Tag: W6

Switched From Squeak To Pharo

Over the last few weeks I switched goodstart.com and w6talent.com from Squeak to Pharo.

I made the switch because I like the cleaner look of Pharo and the general direction – to make a clean, lean, Smalltalk development environment.  Also, I am working on another project to produce investment banking tombstones at tombstonecreator.com so I needed better font support and the Pharo font support is nice.

I had to make a few minor changes to my apps and to the HttpSsp framework for Smalltalk Server Pages but it was all very minor and easy to do.

So far I’m happy with my switch.

Squeak / Smalltalk / Smalltalk Server Pages

I’m almost done building another application with Squeak / Smalltalk / Smalltalk Server Pages.  The application is nearly done and will be available in another couple weeks and up on the new site (domain already purchased).  I wish I had a preview up to show people.

That will make 3 applications or sites running Smalltalk Server Pages in Squeak:

  • W6Talent.com – a site that allows creative agencies to book talent from multiple reputable talent agencies
  • GoodStart.com – a site about the Smalltalk programming language
  • The new site / application .. coming soon

Finished Switch to VPS

I have completed the conversion from a managed account at ehostpros.com to a VPS account at fluidhosting.com.  EhostPros was good for a long time (several years) but then they did some server upgrades that made cpanel only work on rare occasions.  I was already paying for the VPS for w6talent.com so I decided to move all of my sites there (colicshop.com, goodstart.com, up-high.com, wikiweb.com, w6talent.com).  The VPS support has been super.  I have run into a few problems along the way and they spent a lot of time helping me fix my own errors.  I would use EhostPros again if I ever go back to a non-vps.  I like the VPS because it allows me to run my some of my sites in Squeak.  It took a little work to make sure we didn’t have any email issues with the switch but I think I managed to do it without any lost emails (knock on wood).

Load Balancing Squeak

This week I tried to follow the tips that Ramon gave out on his blog to load balance Squeak images behind Apache:

http://onsmalltalk.com/scaling-seaside-more-advanced-load-balancing-and-publishing

I had some problems getting it to work.  I tried everything I could think of and then finally contacted Ramon.  We chatted and in a few minutes I had everything working great.  I didn’t understand that his image launcher script should stay up once Apache launches it.  Once I got that.. everything fell into place.

Now I am using his scheme at:

http://www.w6talent.com

Thanks Ramon for your blog post and your help!  As you can see his blog OnSmalltalk is now on my blog roll (list of links on my blog).

Seaside No More

Over the holidays I used my time to redesign the w6talent.com website.  It was written in Seaside but it is now written in my own smalltalk server page framework (will post more info on that later) that uses Comanche as a front end in Squeak.

I invested a fair amount of time in Seaside so let me take a minute to explain the things I liked and disliked about it:

Likes:

  • I absolutely love being able to do something like self confirm: while handling a request for something else.. This makes your code so much like normal Smalltalk code.
  • I absolutely love being able to work at the object level and associate blocks with certain actions on a web page.. so when save is clicked on a form you can just execute your block of code and not think about how it happened
  • I like that the framework has pretty good session management
  • I like that building stuff is pretty fast

Dislikes

  • It is a framework that makes some things very easy but other things harder
  • I hate what you have to do to have static urls
  • I like thinking of web pages as pages.. not forms on forms on forms.. It took me a while to get used to it but when I finally got used to it.. I still didn’t like it.  I really just want web pages to be pages
  • Session timeouts seems more abrupt than they would for an application that worked off of meaningful GET request urls that contain info about the information you are trying to get

So,   I stopped using Seaside but I get why some people love it.

Clean URLs in Squeak / Seaside

I just wanted to give thanks to Ramon Leon for his artile on Clean URLs in Seaside.  I just used his tips to make several urls clean on the West Sixth Talent website.  Now I can give out urls like this:

http://www.w6talent.com/about-us
http://www.w6talent.com/contact-us
http://www.w6talent.com/faq
http://www.w6talent.com/stylists
http://www.w6talent.com/photographers

Or even URLs that take you directly to a model’s profile:
http://www.w6talent.com/model/GiaCosta27

Thanks Ramon!