Game over. We lost. Nothing to see here, move along.

Ben Evans ben at
Fri Nov 18 14:44:37 GMT 2005

On Fri, Nov 18, 2005 at 01:54:35PM +0000, Aaron Trevena wrote:
> On 11/18/05, Ben Evans <ben at> wrote:
> > On Fri, Nov 18, 2005 at 11:31:04AM +0000, Dave Cross wrote:
> > I've been meaning to write up my concerns about this topic for a while
> > now, but have been sitting on my hands and waiting for my initial
> > irritation to subside.
> >
> > I've now tried three times to get a Maypole app up and running and have failed
> > each time, taking 3-6 days of wasted effort each time.
> You never thought to email the list?

What list? I looked for a suitable one and couldn't find anything active.

> Or add anything to the wiki about your problems? ? Persistently down, unusably slow when up and full of wikispam
and broken links.

> Or did you report any bugs to

How does one report a bug when the test application for something like a 
framework won't even come up? That's a deep integration issue, not something
one can fit into RT. And what sort of resolution is it going to get, other
than WFM ?

> > The last case was pretty straighforward - a set of SOAP services, backed by a
> > database are moving towards release. The DB now needs a set of human
> > operator enq / maint screens, which should be web-based.
> > If you believe the hype, this should be meat and drink to a web scripting
> > framework. If you've believed the hype and bought the T-shirt, you'd hope
> > that you'd get basical minimal views over single tables by a clever URL
> > scheme, one template and some database introspection.
> Yes, trivial. There are examples, there are plenty of perfectly normal
> people running production maypole sites that aren't CRUD but rather
> dynamic web applications.

If you can find me some examples running off a Sybase DB, I'd be very 
interested in seeing the source.
> > [ several days of banging head against wall snipped ]
> Sorry, but I'm by no means a great hacker, but wtf? I never had these
> problems, even when I was stuck on a train with no internet
> connection, and no reception on my mobile to phone a friends I managed
> better than that.

That's precisely the attitude that made me not want to report problems
on the previous two attempts.

Every tutorial says the same thing - look how easy it all is, with very 
little in the way of what to do if the thing just plain old doesn't 
work as advertised.

Maybe if you tried to be a little more conciliatory to people that haven't
drunk the Kool-Aid, you might get a few more users.
> When was this - which version? 1.x? 2.x? It doesn't sound like
> anything I've heard about since well before 2.09 which was nearly a
> year ago.

Maypole 2.10 - about 3-4 weeks ago. Latest versions of absolutely everything
available (and all previous versions, so I can use earlier versions if required).
> > But I'm getting pretty close to just jacking it all in and recommending JSP
> > for all future web development. The learning curve will be steeper to begin
> > with, but in the end, there are more resources, more support and the key
> > risk to projects I'm on will be much less.
> Or you could, and obviously you would rather avoid it -- speak to
> people about this stuff rather than bottle it up for a year and vent
> long after anybody can help, and without any useful details of
> specific problems.

Hardly. I had a deadline to prototype an application and make a technology
decision. I'd deferred it because I had heard great things of Maypole and
estimated I could get a workable POC in a few days effort, and because 
I knew that I had a fallback (albeit at the cost of some supportability
and maintainability) of using my homegrown framework.

I found Maypole to be unusable and bordering on abandonware from all the active
participation and help that seemed to be available. 

I'd be prepared to give it another go, but it will have to wait until I
have a project which can support another week's worth of potentially 
wasted prototyping time.

FWIW, I suspect that the largest irritations I suffered were more to do with 
CDBI not supporting Sybase properly and that Maypole was simply not being
smart about showing me where the errors were really coming from. 

The Maypole documentation still sucks, though, and really lacks a decent case
study for "we have a database, now lets code up some maintainance screens
in no time flat", which seems to me to be an excellent primary use case
for the whole web frameworks concept. 


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