[erlang-questions] Web Frameworks: which to choose?

Marc Worrell marc@REDACTED
Mon Apr 18 20:32:28 CEST 2011

On Apr 18, 2011, at 20:16 , Jesse Gumm wrote:

> Here's my vote for Nitrogen.  I've been working with Nitrogen for
> close to two years now, and I quite enjoy it.
> And Webmachine support was recently added to Nitrogen, so as far as I
> know, you can indeed add some REST-type stuff there, but I haven't
> ever tinkered with Webmachine so I can't speak at all about it.

Didn't mention it, but Zotonic is also based on Webmachine.  
Webmachine is the best HTTP protocol handler ever.

> I gave a talk a few months ago about Nitrogen.  Here are the slides
> (they should work for Nitrogen 2.0.2, but things changed in 2.0.4):
> https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dc37wnrq_7hqpqc6gv
> -Jesse
> On Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 12:53 PM, Kenny Stone <kennethstone@REDACTED> wrote:
>> Why not fold in the enhancements from zotonic the framework into nitrogen
>> and keep zotonic just the CMS part?  I'm not criticizing, just curious :)
>> Kenny

Not doable, Zotonic drifted too far from Nitrogen. 

For starters we removed the use of the process dictionary and then added templates (enhanced ErlyDTL), modules, WebSockets, e-mail (gen_smtp), database (epgsql), xmpp pubsub, template selectors, virtual hosts, etc. etc.  And everything HTTP is built on top of Webmachine.

The people working with Zotonic are not only programmers but also frontenders. There are some frontenders building websites without even touching the Erlang code.  See http://timbenniks.nl/ who made multiple Zotonic sites.  An example of a website where programming was involved is http://www.maxclass.com/

In Zotonic all Nitrogen actions, validators, postbacks etc can be specified in the template by the template builder.  There is even a signal/slot module (mod_signal by Maas-Maarten Zeeman) to let web pages send messages to each other without programming.

But... it is a choice.  Do you want to make your templates in Erlang?  Then use Nitrogen.  Do you want a frontender to make your templates?  Then you need something like Zotonic or another framework with a template engine.

- Marc

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