[aida] Web framework or Web Application Server?

Janko Mivšek janko.mivsek at eranova.si
Tue Aug 19 20:36:11 CEST 2008


Thank you very much for your thoughts and they are on the right 
direction, at least from my viewpoint. I'll use your questions below for 
my ESUG presentation to show the vision of both Aida and Scribo. Well, 
I'll try to show and let discussing the vision here as well if time will 

About question from subject, let we therefore stay with Smalltalk Web 
Application Server.  Technically it is much more appropriate as you and 
Nicholas pointed out, while me and Nico had some worries from marketing 
standpoint. Also on Wikipedia we are among Web frameworks, there is even 
not a serious page for web app servers!

Best regards

Jimmie Houchin wrote:
> nico wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Of course I also understand Jimmie's point. But I still think that it's
>> a mistake, at least for marketing reasons.
> Understood. :)
> However, there is no clearly defined use of the phrases "Web Framework", 
> "Fullstack", or "Web Application Server". The definition unfortunately 
> varies depending on the tool to which it is being applied. Which is why 
> I believe that on the "About AIDAweb"... page(s) that a good description 
> as to whatever expression we use means.
> With regards to marketing. Who are we marketing to? What marketing 
> battle do we hope to win?
> If Seaside v. AIDAweb/Scribo, then I don't think it is a problem. Each 
> are different and distinct with different personalities. And with regard 
> to Framework v. Application Server, Seaside is in the same boat as us.
> I believe that with regards to marketing we have a lot more to overcome 
> than ambiguities between Framework v. Application Server.
> Why use Smalltalk?
> That is the first barrier to entry.
> Once that is overcome, then we have somebody who can listen and 
> understand the whys behind Seaside or AIDAweb.
> We will never win with people who come to AIDAweb who are looking to 
> swap in and out there favorite pieces and parts and tools for the job. 
> Its hard enough to talk to the Seaside community and they are one of us. 
> Janko posts on the Seaside list about adding a feature to Swazoo and 
> gets blasted. Why add this feature? We have Apache? (All bow down to 
> Apache)  Ugh!
> One thing I love about AIDAweb is Janko's vision for a complete 
> Smalltalk stack for web development. Turtles all the way down, as Avi 
> says. Nice!
> We are getting closer to offering a good and reasonably compelling tool 
> for the developer. I would love to see us get to a better out the box 
> experience for those who aren't programmers (yet) but are very good with 
> computers and software and we can enable them with quality software and 
> a good web UI to get the job done.
> The app I am currently working on is currently implemented in 
> SharePoint. Yuck! But it was chosen (not by me) because it enabled a 
> certain set of people to get a job done. AIDAweb/Scribo as of yet 
> wouldn't quite enable them in the same way. But it can, and I hope it 
> will soon.
> Out of the Box experience is the one thing which has so strongly tried 
> to pull me to Plone. Being the end-user of an application (CMS) instead 
> of a developer with a CMS is very appealing. It is very enabling.
> I am very much a power user. I very much prefer using an application, to 
> developing the application. I am hoping that Scribo will reach the place 
> that it enables people like me. I know Scribo isn't there yet. And that 
> I might have to help to get it there. But if there is no desire for 
> Scribo to enable application users. Then I may be in the wrong place and 
> need to go to Plone who very much does. But I care about the back-end 
> technology also which is why I currently prefer AIDAweb/Scribo.
> Any way, I believe marketing to people looking for a Framework will 
> frequently draw people in only to see them leave when they learn that we 
> don't embrace or enable their favorite tool. They will see our vision as 
> too narrow and non-inclusive. Whereas I find it liberating to not have 
> to worry about all that other technology and what to pick and how to 
> assemble and get working together.
> A quote from the Seaside list:
> "It took me at least 3 times as much time to get Apache up and running 
> with Seaside as it did to actually write the Seaside application."
> So the question really is:
> Who are we marketing to?
> Who do we want to become a part of this community?
> What is AIDAweb?
> Who are its users?
> How do we get the word out to them?
> Regardless of which phrase gets chosen, it will need to be well defined 
> for the context of AIDAweb.
> To me, we want people who are:
> Opinionated :)
> They love Smalltalk, or are at least open to learning and loving Smalltalk.
> They love Turtles all the way down.
> The more they can do with the chosen tool, the better.
> The less they have to look elsewhere to solve the problem, the better.
> And the nice thing is ...
> That if you want to put Apache in front of AIDAweb, you can.
> That if you want to use PostgreSQL for persistence, you can.
> Nothing stops you. Nothing even slows you down.
> It just isn't the required path of the tool.
> You are fully enabled without such tools or requirements.
> Nothing else is required out of the box.
> So what is our vision statement?
> Who are we?
> What do we want to be?
> Who do we enable?
> What do we provide?
> Where do we want to go?
> The better we can answer all of these questions the better we can choose 
> who to market to and how.
> One of the fantastic things to watch about the Plone community is how 
> they choose to organize themselves. How they go about deciding a vision 
> for the future of Plone. A vision for Plone, its development, its users, 
> its community.
> I know the AIDAweb community is small. But we don't have to think small. 
> Without a vision the people perish. Without a vision, no one can come 
> alongside and become one of us. With a vision clearly expressed and 
> written down. People can come alongside, take a part of the work and run 
> with it. Without such, people are only somewhat walking in the same 
> direction. If their works happen to complement the whole and help the 
> community, great. If not, oh well. No common vision. No common goals. No 
> common achievements.
> I am not a strong developer. But hopefully I can be a strong motivator 
> and help where I can. But without the vision, I can't say that AIDAweb 
> is going the direction I want to go. It currently isn't at a place I 
> want to be. But can I help it get to where it wants to go? And do I want 
> to go there also?
> If I can't answer those questions, then I am better off with Plone even 
> if the back end development is a little harder. Because of community, I 
> will have much less of it to do. Only those content types which aren't 
> available out of the box.
> My apologies for such a long email.
> I am just trying to exhort this community toward creating and moving 
> towards a common, well written vision as to who we are, what we are 
> doing, where we are going and why you want to join us in this adventure.
> Jimmie
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Janko Mivšek
Smalltalk Web Application Server

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