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

Banibrata Dutta banibrata.dutta@REDACTED
Fri Jul 29 15:01:32 CEST 2011

Thanks @Marc, for taking time to reply this this mail.

On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 5:38 PM, Marc Worrell <marc@REDACTED> wrote:

> 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?

One of the avatars in likely to be a mobile application, but it is neither
the first one, nor the only one.
However, I am not sure I can classify it as a general publishing site, i.e.
same content isn't viewed by several people, rather content uploaded
'somehow' (many ways, many sources) is visible only to the user. What the
user can view/has viewed, must be held in tight secrecy. Even admins
shouldn't be able to view the content or what content users viewed. User can
(in-frequently) share some of the content with others, but I'd say that less
than 0.1% of the content (figuratively speaking).

Does is have specific authentication schemes?
> Etc. Etc.

Honestly, haven't given this enough thought. One of the requirements is to
ensure privacy of user data, and that of the interaction. I'm yet to figure
out the "how" part.

> 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.

Zotonic seemed very interesting, based on a superficial read of the site (I
admit, haven't downloaded or tried it), but what seemed a bit intimidating
from a newbie standpoint was that I couldn't figure out anything in
documentation (s.a. a tutorial) on how to
not-use-Zotonic-as-a-CMS-but-as-a-framework. For instance how to write an
app that leverage some framework-features of Zotonic, but is largely a REST
application. I can understand that such usecase may not the priority for the
Zotonic team at the moment.

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).

If the initial access mechanism to the service/application is desktop
browser based is there anything that makes the jQuery  + JSON + RESTful
backend, harder, less suitable, higher complexity, lower performance,
difficult to scale (or any other foreseeable challenges), compared to the
template based approach ?

> 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
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> erlang-questions mailing list
> >> erlang-questions@REDACTED
> >> http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Best regards,
> > Dmitry Demeshchuk
> > _______________________________________________
> > erlang-questions mailing list
> > erlang-questions@REDACTED
> > http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
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