[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] Indexes: Main | Date | Thread | Author

[ba-ohs-talk] First trials with Helma

In my post http://www.bootstrap.org/lists/ba-ohs-talk/0111/msg00057.html
I mentioned Helma, a BSD licensed Java Web application server.    (01)

I got it running.  Just download either the unix or Wintel version, 
install, and go.
Well, not quite.    (02)

I installed the Wintel version.  Then had to go in and tweak a bunch of 
*.properties files.  Then it started running fine. (Well, "fine" is a 
relative word -- there really are a few bugs floating about -- haven't 
coaxed the Wiki to work yet).    (03)

I had to follow the instructions for replacing MySQL with HSQLDB, the Java 
open source database, then drop the antville directory into the apps 
folder, and tell the apps.properties file that antville was there.  I did 
that while HOP (as it is called) was running and when I saved the 
properties file, I noticed that HOP promptly discovered the new 
application.  Reload the web page and antville shows up as an 
application.  Click on it, start a new weblog, and away it goes.    (04)

Why does this appear so easy?  It does because the entirety of the Java 
code supports applications written in JavaScript, macros, skins (html 
snippets), and properties files.  All the hard work is done by the JS 
interpreter with a database extension, and a bunch of Java code that app 
writers don't have to create.  I suspect it helps to be a JS, CSS, and 
macro jock, however.    (05)

Now, I have no idea (at this time) how far HOP can be pushed.  I got the 
email client to work, except that it doesn't appear to actually go online 
and get some mail.  The client seems like a tiny prototype (demo, I 
suppose).  It will need work.    (06)

Here's where things get interesting.  It appears like the weblog app 
"antville" is strong enough that it can serve as the "inbox" for an email 
client (and an outbox as well).  Couple that with a few other features and 
it looks like you might have the beginnings of an application that has the 
look and feel of Rod Welch's SDS program.  I suspect some additional 
features will have to be added to the core HOP architecture to support all 
the linking and recall power in SDS.    (07)

In any case, I am thinking this is a pretty amazing demonstration of what 
you can do by writing a powerful infrastructure to support an interpreted 
Web application.  Scalable?  Don't know that either. Mutable?  Yup. Fun?  Yup.    (08)

Jack    (09)