[aida] Web framework or Web Application Server?

nicolas petton petton.nicolas at gmail.com
Wed Aug 20 04:06:19 CEST 2008

2008/8/19 Nicholas Moore <nicholas.moore at tsr-i.com>

>  From a marketing perspective there is probably some benefit in
> positioning AIDA as a web application server because that offers so much
> more - a complete integrated development and deployment environment,
> facilitating rapid prototyping and testing. Simple web frameworks are
> relatively obsolete!
> :-)

I don't think that web frameworks are obsolete at all, but it's ok, I was
just worried from marketing point of view. I don't personally care how we
call it, Aida is still Aida, the best Smalltalk web applcation
server/framework ;)

It's just that some other web developpers had the same problem the first
time they saw Aida and its website. I had to explain what it was....Ok, some
of them come from RoR community, but still.



> Nicholas
> Janko Mivšek wrote:
> Jimmie,
> 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
> permit.
> 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
> Janko
> 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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> --
> *Nicholas J Moore*
>  +33 555 092 140
> +33 682 904 357
> *TSR International
> *Thought Leaders in Communication & Complexity
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Nicolas Petton

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