[Seaside] Pier questions

Lukas Renggli renggli at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 10:13:11 UTC 2008

>  - Is internal content (e.g. wiki content) represented in some neutral form,
>  or in the entry syntax? Would it be easy to enter in wiki-format-A today,
>  and switch including existing content to wiki-format-B next month?

Yes, that would be very easy. The wiki string is parsed and internally
represented only as an abstract representation of the document (AST).
This graph is on the fly transformed to different output formats, such
as XHTML, text, LaTeX or back to the wiki syntax. It would be easy to
write a new transformation emitting your favorite wiki syntax.

>  - Is it simple to connect Pier objects (pages, components on a page, etc.)
>  to entirely different domain objects (e.g. Customers, Orders, etc.)?

Yes, it is possible to integrate other domain objects in Pier.
Existing ones are mostly wrapped into a subclass of PRStructure (i.e.
the publications on http://www.tudorgirba.com/publications), new ones
are directly implemented in a subclass of PRStructure (i.e. the blog
on http://www.lukas-renggli.ch/blog).

>  - Does Pier have Ajax capabilities, either built-in, or otherwise available
>  from squeaksource etc.?

There are some ready made AJAX components, such as the search you see
on some of the above pages. There are many extensions to Magritte and
Pier to make more Ajax like.

Some time ago I proposed as a bachelor project to build a Pier view
solely based on Ajax, however I didn't find a student taking the

>    - in-place editing of stuff?

Essentially this is already done. Documents are all edited in-place.
If a page consists of multiple documents these are all active at the
same time. I assume you have some more fine grained editing in mind,
like just editing a single paragraph. There was a proof of concept
implementation years ago, I guess you would have to implement it from
scratch if you really needed that.

>    - in general, can one use SUComponents easily with Pier?

Yes. Basically any Seaside application can be embedded into Pier
without writing a line of code.

>    - does Ajax live OK alongside Magritte?

Magritte-Seaside builds on top of traditional HTTP, so there is
nothing that would prevent it from being used in an AJAX application.
Magritte-Seaside itself does not use AJAX, there are however some
extensions available that make use of AJAX.

>  - Anyone have a wysiwyg editor hooked up to Pier? There is a Prototype-based
>  one available here http://inplacericheditor.box.re/demos

That would be possible, as long it parsed into the internal AST
representation of Pier. I never felt the need to have such an editor,
even though it should be possible.

>  - What kinds of CMS-things available in (or for) Pier?
>    - Blog


>    - Discussion thread / forum

As part of the blog. Could be easily extracted to a full forum.

>    - what others?


>  I'm pretty sure most of these can be done, just want to find out what is
>  already there.

Check out http://www.lukas-renggli.ch/smalltalk/pier and there is also
a special mailing list dedicated to Magritte and Pier (and its
predecessor SmallWiki).


Lukas Renggli

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