[erlang-questions] newbie web-development advice / guidance

Marc Worrell marc@REDACTED
Fri Jul 29 14:08:34 CEST 2011

It mostly depends on what kind of web development you want to do.

Is it more of a mobile application than a publishing web site?
Does is have specific authentication schemes?
Etc. Etc.

When your project involves a "normal" dynamic website with publishing, users, some interaction etc. then Zotonic might be a good fit.
At least it will prevent you re-inventing quite some wheels.  It also uses webmachine, so adding your own specific REST interface should be easy.

When your project is really more backend like and not using templates (think of the backend for a mobile app) then it is better to make a server with Webmachine (and whatnot) and use Javascript on the user agent (or a native implementation).

- Marc

(disclaimer: I am one of the Zotonic maintainers)

On 29 jul 2011, at 13:52, Dmitry Demeshchuk wrote:

> Many people prefer using Erlang just for REST API and internal
> distribution, and serve any user-visible content using
> Python/Ruby/PHP, often on top of some framework (Django, Pylons,
> Rails, etc). For instance, Heroku and Github use Erlang for internal
> stuff, and serve content using Ruby. At Mochi Media, we use Python for
> displaying the pages, and use Erlang only as REST applications.
> I don't claim this way to be more correct than using
> Nitrogen/Erlydtl/whatever, but the reason why people do that is
> because they don't like using Erlang for pages generation.
> So, you can keep searching, but keep in mind that using another
> language for serving pages isn't that bad.
> On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 3:18 PM, Icarus Alive <icarus.alive@REDACTED> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Looking for some suggestions on how to get started with Web
>> development in Erlang.
>> My background is largely C/C++ systems development, and picked up some Erlang,
>> i.e. I can understand most not-too-complex/large Erlang programs given
>> a little time,
>> unless very esoteric style is adopted, and still find it a bit hard to
>> 'think in Erlang'
>> (a decade of procedural and OO thinking often gets in the way). However, with a
>> turn of events, now I need to do some web-development.
>> Started looking at Nitrogen, but finding the syntax very hard. A steep
>> learning curve.
>> I've done some PHP programming a decade back, and found it to be very simple,
>> and this seems almost like a herculean learning exercise. The
>> tutorial, didn't seem
>> to be structured in a beginner friendly way, and there is hardly any
>> alternative tutorial
>> available. So I wonder as to how many people are really using it. I've
>> had a look at
>> Zotonic as well, but not sure if that might be easier / simpler, and
>> also if it'd be
>> too-much work separating out the CMS from the framework, it might be
>> bit too hard
>> for a beginner to make reasonable progress.
>> My preferred approach would be to keep the backend pretty much REST'ish and use
>> heavier frontend (s.a. jQuery) to interact with it, although I've the
>> need for delivering
>> some streaming media, and strong authentication etc. Also, I shall the
>> services to be
>> available on mobile handsets.
>> Would really appreciate if someone can share thoughts, advice, and pointer to
>> good / comprehensive tutorials etc., to make this learning (&
>> adoption) as simple and
>> easy as possible. Alternatively if someone feels that sticking to PHP
>> (which I am slightly
>> more comfortable with) would be a good idea, shall be happy to have that vote
>> of confidence.
>> Icarus
>> _______________________________________________
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> -- 
> Best regards,
> Dmitry Demeshchuk
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