Web Heresies: The Seaside Framework

Avi Bryant, Dabble DB

Track: Web Apps
Date: Thursday, July 27
Time: 5:20pm - 6:05pm
Location: F150

Over the last few years, some best practices have come to be widely accepted in the web development world. Share as little state as possible. Use clean, carefully chosen, and meaningful URLs. Use templates to separate your model from your presentation.

Seaside is a web application framework for Smalltalk that breaks all of these rules and then some. Think of it as an experiment in tradeoffs: if you reject the conventional wisdoms of web development, what benefits can you get in return? Quite a lot, it turns out, and this "experiment" has gained a large open source following, seen years of production use, and been heralded by some as the future of web applications.

In this talk, you'll learn in-depth about Seaside's heretical design choices, and how it benefits from them. In particular, you'll see how closures and shared state let you ignore the details of URLs and query fields; how the right HTML generation API makes you less tied to your presentation layer, not more; how continuations free you from ever thinking about workflow as a state machine again; and how all of this combines to enable modularity and reuse like you've never seen before.

No prior Smalltalk experience necessary; open mind recommended.