Anyone interested in learning more about Rev on Rockets?

Chipp Walters chipp at
Thu Feb 21 05:48:30 EST 2008

For those of you who don't know, Rev On Rockets is a set of libraries, and a
workflow created by Andre Garzia for implementing Rev CGI quickly and easily
on servers. It's free.

So, why would anyone want to use it? Well, before I get into the various
uses for RevCGI, I'd like to tell why I'm so excited about it.

Here at Altuit, we use Hemingway (our Rev based Content Management System)
to create lots of small to medium sized business websites. Many times, a
customer has a requirement for visitors to access a small database, be it a
catalog, or a 'find the nearest retailer to you' or even a custom guestbook.
Some of these can be handled with inventive client-side javascript, other
with PHP and a flatfile (text) database. But, many require I turn around in
my seat and say, "Chris, Tag. You're it....we need to create a MySQL,
SQLServer, Postgres server schema and database and access it using Rev." Of
course, this isn't a problem as Chris is a world-class developer (he wrote
altBrowser and altSQLite), who just happens to sit in the chair behind me in
our 2 man office, and he knows Rev as well.

But, for smaller projects, I just want to be able to give Chris a break, and
create the whole thing myself. Of course, I can always take time to learn
all about MySQL, and database connectors, and the SQL language. I painfully
have at times, but it is infrequent, and I find it difficult to stay sharp
in languages like Python, VBscript, Javascript, and PHP when I haven't used
them in months. So, I've decided to learn as much as I can about RevCGI, so
I can program my own smallish databases as stacks and cgi scripts.

And it works. I've been at it for a couple of days now, and thanks to Andre
and Rev On Rockets, I have a simple web app working. And I've finally
*grokked* the whole thing-- or at least a big chunk of it. So, what's it
good for?

Well for starters, as I mentioned, you can create very efficient and quick
databases which can be accessed from the web. Things like catalogs, store
locators, feedback databases, are fairly straightforward and simple. Using
some of Andre's libraries, you can easily send email, so you could create a
software registration database stack, which gets called from PayPal after
someone purchases your product, and it automatically emails the regcode.
Using some of the built-in Linux commands, you can even create thumbnails
from images, and create online picture databases. All using Rev On Rockets.

Not to mention, if you don't have your own Chris to do the heavy lifting,
you may just find Rev On Rockets can do some of *THAT* for you, too.

So-- What is Rev On Rockets? Well if you've ever heard of Ruby on Rails--
IT'S NOT THAT! Ruby on Rails creates scaffolding for web applications. Rev
On Rockets doesn't do all of that.

It turns out Rev On Rockets is much simpler. In fact, at it's simplest, it's
a collection of half-a-dozen libraries which you can choose to use-- or not
to-- on a given project. And frankly, there are only 2 real libraries you'll
use for most stuff-- one of them being an 'in-browser' debugger-. Sorta like
Rev's debugger, but displays in your browser telling you which line is
stuck. The other being a beefed-up version of Monte's and Rodney's libCGI.

I have to mention one other fantastic part of Rev On Rockets, and tell you
about this grand plan Andre and I have to help you learn about it. I'll do
that in the next post!


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