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Re: [Chicken-users] rails-like framework

From: Peter Bex
Subject: Re: [Chicken-users] rails-like framework
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 13:13:51 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/

On Fri, Apr 21, 2006 at 02:05:45PM -0700, Brandon J. Van Every wrote:
>    I'm  afraid  my  own Chicken projects are getting the backburner right
>    now.  Technical stuff is just too much work when I'm spending a lot of
>    time  signature  gathering.   The  season  ends in early July and if I
>    don't  travel  to  another  state to do more work, then I'll have more
>    time  for  Chicken.   This  kind  of  problem  of  critical  mass, and
>    application interest, is why Ruby has Rails and Chicken doesn't.

If I recall correctly, Rails was initially done by one person/small team
for a website.  Later the Rails stuff got separated from the project.

In essence, Rails isn't that much: it's a handy hack for building class
layouts from a database table description (ActiveRecord), some addon
libraries for the Time class and a framework that aids in implementing
the model/view/controller (data manipulation/presentation/logic)
separation.  It also includes some stuff to do Ajax, but we already
have that in the Ajax egg.  And some session support, but we can do
that easily, and even _better_ with continuations.  See
( for some tasty
stuff.  This could ideally be integrated in Spiffy.

I think the hardest thing will be the ActiveRecord-like support since
Scheme isn't especially object-oriented.  The question is whether
that is really required.  The most important aspect about Rails is that
it has decent defaults.  You can just build a database and run Rake
to set up a Rails environment and you have a bare-bones interface to
the database out of the box.  To do things, you need the very minimum
of custom code.  This is the essence of what makes Rails so popular.
I'm not sure if this can be done as easily in a non-object-oriented
environment.  Ruby makes it easy to automatically build objects from
information because it allows you to add members to existing classes.
I think with the Prometheus egg we could do something like this.

As you see, a lot of stuff is already there.  It's just crying for
someone to put it all together.

I've been thinking about doing something like this myself since I am
involved in web programming for a company where we are using PHP (yuck!)
and Ruby.  I'd *love* to have something like Rails in Chicken.
The reason I haven't done any work on it is, of course, I'm currently
too busy with some other things that just need to get done before I can
do anything fun like hacking Chicken :(

If anyone is interested: having a decent userfriendly Scheme CMS would
be *very* useful too :)

"The process of preparing programs for a digital computer
 is especially attractive, not only because it can be economically
 and scientifically rewarding, but also because it can be an aesthetic
 experience much like composing poetry or music."
                                                        -- Donald Knuth

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