[aida] Aida/Web or Seaside ?

Janko Mivšek janko.mivsek at eranova.si
Mon Oct 15 09:58:57 CEST 2007

Salut Nicolas,

nicolas petton wrote:

> I'm making a blog engine using Seaside. Today I look at Aida because I
> really don't like those uggly urls, but I don't know Aida at all. In
> fact I think Seaside is not the best framework for a blog.
> What are the advantages/disadvantages between Aida and Seaside ?

Blog is actually a prime example of pure web application. By pure I mean 
in a pure spirit of the web. Namely, the web spirit relies on an idea of 
hypertext, that is a text connected with hyperlinks (Urls). And that is 
also the main idea behind Aida from the start.

Another one is a mapping the "web" of references between objects in your 
domain model to the web of pages as seamlessly as possible. And those 
web pages are a representation, an UI for your domain objects, in pure 
MVC fashion. That's a second main idea behind Aida.

Third is a composition of web pages from components, actually a 
hierarchical tree of them, with components composed of other components. 
Like the elements on a typical web page are actually composed from sub 
elements like DIVs, down to basic elements like text, images, Url links 

I think that with above I described main strengths of Aida, which 
therefore are:

1. REST-like, nice, bookmarkable, fully automatic URL management,
2. MVC separation of domain from its presentation, which is enforced,
3. Composing web pages from hierarchy of components

There is more advantages, let me show some of them:

4. Low memory footprint, no need for timeouts, you can serve tens of
    thousands of users from a single image,
5. Integrated security management (users, groups, access rights)
6. Integrated real-time statistics of visits of your web site, together
    with referrers,
7. Hosting of many web sites at once (actually a Swazoo feature)
8. Fully integrated Ajax support, which is part of Aida and more and
    more components are now ajaxified seamlessly, you don't even see that
9. Back button supported simply by proper caching and redirection.

And disadvantages? Well, main one is that Aida is not as popular as 
Seaside :) Another one? Hard to say. We can argue about control flow, 
because Aida don't support call/answer kind of flow between pages, but 
that is maybe even an advantage. Aida will probably go here introducing 
Ajax call/answer, but definitively not with continuations.

Back to blog: interesting is that I'm just thinking also to start 
developing my own blog (and also writing into, about Aida), so if you 
are interested, we can develop it together! What do you think?

À bientôt

Janko Mivšek
Smalltalk Web Application Server

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