[Seaside] Should I become a Seasider?

Sebastian Heidbrink sebastian_heidbrink at yahoo.de
Sat Apr 9 00:37:08 UTC 2011

Hi Roland,

I guess, just like with all web soultions, starting a business with a 
web application is a very very big task.
Especially in your case, when you are saying that you are not really 
experienced with that kind of technology.

But there are in deed pros and cons in Seaside which might help you to 
start quickly or, on the other hand to drive you crazy.

First some cons:
Seaside is lacking Smalltalk Developer Support. The Seaside framework 
expects a lot of knowledge in HTML, CSS and Javascript.
The Seaside core development team focuses very much in supporting 
different kinds of web web technologies in Seaside. But... there are no 
approaches to set a layer on top of seaside that might help pure 
Smalltalkers to start with Seaside web develpment.... at least no 
Seaside core team members. There are some additional projects coming up 
with very interesting Seaside addons but it will still take some time 
until "everybody" will be able to implement full Seaside Smalltalk web 

Seaside is evolving. From a business perspective view you will have to 
think over a lot of your decisions you've made a few month ago from time 
to time. First Consinuations are everything you need,... then you don't 
necesarily need them,... Prototype/Scriptacoulus -> jQuery,... Squeak -> 
Pharo, ... Seacharts -> jQueryWidgetBox,....

There's no real standard component library you can use just to proof 
some of your concepts.


Second the pros:
Seaside fullfills/offers a lot of things you might be faced with 
problems in other web frameworks. Security, Deployment, Code Repository, 
mature IDE,...

Seaside is a very productive environment once you have taken the first 
hurdle (base component library, base css layouts, base "templates").

Seaside/Smalltalk offers binding to many many other technologies and 
makes it very easy to follow you costumers demands and infrastructure 

The learning curve in Seaside/Smalltalk is very steep. Smalltalk = 
prose. Certain base knowledge of web developement is already covered by 
Seaside. You will quite early get proper results.

What I would do in your case.
Most startUps I know used Gemstone/Seaside to start their business. Here 
you get a least rid of a lot of time that other web developersspend with 
thier persistency frameworks and DB bindings.
I know some guys who successfully started business with seaside.

And keep one thing in mind! The average customer doesn't really care 
what kind of technology you use,... he's interested in the results. 
That's different with those really large firms that rely on expensive 
hardware,... but even there are exceptions.

Here's a question for you:
"Why not Smalltalk?"

Good luck!

Am 08.04.2011 23:53, schrieb Ralph Boland:
> This post is about making a living as a web developer using Seaside.
> I am an unemployed software developer in Calgary (1,000,000 people),
> Alberta, Canada.
> I have used Squeak for years but I have found no Smalltalk work in Calgary
> and in fact know of only one small company in Calgary that uses Smalltalk.
> 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?
> 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.
> 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?
> 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.
> 2)  Which version(s) of Smalltalk should I use?
>       I know Squeak and have used Visualworks in the distant past.
> 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?
> 4)  Is there any areas within the web development would that I should
> concentrate on or avoid?
> 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.
> Are there other questions that I should have asked?
> Starting a business is generally a tough deal so please don't butter me up
> with glowing reviews of Seaside.
> Regards,
> Ralph Boland
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> seaside at lists.squeakfoundation.org
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