Gentlemen, a call to arms!

Matt S Trout dbix-class at
Tue Oct 17 08:46:26 BST 2006

Simon Wilcox wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Oct 2006, Jonathan Rockway wrote:
>>> These are all very well but when they break[1] you're stuffed.
>> Yup.  The advantage of Catalyst is that you can get rid of the CRUD
>> framework and write things properly.  With other "frameworks", you're
>> stuck with what they give you, and you end up bending your app around
>> the framework.  Catalyst stays out of the way and lets you handle things
>> (like a ... catalyst).  That's not quite as "fun" as watching rails or
>> jifty make your forms for you, but it's what most people need in the end.
> My problem is, or was, that these frameworks were touted as "get going
> quick" solutions. Once installed and not working it was nigh on impossible
> to work out where the breakage was occuring.
> My experience, admittedly a long 10 months ago, was that these CRUD
> frameworks were a distration and a dead end. I should revisit them now
> that the whole landscape has matured a bit.

I've always found CRUD frameworks to be such; if you think Catalyst is one 
then you've entirely misunderstood the nature of the project - one of its main 
points is it doesn't ship with a DB library at all, there are users using it 
for pure fs backend stuff, LDAP, SVN etc. (and at least two search engines 
that I know of).

I certainly don't tout it as a "get going quick" solution so much as "here are 
a bunch of the wheels you always need for a web-app nicely backaged and ready 
to do things".

>> Catalyst is a great platform for building other frameworks; that's why
>> we have Enzyme, InstantCRUD, Reaction, etc.  (I am even brewing up a new
>> framework in the back of my mind, but I'm waiting to see how the others
>> pan out before I actually write it.)
> I don't want to write frameworks, I want to write web applications and
> right here is the key, the single biggest difference between the rails
> camp and the catalyst camp. Rails is an emergent framework being evolved
> through the development of real world applications. Catalyst, although
> there are obviously sites being built with it, has the feel of a project
> that exists as a solution in search of a problem.

I think the original development of Catalyst was very much that; these days 
however, it's absolutely being evolved through the development of real-world 
applications - all of the core team members have Catalyst sites that they work 
with on a day-to-day basis (in my case, given we do a lot of consultancy and 
contract dev it's often not the same site, but the point still stands :).

I ran into the project a while back looking for something entirely different, 
realised what it was and fell in love. That I'm now involved in development as 
a direct result of using it successfully in the wild and that the vast 
majority of our active contributors are the same should say something.

> I'm no rails fan-boy, much of it is crufty and solution specific, much
> like php actually and a by-product of the way it's being developed, but
> they are being successful with it.
> I don't think Catalyst wants to be successful in that way but that's a
> very perlish attitude and we should probably commend it for that :-)

Not particularly, we're trying to build a good substrate atop which that sort 
of thing and many others can be built; most of the rails and PHP defectors 
I've seen have moved to Catalyst not because it's a better one of what they're 
already using but because they've outgrown the capabilities of what they're 
currently using's One True Way and want to move to a situation where they can 
use Whatever Way Works For Their Requirements - and *that* is a perlish 
attitude :)

      Matt S Trout       Offering custom development, consultancy and support
   Technical Director    contracts for Catalyst, DBIx::Class and BAST. Contact
Shadowcat Systems Ltd.  mst (at) for more information

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