHP and the advantages of Smalltalk, of course.

Cheers, Mariano

2006/11/8, Damien Cassou <damien.cassou at laposte.net>:
> Hi,
> in my opinion, XHTML is best considered as a tree than as a stream. I
> wonder if Seaside would benefit from a tree representation. Some ideas
> come to my mind:
> - it would be possible to modify a previously rendered node/tag (adding
> content or changing parameters)
> - #with: would not be necessarily at the end anymore (because the tag is
> really closed when the tree is converted to the stream)
> - Seaside would then have one representation of a document (a tree) that
> can be easily converted to multiple kind of output (XHTML, LaTeX, other
> XMLs...)
> - there might be other advantages
> One of the drawbacks would be that Seaside would not be able to send the
> stream directly to the web browser while it renders components. It would
> need to wait for the end. But if I remember correctly, it is already the
> case.
> Do you have an opinion ?
> --
> Damien Cassou
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> Seaside at lists.squeakfoundation.org
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