[Seaside] Some very basic questions about replacing my webstack

James Foster Smalltalk at JGFoster.net
Wed Apr 8 04:17:29 UTC 2009

Hi Andy,

Welcome to Smalltalk and Seaside. Comments below...

On Apr 7, 2009, at 8:48 PM, Andy Burnett wrote:

> We currently develop web applications using IBM's Domino server.  I  
> want to move us over to Smalltalk and Seaside, but I am having some  
> problems understanding which bits we need to assemble in order to  
> make the application stack (the problem with using Domino is that  
> everything is included in one box, so that tends to insulate  
> developers from needing other tools, and hence learning about  
> them).  I would really appreciate it if someone could explain the  
> 'mainstream' way of achieving our basic requirements.  Although we  
> like Squeak, we are equally happy to go with VW and/or Gemstone if  
> they are better/more reliable/easier ways to get what we need (and I  
> realise that those criteria may well be in the eye of the beholder).

As to GemStone (disclaimer: I work for the vendor), I think you would  
find it more reliable and scalable than Squeak and the database is  
built-in! VisualWorks is also very solid and has a rich library of add- 
ons and an exceptionally strong tool set. Notwithstanding that, there  
are systems in production with Squeak, including DabbleDB, so it is a  
realistic option as well.

> The key facilities we need are:
> SSL connections (I now understand that this is handled by Apache)
Yes, just use Apache.
> User registration and authentication.  LDAP would seem to be a good  
> approach - particularly for single sign-on - but does Seaside talk  
> with LDAP (it would be useful to get autheticated usernames in the  
> apps)
I believe that Apache should be able to hand this as well, and then  
just pass on the authenticated username to Seaside.
> SMTP (in and out).  We would like to be able to generate emails and  
> receive them into the applications - where appropriate
GemStone does not have a built-in library for SMTP, but I believe that  
there are people who are doing this. It is essentially reading and  
writing on a socket so quite straightforward.
> Some sort of database.  We don't do very large scale data crunching,  
> but we do need to be able to reliably store and retrieve subsets of  
> objects.
Of course, with GemStone you get the database built-in; no O/R  
mapping, no external database to manage. If your data is less than 4  
GB then you can use the no-cost license of GemStone.
> Just to be clear, I don't want to burden anyone by asking for  
> detailed descriptions, I just want to know - in broad terms - what  
> we would need in order to replace the domino back end and allow us  
> to develop apps in Smalltalk.

Feel free to ask more questions. You can read more about GemStone and  
Seaside at http://programminggems.wordpress.com/ and http://gemstonesoup.wordpress.com/ 

James Foster

> Thanks
> Andy
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