Weblocks Tutorial Blog

The Setup

Well, it's been ages since I wrote Learning About Weblocks,
and I've forgotten everything, and it's probably half obsolete

In April 2010, I went around honestly trying to be language agnostic
and to look for good web programming frameworks. I was quite
surprised to find nothing that seemed even remotely as advanced as
Weblocks. I had assume that,
for example, Ruby On Rails would be close, since people seem to
think it is quite impressive, so I was very surprised to see raw
HTML in the first few pages of an RoR tutorial. That just seems so
... primitive after using Weblocks.

But, on the other hand, the documentation is atrocious. The
community is decently responsive, but that can only make up for some
much opacity in the docs, especially since my next project is
something I'd like other people to be able to freely help with.

There's also the fact that Lisp is hard for a lot of people, and while I find it syntactically enjoyable, I have real trouble with using it seriously (trying to actually use and understand continuations f'reals makes my head explode, for example).

The Plan

So, this is my thought: I'll write a not-too-complicated sample
application in Weblocks, without the added overhead of my usual
programming style, and blog the process as a tutorial.

Some possible results:

  • A great weblocks tutorial, good enough to point to people that I might like to help me with my project
  • I get so annoyed with not being able to understand weblocks that I toss it away and use Ruby On Rails like a sane person
  • I eventually wander off to another project with no real outcome

The Tutorial Application

The standard here is a block or a wiki. And I'm fine with that, but weblocks really shines when you give it a decent amount of data to work with, and both blogs and wikis tend to just have a few entries, at least for tutorials.

A friend suggested a recipe manager instead, and that's what I'm going to do. Eventually, the idea is to have wiki-style editing of recipes and ingredient information, links between ingredients and recipes, and other nifty stuff like that.

I'm going to start simple, though, and deliberately am not planning ahead at all: I want to see how weblocks deals with major design changes. As a for example, I'm going to start by having the user explicitely link recipes to ingredients, but my intention is that eventually linking ingredients will just be a bit of wiki markup and the ingredients list will auto-generate.

The Blog Entries