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

Marc Worrell marc@REDACTED
Fri Jul 29 15:15:38 CEST 2011

On 29 jul 2011, at 15:01, Banibrata Dutta wrote:
> 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).

> 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. 

As your users mostly don't share information you could:
- add specific data models for storing the user's information
- use the zotonic cms for the publication of news etc on the public facing part of your system
- access your specific models from the template using the Zotonic 'm' model interface in the templates

For your users, I would:
- store users in the normal zotonic tables, but hide them from each other using access control
- use the authentication/facebook/openid/etc modules for authentication

> 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 ?

For an initial setup and speed of development it is useful to keep your templates server based.

Later you can add a REST (JSON) interface and templating on the user agent, as this might use less bandwidth.
You can also stick with the Zotonic (Nitrogen alike) event model with pushed javascript instead of parsing/interpreting JSON on the client side.

For more detailed discussions about Zotonic I would recommend the Zotonic users mailinglist http://groups.google.com/group/zotonic-users

- Marc

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