[squeak-dev] [ANN] Altitude

radoslav hodnicak rh at 4096.sk
Wed Jul 18 01:30:59 UTC 2012

Thanks. I find Seaside's security features very valuable for what I do but
I also have parts of my applications that (should) behave more REST-like,
so perhaps I'll take a look at Altitude for that eventually. Have you
measured the performance advantages of using xtreams and if so, how?


On Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 2:11 AM, Colin Putney <colin at wiresong.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM, radoslav hodnicak <rh at 4096.sk> wrote:
> > Can you describe how it compares (or doesn't) to Seaside or other web
> > technologies?
> Sure. Seaside is probably the best comparison. I cut my Smalltalk
> teeth writing a Seaside app, so it's had a huge influence on Altitude.
> Altitude will feel familiar to those who've used Seaside before. It
> has Component trees that render themselves using a canvas-style
> protocol, and uses blocks as callbacks. Like Seaside, Altitude takes
> care of generating urls and form-field names, so application
> developers don't have to write a lot of code to route requests or
> marshal server state into strings.
> The main difference between Altitude and Seaside is that Seaside is
> session-oriented, Altitude is resource-oriented. Seaside generates
> unique urls for every interaction with the user, while Altitude
> generates RESTful urls. The upside of that is that Altitude is more
> cacheable than Seaside and has (potentially) more scalable memory
> usage than Seaside. The downside is that it lacks Seaside's inherent
> security. (Implementation note: Altitude doesn't use continuations. An
> early prototype did have an implementation of call/answer based on
> partial continuations, mostly to prove it would work, but I haven't
> needed that in practice, so I took it out.)
> Another difference comes from Xtreams. Seaside implements several
> server-adaptors that allow it to work with various HTTP
> implementations, like Kom, Zinc, Swazoo etc. Altitude implements its
> own web server on top of Xtreams and takes full advantage of the
> flexibility that Xtreams offers. Altiude uses Xtreams pervasively and
> it's a huge improvement over the classical ST-80 stream protocol, both
> in terms of design flexibility and performance.
> Finally, Altitude provides less insulation form HTTP than Seaside
> does. Seaside was designed to handle the details of HTTP so that the
> developer can focus on his application. Modern web applications,
> however, make more use of the features and details of HTTP (via AJAX,
> for example), than in the past, and so Altitude exposes HTTP to the
> application more than Seaside does. This may be because of Altitude's
> relative immaturity; we'll see how it develops.
> It would probably be good to implement some example applications in
> Altitude, so people can see how the compare to the Seaside versions.
> Colin
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