[Seaside] Seaside vs. Traditional

Conrad Taylor conradwt at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 11:16:05 UTC 2008

Hi, is there any particular reason for comparing Seaside with another
framework in a Seaside mailing list?  If you're interested in Seaside, then
use it.  If you're interested in AIDA web, then use it.  From my
experience, it seems that most frameworks were built or evolved to solve a
particular problem and the developer(s) couldn't find a suitable choice
and/or didn't like the available choice(s) in the existing frameworks.
 Next, I would
highly recommend learning Smalltallk to truly exploit the power of Seaside.
 This is true of any framework (i.e. learn Ruby to exploit Rails, learn PHP
to exploit Zend Framework, learn C# or VB to exploit ASP.Net and so
on).  Lastly, there are other pieces of the puzzle that one has to learn
that go beyond simply learning the language of a framework.

Good luck,


On Sat, Mar 29, 2008 at 8:05 AM, Rob Rothwell <r.j.rothwell at gmail.com>

> Hello...
> I would like explore a little further the post "Seaside vs. Traditional"
> at http://www.lukas-renggli.ch/blog? because:
> 1. I was a sound bite! ("As a new Smalltalker, I couldn't understand
> Seaside.") Kind of embarrassing, huh?!
>  2. This post did not fully help me understand the source of my
> inabilities! Even more embarrassing!
> The two basic statements I am [mostly] referencing are:
> 1.  I've experienced this many times while giving dozens of tutorials<http://www.lukas-renggli.ch/consulting?_s=DrNTFqJpUuPyqhtg&_k=IWWobIXs&_n&13> on
> Seaside. There are always some people that have a very hard time to get
> their head around Seaside, mostly because they think in terms of TRADITIONAL
> WEB FRAMEWORKS (my emphasis).
> 2.  On the other hand, Seaside is AMAZINGLY SIMPLE (my emphasis) for
> people without MUCH (my emphasis) prior web development experience.
> Well, unfortunately, I have NO prior web development experience.  And I
> mean NONE.  Look at me, I have copied and pasted from another site and now
> have indents (likely due to HTML that I don't understand) that I can't even
> get rid of in the Gmail editor!
> Anyway, I completely skipped that part of the 21st century, much to my
> current dismay.  I have Assembly Language, FORTRAN, and Visual Basic
> experience.  I am the classic [boring] example of "Why does the world seem
> inside out in Smalltalk!"
> Nonetheless, I became enchanted by "a better way," and have stuck with my
> attempts to learn Smalltalk for nearly four years, most of which has been
> spent "building images" with each new Squeak release and staring at an
> "empty browser."
> I have a degree in Physics, I have been "programming" since I was 11, and
> I was a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger Medic.
> Smalltalk has been the first thing in my life that was ever hard for me!
> So...fun! But...frustrating, because I wanted to get real WORK done with
> it, and kept going back to obviously "lesser ways" just to get something
> done.
> Ok. Enough background. The point I am trying to make is that I tried. I
> googled. I would meet a couple of guys once a month or so that CAN
> Smalltalk. Seaside made sense...when they were doing it! Then, I went back
> to the empty browser.
> My impression is still that you need to have a certain level of
> accomplishment in Smalltalk itself before the...elegance...of the framework
> as at your disposal. This isn't a bad thing, although it does leave me
> feeling a little incapable, but, hey--the number of objects at your command
> when you open a Squeak image for the first time are simply overwhelming. And
> "overwhelmed" would be how I would describe my experience with Seaside to
> be, because it "looks so easy," so why can't I figure it out? Which,
> coincidentally, is EXACTLY how I feel watching an experienced Smalltalker do
> So, I agree with you. Seaside IS harder for those with a "traditional"
> background. But I think traditional includes standard static language
> programming to produce basic client applications for typical operating
> systems. And from THAT point of view, I feel like I don't understand web
> programming ENOUGH to even lay things out on the screen where I want them to
> be, or get images into my application (yes, basic stuff like that).
> And so then there is Aida as well, which WAS easier coming from a
> "traditional" (my definition) background.
> Now, I do not want to be thwarted so easily and will surely continue to
> try to understand Seaside because I think that will help me continue to
> understand Smalltalk.
> But WHY was Aida easier for me? Is it because it is "less powerful?" "More
> procedural?" Because I CAN lay things out on the screen quite easily "the
> wrong way" with tables? Is it more "concrete?" These are all "negative"
> phrases as if I should assume somehow that Seaside has the upper hand in
> some way I do not understand.
> I obviously don't have the answers! I didn't even know Aida existed until
> Janko posted his benchmarks on the Cincom site and because I was struggling
> with Seaside I gave it a shot. I DO think that after spending some time with
> Aida, I will be able to understand Seaside better, which is MOST
> interesting, because somewhere in that thought lies the gap between my own
> process capability (my ability to simply use Smalltalk) and the capability
> demanded by the system (Seaside, Aida, or any set of classes for that
> matter), which is the classic gap inherent in any system implementation.
> Anyway, if I can figure this out better, I may be able to help others
> succeed where I have struggled, because I am obviously missing something.
> In the meantime, keep up the good work! I am intrigued by the "meta"
> abilities of your solutions with both Seaside and Magritte and their
> apparent ability to act as an elegantly abstract layer for Content--which
> could be useful in appropriately complex situations. Unfortunately, I don't
> think I'm ready yet. Maybe someday...when I grow up, and can handle that
> level of abstraction!
> I hope this doesn't sound like the beginning of another "Us vs. Them"
> post. I've had enough of that with LPGL vs. MIT! I just want to
> understand...what I don't understand!
> Anyone going to the Smalltalk Solutions conference? I am trying to
> position myself to go...maybe in the shear presence of mastery I can pick up
> on some of the stuff I am missing!
> Rob
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