[Seaside] Should I become a Seasider?

Sean Allen sean at monkeysnatchbanana.com
Sat Apr 9 00:12:39 UTC 2011

> I know very little about Seaside.  My impression is that websites
> developed using
> Seaside are somewhat slower than with other web development tools and that
> Seaside uses more memory (I assume on the server side) than other web
> development tools.  Nevertheless there are web developers using
> Seaside successfully.
> Are these impressions correct?

That is too broad of a question. It really depends on what 'other
tools' you are comparing it to.
> What I am wondering is should I learn Seaside and then attempt to sell my web
> development services in Calgary?  My impression is that:
> 1)  No one in Calgary has ever heard of Seaside so selling my services
> would be difficult.

If they care about what it is built in. That is certainly true.

> 2)  Since I should be able to develop web sites faster using Seaside I
> should be able to
>     offer my services at a discount and hopefully be able to find
> business that way.  But
>     since no one but myself (at least locally) would be able to
> maintain the web sites,
>     potential customers are going to be very shy.
> Are these impressions correct?

Again, if they care about what it is built in yes.
As to faster... I have to say, I have used a ton of web frameworks
and nothing has come close to Seaside in terms of speed to develop
but that is more about the Smalltalk environment than anything that was
Seaside specific. That said, there are aspects of seaside that make
certain types of applications that would normally be really hard very trivial.

> Lets assume I decide to become a web developer (something I know
> almost nothing about)
> using Seaside as my competitive edge. To my knowledge I would be the
> only Seaside
> web developer in Calgary.
> 1)  How long (starting basically from scratch) is it going to take
> before I am competent;
>     or at least competent enough to seek clients?  Assume I am a
> competent Squeak developer.

you know nothing about web development? i think that is going to be
what trips you up. not any seaside specific part.

you will need to know html, css, javascript etc.

that is going to take time.

you can get up to speed doing crap html,css and js very quickly.
but becoming competent will take you a while.

> 2)  Which version(s) of Smalltalk should I use?
>     I know Squeak and have used Visualworks in the distant past.

that depends on your application requirements.

glass, pharo and vw's web velocity would meet different needs you might have.

> 3)  How screwed will my clients be if my ticker stops unexpectedly.
> Can Seaside developers
>     from outside Calgary pick up the slack for my hypothetical clients?

Probably really screwed because they wouldnt know where to find a
seaside developer.
However, if you tell them how and explain why they are getting X
application cheaper
or for the same amount of money, in the same amount of time, with more features,
you have a possible selling point.

Finding someone to do Seaside dev for money isnt hard if you know
where to find them
AND they are probably going to be a competent programmer.

> 4)  Is there any areas within the web development would that I should
> concentrate on or avoid?

Concentrate on applications that involve lots of state. It is where
seaside really excels.

> 5)  Is there any additional software/hardware that I would need other than my
>     home computer (running Ubuntu) and Squeak/Seaside?
>     My resources for investments is very limited.

I would advise starting with Pharo not Squeak when playing around.
If you are doing lots of relational db stuff... look into web velocity.
My personal favorite environment by far is Gemstone's GLASS which
basically takes the 'pharo' persistent to image method and makes it scale.


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