[OT] user-management bit of web apps

Simon Wistow simon at thegestalt.org
Wed Jan 30 13:28:11 GMT 2008

On Wed, Jan 30, 2008 at 09:37:49AM +0000, Matt S Trout said:
> It is, admittedly, better than the "web framework" I wrote once ... but I
> had the sense to chuck that out and replace it with Maypole and then later
> Catalyst.

And this here (and the bits I've elided) is the 'problem' with web 
frameworks, at least from my point of view - which I realise is not the 
same as other peoples'.

So, I start off with a problem that requires some sort of dynamic web 
app type malarkey. So I go look at all the available web frameworks that 
are out there. And there are a lot.

A lot.

That there is problem number one by the way - and I know that choice and 
and competition are good and each to their own all that but I also keep 
coming back to the fact that we standardized on DBI and that was one of 
the best things that happened to us.

So I'm sitting down to write this app. My basic plan, which stretches 
right off in to the distant future because I am a thoughtful and 
farsighted developer, basically goes like this.

1. Hello World!
2. Having users and user self management
3. Start building the app
4. Having an admin class and user management by the admins.

In my brain I think I *ought* to do 4. before 3. but by then I'm bored 
and want to do *something*

5. Features
6. Release
7. Repeat 5. and 6. some more


n. Scaling.

For me (note how I keep using that phrase) there are twin desires. On 
the one hand I don't want to get too bogged down in future stuff 
especially since, most of the time, I'm never really going to have to 
get beyond step 3. But on the other hand I want to keep an eye on what 
I'm going to have to do in the future.

I don't know any of the frameworks so I go to the tutorials which do the 
Hello World and then very rarely have anything else. The start-up costs, 
the activation energy seem too high. There's too much scaffolding - to 
be frank it's all a little scary. 

I know why all the scaffolding's there and I know why it's necessary but 
there you go.

And this is my problem - I want something that starts small and easy and 
then gradually becomes the big scary scaffolding. And generally that 
means I end up writing my own framework again which starts small and 
then I hack on features and never learn from my mistakes and never 
learn one of the existing frameworks and then the next time I want to do 
something similar I end up doing it all again.

I'm not sure what my point is - work avoidance probably.

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