[Seaside] Re: thoughts on Seaside 3.0

Esteban Lorenzano estebanlm at gmail.com
Mon Jul 14 18:33:32 UTC 2008

Well, I want to say something on this: I have worked by eight years on 
web-applications, and one of the main reasons I love seaside is because 
of his lack of templates, and I have many reasons:

1) The whole thing about "UI designers can take care about the 
ui-specific-program details, but programmers can't take care about the 
UI stuff is a bunch of crap: most of the ui-designers can't program, 
and guess what? web-applications need programming in the UI side.
2) When you use a templating system, UI-designers use cut&paste 
technics for produce his pages, and of course, this ends with lots of 
bad-designed (in programing terms) pages and presentation stuff who 
nobody can or want to mantain.
3) well designed programs works as Avi described before me: a designer 
just need to change CSS most of the time, and sometimes a little change 
in HTML... this path requires much less effort that the other (who is 
enforced by html templates): designer changes templates and programmers 
adapt his sources to the changes.
4) templates work against code reusability

So, *please* stay away of templates for seaside.


On 2008-07-14 14:10:26 -0300, Jared Hirsch <jaredhirsch at yahoo.com> said:

> I've been lurking in the squeak/seaside lists for a while, and feel I 
> should add to the discussion of new features for a possible seaside 3.0.
> The major obstacle that I see to further adoption and growth of seaside 
> is widespread community ignorance of the design side of web 
> development. This has to do with templates, but it runs much, much 
> deeper.
> The html templates issue has two sides. From a design standpoint, 
> burying html inside smalltalk leads to opposite but equal 
> maintainability problems and inelegant html code.
>   The reality of the web is that good graphic designers create XHTML by 
> hand, and giving good designers control only of the CSS (like in 
> seaside 2.8) isn't nearly enough. I think everyone should spend an 
> afternoon reading articles on 'a list apart' to start to understand 
> that there are intelligent people who devote lots of time to 
> hand-coding "beautiful html." And take a look at the design openings on 
> 'authentic jobs' to see that there are web design companies that pay 
> lots of money for this specific skill.
>   These people aren't stupid, just different; after all, if one can 
> make a beautiful shoe, why not, in principle, beautiful html? The 
> significance of the word "beautiful" is that we've got a different but 
> legitimate alternative aesthetic perspective, a different community; 
> and Seaside, in its current form, is wholly incompatible with this 
> design-oriented community.
> Consider that RoR was written by a guy who works with graphic designers 
> all day; he was aware of this fundamental web dichotomy. I think that 
> most smalltalkers come from a very different background (traditional 
> non-web programming), with a very different set of assumptions. I'm not 
> attacking or judging these differences, only pointing out that 
> critically analyzing them is crucial if seaside is going to be useful 
> in commercial web development. Right now, it's not.
> I also want to mention that one of the best things about the web is 
> that it's a true crossover field, which computer science ceased to be a 
> generation ago: nobody gets a 'web sciences' degree (yet). Instead, 
> there are web designers with backgrounds in print design, print/TV 
> advertising, copywriting, or graphic design, and they're all learning 
> to work with programmers of all stripes who have moved to web 
> programming. It's an exciting and still young (fast evolving) field.
>   And just as the deeper aspects of design are only just starting to 
> appear on the web--typography on the web is in absolute primitive 
> infancy, while in print it's been established for hundreds of years; 
> grid-based design is finally coming into the open as well--so the 
> deeper aspects of programming (patterns/reusability, XP/agile, true 
> OOP) are in their web-infancy too.
>   The smalltalk community is one of those deep mines of knowledge that 
> could enrich web culture with the mature perspective that decades of 
> experience bring--but it's going to take some flexibility from the 
> smalltalkers. To be honest, I don't see that flexibility in the 
> community, and I think it's the make-or-break question: if the good old 
> way of programming isn't 100% appropriate on the web, is there interest 
> in exploring the new thing? Or is the interest in trying to force the 
> new thing to fit the old way? Right now, I think Seaside is much closer 
> to the latter.
> I sincerely hope that someone can enlighten me as to how seaside is, or 
> is planning to become, accommodating for designers who hand-code XHTML, 
> and the web design agencies that employ them. This is only the first 
> hurdle, but it is I think the toughest, because it requires a 
> fundamental change in perspective.
>   I started studying smalltalk, and have kept at it, because it solves 
> the problem of making sense of the conceptually muddled third-hand OOP 
> of PHP (which I use at work); smalltalk is a profound language, 
> constructed with powerful and simple metaphors, and nothing would make 
> me happier than to do all my programming in it. I want seaside to take 
> me there. Right now, it can't--but it could. Without templating, or 
> some equivalent acknowledgment of the values and needs of the design 
> field, it most certainly never will. - Jared
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Julian Fitzell <jfitzell at gmail.com>
> To: Seaside - general discussion <seaside at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
> Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:46:43 AM
> Subject: Re: [Seaside] About Seaside 3.0
> Yes, I think this is the key point. I think there's a general
> consensus among most Seaside developers at this point that we prefer
> not having a template engine. I hesitate to make a blanket statement
> such as "templates are bad", though, and as Colin said various
> template systems have existed.
> When we started writing Seaside 2 (and again during the first few
> successive minor releases), we concentrated on ensuring a layered
> architecture. The goal was to allow people to use many of the layers
> independently of each other and for alternatives to some of the layers
> to develop.
> In the end, this hasn't really been exercised much but I'm sure the
> boundaries are still defined enough for an interested party to easily
> develop a template system (or resurrect Nori). If that layering has
> become less defined somewhere and prevents doing so, I'm sure there
> would be support for correcting that.
> Julian
> On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 10:47 AM, Marcin Tustin <mm3 at zepler.net> wrote:
>> If seaside is truly capable of being integrated with external libraries (and
>> I cast no doubt on this), then it should be possible for the enthusiasts for
>> templates to resurrect the template system, or write their own.
>> On 7/12/08, Ramon Leon <ramon.leon at allresnet.com> wrote:
>>>> I was talking about html templates, because, they are easier
>>>> to build, and read, with css, than the seaside concepts, I think.
>>> Then I agree with Colin, templates are a step backwards, been there, done
>>> that, glad we've moved beyond it.  Templates were never a good idea
>>> because
>>> they force you to mix in some kind of code in with them to do anything at
>>> all interesting, even a simple grid full of data requires at a minimum a
>>> loop construct and html is a horrible syntax for a programming
>>> language.  If
>>> Smalltalk code is capable of representing the exact same data structures
>>> as
>>> html is, then we don't need html, and the tools for dealing with code are
>>> vastly superior to the tools for dealing with html.  Seaside's throwing
>>> out
>>> templates is one of its best and most bold features.
>>> Ramon Leon
>>> http://onsmalltalk.com
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